Created by Lancashire County Council and a team of visionaries 16 years ago, the Lancashire Sinfonietta is a unique and outstanding orchestra and without a doubt the Council’s finest artistic achievement to date.
The orchestra which is a member of the Association of British Orchestras, draws upon a pool of over 200 musicians, many of whom were educated and mentored by the County Education and Music Service.
The orchestra attracts the UK’s top directors and an A-list of Lancashire’s soloists. Its musicians are members of the UK’s finest orchestras and ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Hallé orchestra, and these home-grown musical champions return to Lancashire to inspire the next generation of talent.
Star line-ups tour parish churches, school halls and municipal theatres – often a far cry from the Glyndebournes and Carnegie Halls they usually frequent. Audiences in Lancashire do not have to travel to Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool for great culture. The Sinfonietta offers international quality performances – affordable, friendly and accessible on their doorstep.
The Lancashire Sinfonietta has taken up the prestigious position of “Orchestra in Residence” at Lancaster University, a Top Ten university.
The university is home to Live at LICA which hosts the Lancaster International Concert Series. This places the orchestra at the heart of the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts where the musicians can enjoy access to state of the art facilities. The orchestra will start contributing to the bachelor of arts degree from 2012.
Learning & participation are at the very heart of everything the orchestra does, and our Education Programme reflects a colourful spectrum of activity.
The contribution of music in early years development is highly valued. In 2007 we launched our hugely popular baby concerts – “Mini-Mozart”. Sponsored by Classic FM, over x concerts have been held in Children’s Centres giving nearly 3500 babies and their families their first experience of live music.
This investment in the young audiences of the future has evolved into The Sound Playground – an early years programme, supported by the National Lottery though Arts Council England. Over x workshops have been delivered to x participants by professional musicians in Burnley children’s centres and the programme is now being offered across the County.
“The musicians have so much talent, it’s like we are having a private concert! It’s very atmospheric and not an experience we would get as I didn’t play any instruments”
“Evan gets so excited and comes alive when he gets here”.
“There’s no other group like it, children get to see the instrument being played and the sound it makes”
“My best memory was when the babies were given bells, they used them to join in with the music. As a mum I felt happy”
“It was nice having peaceful bonding time”
Thousands of children in schools all over the UK and abroad have had their learning enhanced by the orchestra’s online curriculum materials. Using the themes of “The Carnival of the Animals” and “The Wreck of the Titanic” the orchestra has collaborated with the educational website Tuned-In to create a huge resource of interactive teaching materials for primary schools.
The orchestra’s unique commemoration of the sinking of the Titanic in 2012 was inspired by the heroic Lancashire-born bandmaster, Wallace Hartley. A giant commission for youth orchestras “The Wreck of the Titanic” was commissioned and premiered at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and performances and projects will take place throughout 2012.
The orchestra also has 10 commercially available CDs on the market with over 21,000 downloads all over the world.
The orchestra has established the Christopher Brooks Memorial Prize to encourage north west talent through an annual competition and mentoring scheme for young composers.
The world-famous Accrington-born composer and Patron, Sir Harrison Birtwistle has said:
"The Lancashire Sinfonietta's Christopher Brooks Memorial Prize is a great investment in the country's musical future. The excellent quality of the music produced by the competition so far demonstrates its high worth and it is an exceptional opportunity for young talent to develop among some of the UK’s finest musicians.”
The competition has already launched the careers of seven bright young talents, helping them to pursue their dreams as professional composers.
The Sinfonietta’s commitment to developing new artistic work has led to some ground breaking successes. Recent experiments in jazz-fusion have attracted 2 renowned composers to write new works for the orchestra and the project has been made into a HDTV arts programme for international distribution.
Music changes lives - its impact in areas such as health, education, community life and the arts in general, is well established.
The orchestra has attracted regional and national recognition for the innovative ways it helps people to experience and participate in great music. Initiatives have included projects with community groups, such as the university of the third age, visual artists, filmmakers, colleges, schools & libraries.
The County Council’s unique support has created an orchestra which has brought worldclass music to enrich the lives of thousands of people in Lancashire.
Over the next decade we have the opportunity to take our success and experience to deliver music into the lives of a whole new generation.
This exceptional constellation of musicians, communities and local government has truly created one of the most vibrant and relevant orchestras in the UK.
The orchestra’s daily belief infuses every area of our work:
“Music should belong to everyone”