Category Archives: Month in Pictures

Month in pictures – September and October

We’ve had two very busy months at CLS. Our RE:Imagine concert series got off to a flying start in September with CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance at Village Underground, and continued at Southwark Cathedral with an atmospheric celebration of the music of one of the most romantic cities in the world, in Venice: Darkness to Light. But that’s not all we’ve been up to so far this autumn. Take a look at some of our highlights of the last two months…

CLoSer: Debussy, Copland and Dance saw us return to the intimate setting of Village Underground with a programme exploring music written for dance from Rameau’s 18th century take on the classical Pygmalion myth to Copland’s evocative Appalachian Spring. The concert opened and closed with two brand new dance interpretations of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by choreographer Tony Adigun, one contemporary classical, one urban. Photographer James Berry was on hand to capture the concert as it happened. Take a look at some of his stunning pictures…

Whether you missed the concert, or would just like to relive the evening, you can still watch short highlights on our website.

Our second RE:Imagine concert took us to the magnificent Southwark Cathedral to celebrate one of the world’s most wonderful cities, with Venice: Darkness to Light. Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and countertenor Alex Potter joined us for JS Bach’s re-imagining of Pergolesi’s Stabat MaterTilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, and Latvian composer Ugis Praulins continued our theme of re-imagining the works of Bach, with his arrangement of movements from the Mass in B minor. Here are some lovely photos of rehearsals by James Berry.

On top of all that, it’s been very busy in the education department, as we returned to Suffolk and Essex for our annual Lullaby Concert tour and workshops with Orchestras Live. We also brought a Very Special Bear’s first concert to Warwick, Basingstoke and Saffron Walden with the help of the excellent Simon Callow, who was an absolute natural at conducting! Take a look behind the scenes to see us wrestling with balloons, and a lovely Paddington Bear card made by one of our younger audience members in Basingstoke!

Our RE:Imagine series continues in the new year with The Viennese Salon in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, and our next Crash Bang Wallop! family concert will take place on 12 December. We hope to see you there!

Crash Bang Wallop! Let it Snow
Saturday 12 December 2015, 11.00am
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London
Tickets: £8 Children, £10 Adults, £30 Family (four tickets)
Box Office: 020 7730 4500 / cadoganhall.com

The Viennese Salon
Sunday 24 January 2016, 2.00pm
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Tickets: £62 (premium), £15 – 48, £10 (standing)
Box Office: 020 7401 9919 / shakespearesglobe.com

Month in Pictures – July and August

It’s been a busy few months at City of London Sinfonia. In July we announced our new RE:Imagine season, and preparations are in full swing for our first CLoSer event on 22 September. We had another wonderful summer with Opera Holland Park as their Orchestra-in-residence, and were very sorry to finish the season in August. Our community and education work has continued to keep us busy too, as we performed with Orchestras Live in Luton, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital. With all of that going on, it’s amazing we still found time for a trip to Brighton!

This year was our twelfth with Opera Holland Park, where we played Puccini’s Il Trittico, Verdi’s Aida, Delibes’ Lakmé, Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre Re, and a new production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight. You can see more of Opera Holland Park behind the scenes here, or read about horn player, Mark Paine’s experiences. We were lucky to have the wonderful Robert Workman on hand for these wonderful photos.

Our partnership with Orchestras Live took us to Luton in July for the final concert in the Aiming Higher project, which gave young musicians the opportunity to play together and improve their skills. Composer John K Miles, who was commissioned to write the music for the project, told us all about his experiences working with young musicians in Luton. Here are some fab shots of all the groups in action.

We found some pretty cryptic messages during our time at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Remember – keep frogs alive!

It wasn’t all work, work, work this July and August; there’s also been plenty of fun in the office. Our favourite little mascot gave us the seal of approval on our new season, and we even managed to escape to Brighton for a day by the sea. Well, it is summer!

Month in Pictures: May and June

The last two months at City of London Sinfonia have certainly been busy ones, with some sad ‘lasts’ and exciting ‘firsts’ of many projects and programmes. Back in May our residency at Opera Holland Park began with some fantastic productions of Puccini’s Il Trittico and Jonathan Dove’s Flight, while our Émigré concert series ended on a high with Georgian London at Shoreditch Church on 16 June. Towards the end of last month, the orchestra also went on a five-day tour of Mexico with our Principal Conductor, Stephen Layton and cellist Matthew Barley (you can read more about the trip on this blog post). In education news, we were delighted to put on another of our popular family concerts, Crash Bang Wallop! at Cadogan Hall and several KS1 projects in Tower Hamlets and Harrow with the wonderful New York composer and musician, Ljova. 

Our Georgian London concert on 16 June marked the end of our Émigré concert series with a programme of music by Handel, Mozart, JC Bach and Haydn in the beautiful surroundings of Shoreditch Church. Below are a few photos taken from our Twitter followers of the rehearsals and concert. You can read more about the concert in our most recent blog post, Retrospective: Georgian London, and don’t forget you can listen to the whole thing online for 30 days on BBC IPlayer!

Continue reading Month in Pictures: May and June

Month in Pictures: March and April

With New York musician, Ljova in town for our long-awaited, two-week collaboration, several more concerts as part of our émigré series and lots of education work, particularly with young primary school students, the Spring months at City of London Sinfonia have certainly been jam-packed. 

A unique mix of Klezmer, classical music, Balkan Gypsy and jazz, we’ve loved getting to know New York composer and musician, Ljova’s music over the last two weeks. Travelling over 3500 miles to join us for a two-week period, Ljova has performed alongside our musicians in several projects and concerts, including our recent CLoSer at Village Underground, Key Stage One projects with young children in Harrow and Tower Hamlets and participated in our L’Chaim outreach work with Jewish Care Homes. Just this week, he joined us in a DASH Arts café at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, and we look forward to welcoming him at Cadogan Hall this Saturday for our next Crash Bang Wallop family concert, Bon Voyage! Continue reading Month in Pictures: March and April

Month in Pictures – January and February!

We have had a fantastic start to the year here at CLS as momentum has built preparing for our long-awaited Émigré concert series, not to mention a wealth of other concerts and projects, including First Time Live in Harlow and the first two lunchtime concerts as part of City of London Festival’s Free Winter Concert Series at St Andrews Holborn. Just scroll down to see some of our favourite moments from the last couple of months, as well as our Chief Executive, Matthew Swann’s recent adventures in Tokyo, Japan.

Last Wednesday (25 February) we had a fantastic turn-out for the first concert of the series, CLoSer: To and From Buenos Aires which explored a range of tango music composed by Piazzolla, Golijov and Bartók. We received some great audience feedback, which you can check out on our previous blog, and don’t forget that the performance is available to watch for free on our YouTube channel until Thursday 5 March! Continue reading Month in Pictures – January and February!

Month in Pictures – October and November!

This Autumn has been a jam-packed season for us at CLS, with our concert series, Shakespeare: Let Music Sound, and lots of education work, including our Lullaby concert tour and Youth Takeover project in association with Orchestras Live in Spalding (we recently worked out that the Orchestra spent an astonishing 86 days in the community this quarter!). In other news this season, we are delighted to have announced Dame Felicity Lott as our new Patron and were thrilled to have her perform two private recitals for CLS Friends at Blain|Southern, preceding her involvement with our outreach projects in Tower Hamlets and Harrow during the next coming weeks. For some of our favourite moments from the time so far, just scroll down!

 

Our Autumn concert series, Shakespeare: Let Music Sound, celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary through a variety of concerts weaving together play text, live acting and music inspired by the Bard himself. Some of our favourite snaps from the season can be found below, including pre-concert naps, the watchful eye of the Bard himself and the remains of our  librarian’s (slightly hectic!) preparations for our performance of Shostakovich’s Hamlet at Village Underground. To find out more about our next concert seasons, Émigré visit our website.

 

A highlight of our Autumn programme was Last Train to Tomorrow, a performance to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, presented by our friends at the Association of Jewish Refugees at the Roundhouse. A number of the Kinder (the name given to the survivors of the Kindertransport) were in attendance at the concert, as was HRH The Prince of Wales, who has long championed their cause. The audience consisted of the Kinder’s own children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other supporters.

 

On 12 November we hosted an exclusive CLS Friends event at Blain|Southern art gallery with CLS leader, Alexandra Wood, Principal Conductor and clarinettist Michael Collins and Dame Felicity Lott. As her first public performance with us as CLS Patron, Felicity was on brilliant form and we hope those of you who joined us enjoyed the evening! Alongside some comedic arias and repertoire by Spohr, the headline piece was Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, a piece that Michael and Felicity first performed together 30 years ago!

 

As part of our longstanding partnership with Orchestras Live, our education team were in Spalding last month working alongside Youth Takeover, a group of young producers resident at South Holland Centre to present a concert based on a unique concept. Working with CLS musicians and composer John K Miles, local young musicians and bands curated a concert calledLifetime – redefining the concert experience’. It was fantastic project to be involved in, and the culminatory concert on 26 November was brilliant. A huge well done to all involved!

 

Our education team have been all around the country this term, with our Lullaby concert tour to Suffolk in October, workshops with Freshwater’s Academy,  and lunchtime concerts at St Thomas’ hospital, London. As you can see, some of the props went slightly crazy at times, and even made their way into the office!

 

Month in Pictures – August and September!

The last couple of months at CLS have seen the opening of our Shakespeare: Let Music Sound series this week, lots of education and community work (including the start of our Lullaby project with young children in Derbyshire), but mainly lots of burgers and lots of cake. Scroll down for some of our favourite moments!

 

In August, we headed off to Glasgow with Gwilym Simcock and our Principal Conductor and clarinetist, Michael Collins to perform Gwilym’s On a Piece of Tapestry in the City of Music at the UNESCO Commonwealth Games with New Music Biennial.

 

After our final performance at Opera Holland Park this Summer, our Concerts Manager, Becca had the glorious job of getting the scores ready to send back to the publishers. She found some hilarious markings in the parts, including an enlightening comment from the horn section making sure certain instrumentalists were still awake!

 

This beautiful picture was taken by our Chief Operating Officer, Elaine during a morning walk, marking the beginning of Autumn with low mist and frost. Get those woolly jumpers ready!

autumn arrives with mist and frost

 

Our musicians have been up and about doing lots of education and community work this month, including workshops for our Lullaby concert tour in Derbyshire (the picture where the musicians are wearing numbered hats!), First Time Live 2 legacy project in association with Orchestras Live and some concerts and workshops in Jewish Care homes as part of L’Chaim.

 

On Wednesday we opened the first of our Shakespeare: Let Music Sound Autumn concert series with a performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Southwark Cathedral with Holst Singers, baritone Neal Davies and actors Richard Hope and Emma Pallant. Here are some of our favourite snaps, if you want to see more, check out our Facebook page!

 

The team at CLS has had a bit of a change over the last few months as we’ve said a sad goodbye to our Development Manager, Ruth Mulvey and a temporary farewell to our Education Manager, Gillian who went on maternity leave. This, of course, along with the recent appointment of Nancy Hitzig, our new Philanthropy and Enterprise Manager, have been great excuses for cake, a cheeky game of ‘Guess the Baby’ and a new CLS tradition: Burger Friday!

 

In other news, our Marketing team have been talking about our CLS FIVER scheme for students and 16-25s at London Freshers Fairs, our Chief Executive, Matthew Swann, had an accident on his bike (for the record, this is not a “favourite moment”, just a memorable one!) and Elaine’s cute dogs, Dolly and Archie, spent a day lending a very helpful paw in the office!

Month in Pictures – Summer Season!

Summer 2014 has definitely been one of the best for us here at City of London Sinfonia. With open-air opera, concerts in East London warehouses (as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival) and tons of education and community work in hospitals, care homes and primary schools, we have so many favourite memories and moments we’d love to share with you! Read on for the latest edition of our Month in Pictures blog, featuring some of our best snaps from the Summer months.

 

On 17 July, we were joined by 570 young musicians to perform a new piece based on ‘Carnival’ they had collaboratively composed during previous workshops with composer John K Miles and Orchestras Live. Here are some of pics of both the rehearsals and culminatory concert, including the pBone section of the Orchestra which we thought was especially brilliant (and colourful!)

In fact, we loved the pBones so much that we even decided to buy one of our own! Here is our Chief Executive, Matthew Swann trying it out earlier this week (they’re not just for kids, apparently!).

Earlier in July, we visited Great Ormond Street Hospital for some workshops and afternoon concert with some of the young patients. For the some of the children who were unable to leave their wards, the hospital set up a live-stream on their internal computer systems so that they were able to join in too.

Back in June, we are proud to have participated in Spitalfields Music Summer Festival! The Orchestra joined Icelandic composer and electronic musician Valgeir Sigurðsson for a melancholic programme of John Dowland, Thomas Adès, Arvo Part and world premiere of Valgeir’s new work No Nights Dark Enough at Village Underground, Shoreditch.

As Orchestra-in-Residence at Opera Holland Park, we are now on the last 2 productions of the open-air festival: Norma and Adriana Lecouvreur. Last Sunday, some of the musicians joined them for their Family Open Day, introducing the audience to life at the opera behind the scenes. Here are some pictures from the day, where we were conducted by the world’s youngest conductor (!). If you haven’t already been, do pop along to see a performance before it finishes on 9 August!

Our last Crash Bang Wallop! concert, The Fantastic Feast at Cadogan Hall was a real success back in May. The Concerts Team had some great fun making all the props, including slugs and pizzas – here are some of our favourites:

As part of our work in Jewish residential homes across London with our L’Chaim: Living Music project, we visited Holocaust Survivors Centre earlier in the season for a series of interactive concerts.

Co-produced with Orchestras Live, we were joined by our animateur-in-residence Claire Bloor for a series of younger years Lullaby workshops and concerts based on Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Nutcracker Suite in Bolsover, Derbyshire. A ballerina joined us for the final concert, and I think it’s fair to say that the friendly geese next door to the concert venue wanted to as well!

Month in Pictures: March and April

With everything from conducting bumble bees, synaesthetic lighting, rhythmic jazz-piano, spiritual choral music and comedians reading poetry, these last couple of months have certainly been hectic for the City of London Sinfonia. We’ve had so much fun putting on our Natural / Supernatural series which began at the end of March performing in beautiful venues such as Southwark Cathedral and Christ Church Spitalfields, and we’ve even been able to fit in some regional touring and lots of education work too! Here are some of our favourite pics from the last couple of months:

 

 Our education team trying on animal masks ahead of our Crash Bang Wallop! Animal Antics family concert at Cadogan Hall in March!

 

Some snaps from our First Time Live projects in Mansfield, Thurrock and Peterborough which gives young people the chance to produce and experience a live orchestral concert for the first time! Can you spot the bumble bee conductor?

 

Rehearsals for our Tavener Celebration concert with the fabulous Hilliard Ensemble and Holst Singers at Southwark Cathedral. Our trumpet player obviously was so overwhelmed by the brilliant sound that he had to have a nap! 

 

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time resonating through the atmospheric surroundings of Village Underground for our last CLoSer. We hope those who logged in to watch the performance via livestream enjoyed the performance too! Check out some more photos here.

 

 Some of our musicians got up to some exciting things in April, including being conducted by England Cricketer Stewart Broad with Opera Holland Park and performing at Dorsey & Whitney’s offices behind a view of the City!

 

Some pictures from a selection of our other concerts around the UK including the National Concert Hall in Dublin and Snape Maltings.

 

British actor and comedian John Sessions rehearsing for the final concert of our Natural / Supernatural series tonight at Cadogan Hall!

 

Natural / Supernatural
Thursday 1 May 2014, 7.30pm
Cadogan Hall

Mozart –  Overture from The Magic Flute
Gwilym Simcock – On a Piece of Tapestry (London premiere)

Gwilym Simcock – Cumbrian Thaw
Beethoven – ‘Pastoral’ Symphony No. 6 

BOOK NOW!

Month in Pictures: January and February

After kicking off the New Year with a free lunchtime concert at City of London Festival, we have since taken part in a series of First Time Live workshops, introducing teenagers to orchestral music and concert production, and performed our first CLoSer of the year that was live streamed from Village Underground. Here are some of our favourite snaps from the past couple of months…

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City of London Sinfonia musicians rehearse and perform in our first concert of the year at St Andrews Holborn as part of City of London Festival

Mara & Elin rehearseMara Rehearse

Mara Carlyle and Elin Manahan Thomas rehearse their stunning duet ahead of our Alternative Valentine’s Day CLoSer

CloSer MaraKaty cooper closer

CLoSer: Alternative Love Songs gets into full swing at Village Underground

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City of London Sinfonia musicians entertain the staff and residents at Rubens House as part of our L’Chaim project

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A very cute drawing by one of the participants of our Tower Hamlets Key Stage 1 project!

You can see more from City of London Sinfonia at our forthcoming Natural / Supernatural festival

Natural / Supernatural Festival
27 March – 1 May
Southwark Cathedral, Christ Church Spitalfields, Village Underground, Cadogan Hall

Photograph credits: @CoLFestival, Matthew Swann, Katy Cooper, Pia Luck, drawing by Nuzma from the Tower Hamlets Children’s project