Tag Archives: L’Chaim

L’Chaim: Living Music

This August, we set off on another of our successful L’Chaim tours around care homes in North London, offering concerts for Jewish residential homes in partnership with Jewish Care.

The houses were originally set up to provide sheltered housing for elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors or refugees. Each home has a shared space where residents come together to socialise and our concerts help to bring people together in these spaces, helping to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness amongst the older people.

A string quartet from CLS visited seven different homes, playing a specially programmed concert of classical favourites, lighter popular songs and arrangements of Jewish melodies. The audiences varied in size but staff told us that many residents hear and appreciate the music from their own rooms – some of the audience were so enthusiastic that they couldn’t resist the urge to get up and dance to some of the Klezmer tunes.

We were also lucky enough to hear thoughts and stories from residents in a few of the homes over a cup of tea and cake – it was a privilege to get to know the residents and we’re looking forward to our next tour in November.

Want to know more about our L’Chaim projects? Watch our L’Chaim, Living Music video.

With older people, Holocaust survivors and those who are facing bereavement, our music-making helps to keep memories alive and minds active. Learn more about our Wellbeing through Music projects…


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…


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


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

picture 2

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

Flashback: L’Chaim

In this edition of Flashback, we look to 1998 and the launch of our L’Chaim, Living Music project, which is still going strong and celebrating ‘living music’ today.




“In tandem with the commencement of Music for Children at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Education and Community Programme also launched L’Chaim, Living Music. This is an informal concert project at the Otto Schiff Housing Association (OSHA) for Jewish refugees of Nazi persecution. Most OSHA residents are of German or Austrian origin, and their combined rich cultural heritage and love of music has been the defining factor in helping to shape the project.




“Based at seven different homes and sites throughout North London, L’Chaim, Living Music will provide a three-year rotating programme of classical, Jewish, folk, religious and coffee house music… Whilst physical frailty may now prevent some of the residents attending concerts elsewhere in London, this has not hindered their support and enthusiasm for this project, and they have been integral to the planning process, programming and structure from the outset.




“A long list of composers and musical interests was drawn up by the residents, many of whom are musicians themselves. After this initial meeting, it was clear that musical interests veered strongly towards the German classical tradition, but that many OSHA residents also enjoy folk, religious, light classical and jazz music. With these interests in mind, the programme for the year was drawn up…

“Soon after this, a trio of musicians were booked for the first three visits to OSHA (Erika Klemperer, violin, Danny Lyness, viola, Jo Cole, cello) and…they devised the first concert programme (including complete works by Beethoven, Kodaly and Schubert.) The first visits were a great success, reaching over 70 residents and staff and instant feedback from the residents was overwhelmingly positive.”

Extract from CLScapades newsletter 1998