Tag Archives: Tim Garland

Retrospective on CLoSer: Sketches of Miles

We do things differently here at CLS, and on Wednesday 6 April we lived up to our promise to surpise with a concert of the music of Miles Davis – CLoSer: Sketches of Miles.

For this, the final CLoSer concert in the RE:Imagine series, we were joined by the exceptional talents of Gwilym Simcock and his trio, vocalist Cleveland Watkiss and – in a last-minute addition – saxophonist Tim Garland.

Relive the experience

Checkout the highlights video below and some beautiful photos from the concert by the wonderful James Berry along with your reactions from Twitter. Just tweet us at @CityLdnSinfonia to let us know what you thought!

Photos by James Berry:

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Read the review by Schmopera:

Last night’s concert at the Village Underground will go into the books as one of the most memorable shows we’ve seen yet.” – Schmopera

From Twitter:




Join us for the season finale

Paris Reflected
Wednesday 20 April, 7.30pm

The sounds of Paris are reflected across the centuries in this finale of the season. Providing the centrepiece to the programme is Duruflé’s Requiem setting based on ancient plainsong melodies, preceded by Fauré’s Pavane with its ancient dance forms and Ravel’s tribute to the earlier French composer, Couperin. Composer Charlotte Bray provides the final instalment in our ‘Bach RE:Imagined’ series.



Our 2012/13 Season in pictures

As August draws to a close we reflect back on the year that was at City of London Sinfonia. There’s been national tours, festivals, glittery cowboy hats, audience votes and a heap of fantastic performances by the Orchestra. So as we wish our 2012/13 season a fond farewell we’ve selected eight of our favourite moments to share with you…

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We kicked off our season with a latin-inspired performance at Village Underground featuring the Katona Twins, and also featuring some very fine tango from our two dancers

Crash Bang Wallop

December 2012 saw our first Crash Bang Wallop! Christmas Special. Animateur Claire Bloor guided the audience through Tchaikovsky‘s Nutcracker Suite and we even received a surprise visit from Father Christmas!

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Ahoy! In Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013 our players donned their sailor hats and took to the high seas for Lullaby – our early years outreach project. Children aged 3-6 across in East Anglia and South East England had the opportunity to try out instruments and sing along to our under the sea-themed performance.


We were joined by jazz titan Tim Garland in February 2013 for CLOSER. Performing Tim Garland’s new composition, Songs to the North Sky, and Schnittke’s Mozart a la Haydn  (as voted for by our audience), the Orchestra whipped up a frenzy of quirky, contemporary music


Ooh La la! In April 2013 we presented our first mini festival, centred around the music of Francis Poulenc and contemporaries. With performances at St Giles’ Cripplegate, Village Underground and Southwark Cathedral, we really got to explore all sides of this fascinating and charismatic composer


In May, we performed a concert with the patients and staff at St Joseph’s Hospice, as part of Dying Matters week, which was the culmination of a series of workshops in which the patients composed and performed new music inspired by their thoughts, experiences and feelings

The first leg of our Faure Requiem Tour was a great success and we had a great time on the road visiting Durham, Derby, Ely and Portsmouth. Here is Stephen Layton, Gabriel Jackson and the Ely Cathedral Choir ahead of their broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Opera Holland Park's resident peacock

And finally, how could we recap our 2012/13 season without a nod to Opera Holland Park, at which we are resident orchestra… Pictured here, a new addition to the Orchestra – the resident Opera Holland Park peacock!

Images: James Berry, Sarah Macdonald, Paul Coghlin, Ruth Mulvey, Becca Newman

Retrospect: The Last Month in Pictures

As we approach the Easter holiday weekend, we take a look back at the last month in what has been an inspiring winter of music, despite the miserable weather! Here’s what we have been getting up to in February and March…

CLoSer CLoSer

Our first CLoSer of the year took place at Village Underground featuring Schnittke’s Moz-art à la Haydn, the winner of our social media audience choice. Saxophonist Tim Garland also performed Kancheli’s Night Prayers and new piece, Songs to the North Sky.

CBW 2 9 Mar 2013 Becca Newman

We also returned to Cadogan Hall for 2013’s first Crash Bang Wallop! concert, which this time focused on Stephen McNeff’s musical retelling of the Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. Here the orchestra rehearse before the children arrived for their day of craft and music making!

First Time Live EBaines

FTL Harlow

We took another successful First Time Live project to Harlow, performing in Harlow Leisure Zone after a series of workshops with 11-14 year-olds, giving them the chance to not only experience live orchestral music, but create it!

COLF feb concert credit becca newman

As part of the City of London Festival, our series of lunchtime winter concerts continued. Here our viola soloist, Fiona Bonds, rehearses in St. Andrews Church, Holborn, where she performed Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes.

Lullaby Thurrock credit Gillian Hunter

Our animateur in residence, Claire Bloor, performs in our Lullaby concert series in Purfleet. To find out more about our education and welfare projects, read our Meet the Music blog.

Steve and Becky low res

It’s not all hard work: Steve and Becky, two of our players, enjoy some friendly competition on their lunchbreak!

Images: James Berry, Becca Newman, Gillian Hunter, Paul Coghlin & Elaine Baines

CLoSer… the morning after the night before

The cushions may have been packed away and the drinks may no longer be flowing but here at City of London Sinfonia, we’re still buzzing about last night’s CLoSer festivities. Schnittke’s Moz-art a la Haydn provided a slightly crazy opening for a concert that saw the Orchestra on top form, together with some piping hot saxophone mastery from Tim Garland. Did anyone else feel slightly spooked during Kancheli’s Night Prayers?

For those that came down to Village Underground, you may have noticed our rather fabulous photographer James Berry, snapping away throughout the night. Here are some of our favorite shots:

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If you like what you see, join us next time as we transport our audience back to a 1920s Parisian cafe with music from everyone’s favourite “French Playboy”, Francis Poulenc!

CLoSer: Poulenc & Paris
Wednesday 10 April 2013

Village Underground

All images James Berry

Composer Focus: Tim Garland part two

Tim Garland

Here is part two of our recent interview with composer and jazz saxophonist Tim Garland. We caught up with him  recently (at Abbey Road studios!) to find out what he’s most looking forward to from the CLoSer experience, his new piece Songs to the North Sky, which takes a certain amount of inspiration from the M1, and which classical music composers most inspire and influence his compositions.


CLoSer with Tim Garland
Wednesday 13 February, 7.30pm
Village Underground

Composer Focus: Tim Garland

We’re delighted to welcome Tim Garland, saxophone and bass clarinet jazz virtuoso, composer and Grammy winning arranger, as Guest Artist at our next CLoSer concert on Wednesday 13 February. We caught up with him recently (at Abbey Road studios!) to find out what he’s most looking forward to from the CLoSer experience, his new piece Songs to the North Sky, which takes a certain amount of inspiration from the M1, and which classical music composers most inspire and influence his compositions.

Find out what Tim is most looking forward to from the CLoSer experience:

Listen to a couple of exclusive extracts from Songs to the North Sky:

Keep an eye out for the rest of Tim’s interview on the blog this week.

CLoSer with Tim Garland
Wednesday 13 February, 7.30pm
Village Underground, Shoreditch

A beginners guide to CLoSer

With our next CLoSer only around the corner, we thought now would be the perfect time to reflect upon past events and give any newbies an idea of what CLoSer is all about. Out of the traditional concert hall and into an East London Warehouse/music venue/arts space, CLoSer presents all the best bits of an orchestral concert minus the “rules“; clap when you want to, grab a drink during the music, chat with the musicians. It’s all very informal.

Have a peruse over some some of our favorite snaps from our past events and let us know what you think…

The festivities take place at Village Underground. It’s a former Victorian coal store, located in the heart of Shoreditch, adorned with two massive trains (hence the name!).


Uncomfortable seats? You won’t find any at here. Whilst listening to one of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, you’ll be able to sit on one of our luxurious, coloured cushions. They really are as comfortable as they look!

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The bar stays open all night. And what’s more, you get a drink included in the price of your ticket….

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Classical music in a warehouse. What’s not to like?


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If you like what you see, we think it’s time you experienced the real thing. Next event will take place on Wednesday 13 February 2013 featuring saxophone titan, Tim Garland. Hope to see you there!

CLoSer with Tim Garland
Wednesday 13 February, 7.30pm
Village Underground, Shoreditch

Tickets £15/ £5  for 16-25s/students
Book Now 020 7377 1362/spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk

All images James Berry

What’s on my iPod – Tim Garland

Our next CLoSer concert takes place on Wednesday 13 February when we’re fortunate enough to not only have the supremely talented jazz musician and composer Tim Garland with us as Guest Artist, but we’ll also be performing the world premiere of his latest composition, Songs to the North Sky. We asked him to tell us what he’s currently listening to on his iPod…

I’m not sure if these are on my actual mp3 player, but they are often in my car as I do quite a lot of driving between the North and the South, and this is what inspired Songs To The North Sky, my constant travels up and down.

Tim Garland crop

So the CD player in my car often has on:

Pat Metheny Are You Going With Me?
What an amazing vibe-setter for travelling! This track is almost iconic, with a classic guitar solo and a beautiful melody too.

Tippett Concerto For Double String Orchestra
I can listen to this many times and find something new in it always. I love its “Englishness” and the quirky use of dissonance, but its passion is true and undeniable.

Chick Corea Matrix
I was lucky to be on this CD release elsewhere, so I knew about it before it was released. This trio track, recorded a couple of days after I was involved (he invited a number of different bands) shows Chick reuniting with a trio that recorded the same piece 30-odd years earlier. This guy just gets better all the time and its a powerful incentive in my life.

Henri Dutilleux The Shadows Of Time
What would we do without such masters of harmony and orchestration showing us the way? I don’t know of many creative jazz musicians who don’t like Dutilleux. He is one of those who creates such rich webs of sound that any concept of whether it is modal, tonal, pantonal, bla blah…its all way below the immersive experience of just being there!

John Coltrane  One Down One Up
Audiophiles go and make the tea, you won’t like the sound quality of this little club date! What is timeless is Coltrane’s quartet and some of the most electrifying McCoy Tyner piano I’ve ever heard. Anyone who wants to feel how this real, and often relentlessly energetic improvisation can hit an audience, start here!

Listen to our Spotify playlist of Tim’s picks here

CLoSer with Tim Garland
Wednesday 13 February, 7.30pm
Village Underground, Shoreditch

Tickets £15/ £5  for 16-25s/students
Book Now 020 7377 1362/spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk