Classical music needs brilliant young advocates to communicate its power and worth in the 21st century. Each year, Southbank Sinfonia welcomes 33 of the world’s most promising graduate musicians to embark on its renowned fellowship. The orchestra was founded in 2002 by Music Director Simon Over to provide graduate musicians with a much-needed springboard into the profession. More than just an orchestra, this is a community where young talents can find their own creative strengths, fulfil personal goals, make lasting contacts, and take their musicianship to new frontiers.
Players who have completed the fellowship now occupy prominent seats in leading orchestras worldwide. From the Philharmonia to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, each proudly acknowledges the positive impact that Southbank Sinfonia has made upon their progress. Many continue to play a valued role in the life of Southbank Sinfonia, returning as paid deputies and extras enabling us take on ambitious large-scale ventures, and coaching their successors.
Southbank Sinfonia celebrates how intrepid young players can have a uniquely important voice in the sector, challenging and refreshing traditions. From our Free Rush Hour Concerts at our base St John’s Waterloo to our hit production of Amadeus at the National Theatre and recent collaborations with Nonclassical, iTunes, Sadler’s Wells and the RSC, you can witness bright young musicians setting the tempo for the future. In recognition of its achievements, the orchestra was nominated for the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Award.
As a registered charity, we are proud to have generated well over £5 million that has gone directly into young musicians’ pockets, transforming their livelihood through the bursaries granted to all those on the fellowship and full fees provided in all consequent opportunities. Few other institutions worldwide give young artists such a footing. In the current economic climate, this makes Southbank Sinfonia a great British success story of which the nation may feel rightly proud.