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London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta is among the leading ensembles in the U.K. devoted largely to contemporary music. It is a chamber-sized orchestra, consisting of about 17 members, with a single player each on violin I, violin II, and the other major instruments of the orchestra, including percussion and electronics. The LS has commissioned and performed more than 200 new works over the years, and premiered countless others. The programs feature works by such well-known contemporary composers as Berio, Birtwistle, Boulez, Nono, Reich, and Stockhausen, as well as lesser known figures like Anna Meredith, Claudia Molitor, Tansy Davies, and Larry Goves. But the LS also performs more mainstream repertory, including works by J.S. Bach, Stravinsky, Britten, and even Broadway fare by Jerome Kern and Cole Porter, as well as jazz works. The orchestra is one of several resident ensembles at London's Southbank Centre and makes regular tours throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The LS has made countless recordings over the years, many available from EMI, Decca, and DG.

The London Sinfonietta was founded in 1968 by Nicholas Snowman and David Atherton, the latter serving as music director until 1973. Since stepping down Atherton has regularly led the orchestra in concert and made many acclaimed recordings, among them the highly praised 1980 Chandos recording of Tippett's opera King Priam.

Apart from Atherton and composer/conductor Oliver Knussen, who served as music director from 1998-2002, the LS has generally been led by guest conductors over the years who typically are engaged to conduct a series of concerts.

Artistic directors have overseen much of the orchestra's activities. Michael Vyner was perhaps the ensemble's most cherished artistic director, serving from 1972 until his death in 1989. The LS performed many new works written as tributes to Vyner after his passing, including Peter Maxwell Davies' Threnody on a Plainsong for Michael Vyner.

Pianist Paul Crossley served as artistic director until 1994. German conductor Markus Stenz led the orchestra in many concerts from 1994-1998. Though Knussen stepped down as music director in 2002, he began serving as conductor laureate upon his departure and still regularly conducts the orchestra. Though most regular-season concerts by the LS are given in Southbank Centre, since 2008 a small portion are presented in Kings Place, Kings Cross in London. Among the more acclaimed later recordings of the LS is the 2006 CD on Explore Records of Hans Werner Henze's Voices, led by the composer.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Warp Works & Twentieth Century Masters

Disc 1
Composer: Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin)
Title: Prepared Piano Piece 1
Title: Prepared Piano Piece 2
Composer: Conlon Nancarrow
Title: Study for Player Piano No.7
Composer: John Cage
Title: Sonatas And Interludes, For Prepared Piano
Composer: Steve Reich
Title: Violin Phase, For Violin And Tape (Or 4 Violins)
Composer: John Cage
Title: First Construction (In Metal), For 6 Percussionists
Composer: Tom Jenkinson
Title: The Tide
Composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
Title: Spiral, For Soloist With Shortwave Receiver
Disc 2
Composer: John Cage
Title: Sonatas And Interludes, For Prepared Piano
Composer: Edgard Varèse
Title: Ionisation, For 13 Percussion Instruments
Composer: Steve Reich
Title: Six Marimbas (rearranged Version Of "Six Pianos")
Composer: Tom Jenkinson
Title: Conc 2 Symmetriac
Composer: John Cage
Title: Sonatas And Interludes, For Prepared Piano
Composer: Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin)
Title: AFX237 V7
Composer: György Ligeti
Title: Chamber Concerto, For 13 Instruments
Composer: Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin)
Title: Polygon Window
x

Track List: Birtwistle: Angel Fighter, In Broken Images & Virelai (Sus Une Fontayne)

1. Angel Fighter, cantata for countertenor, tenor, chamber chorus & chamber orchestra: Angel Fighter

2. In Broken Images, for chamber orchestra: In Broken Images

3. Virelai (Sus une fontayne), for 12 players: Virelai (Sus Une Fontayne)

x

Track List: Colin Matthews: Broken Symmetry; Suns Dance; Fourth Sonata

Title: Fourth Sonata For Orchestra

1. Fourth Sonata For Orchestra: Part 1

2. Fourth Sonata For Orchestra: Part 2

3. Fourth Sonata For Orchestra: Part 2

4. Fourth Sonata For Orchestra: Part 2

5. Fourth Sonata For Orchestra: Part 3

Title: Suns Dance, For 10 Players

6. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Allegro

7. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Tempo Giusto

8. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: (Oboe)

9. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Allegro Assai

10. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Tempo Giusto

11. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: (Bass Clarinet)

12. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Tutti

13. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Poco Meccanicamente

14. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Tempo Giusto

15. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: (Piccolo And Bass)

16. Suns Dance, For 10 Players: Coda

Title: Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra

17. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Allegro

18. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: (Introduction 2)

19. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: (Threnody)

20. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Tempo Giusto

21. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: (Parody)

22. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Vigoroso

23. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Spettrale

24. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Sostenuto Ma Agitato

25. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Subito Sostenuto

26. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Feroce

27. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Molto Vigoroso

28. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Pesante

29. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: Molto Vivo

30. Broken Symmetry, For Large Orchestra: (Coda)

x

Track List: Michael Daugherty: American Icons

Title: Dead Elvis, For Bassoon, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone,violin, Double Bass & Percussion

1. Dead Elvis, For Bassoon, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone,violin, Double Bass & Percussion: Dead Elvis

Title: Snapl For Chamber Ensemble

2. Snapl For Chamber Ensemble: Snap!

Title: What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble

3. What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble: I. What's That Spell?

4. What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble: II. Ballerina

5. What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble: III. Drum Majorette

6. What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble: IV. Oh Ken

7. What's That Spell, For 2 Sopranos & Ensemble: V. What's That Spell? (Reprise)

Title: Jackie's Song, For Cello & Chamber Ensemble

8. Jackie's Song, For Cello & Chamber Ensemble: Jackie's Song

Title: Le Tombeau De Liberace, For Piano & Orchestra

9. Le Tombeau De Liberace, For Piano & Orchestra: I. Rhinestone Kickstep

10. Le Tombeau De Liberace, For Piano & Orchestra: II. How Do I Love Thee?

11. Le Tombeau De Liberace, For Piano & Orchestra: III. Sequin Music

12. Le Tombeau De Liberace, For Piano & Orchestra: IV. Candelabra Rhumba

Title: Motown Metal, For Brass Ensemble & Percussion

13. Motown Metal, For Brass Ensemble & Percussion: Motown Metal

Title: Flamingo, For Large Ensemble

14. Flamingo, For Large Ensemble: Flamingo

x

Track List: Olivier Messiaen: Des Canyons aux Etoiles; Oiseaux Exotiques; Couleurs de la Cité Celeste

Disc 1
Title: Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51

1. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: I. Le Desert

2. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: II. Les Orioles

3. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: III. Ce Qui Est Ecrit Sur Les Estoiles...

4. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: IV. Le Cossyphe D'Heuglin

5. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: V. Cedar Breaks At Le Don De Crainte

6. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: VI. Appel Interstellaire

7. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: VII. Bryce Canyon Et Les Rochers Rouge-orange

8. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: VIII. Les Ressuscites Et Le Chant De L'Etoile Aldebaran

9. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: IX. Le Moqueur Polyglotte

Disc 2

1. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: I. La Grive Des Bois

2. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: II. Omao, Leiothrix, Elepaio, Shama

3. Des Canyons aux étoiles, for piano & orchestra, I/51: III. Zion Park Et Al Cite Celeste

Title: Oiseaux exotiques, for piano, 11 winds & 7 percussion, I/41

4. Oiseaux exotiques, for piano, 11 winds & 7 percussion, I/41: Exotic Birds For Piano Solo And Small Orchestra

Title: Couleurs de la cité céleste, for piano, 13 winds & 6 percussion, I/46

5. Couleurs de la cité céleste, for piano, 13 winds & 6 percussion, I/46: Colors Of The Celestial City

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Such a wonderful composer!!!

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