Southbank SinfoniaApplying for Southbank Sinfonia: Did You Know?

In so many ways, Southbank Sinfonia is an orchestra like no other. In addition to the details on the application page, we hope the videos, comments and information below might help to give you an idea of what life with one of the UK’s most exciting young orchestras is like.

A year in numbers

No two years of Southbank Sinfonia are exactly the same, each offering an array of unique opportunities and collaborations. However, our 2015 infographic gives you a hint of what a typical year might include. 162 pieces by 89 composers, 29 conductors, 45 venues… it’s action packed!

View the infographic here.

Southbank Sinfonia | 2015 in numbers

Video: Mozart Symphony No.40

Watch Southbank Sinfonia 2014 perform the first movement of Mozart Symphony No.40 with Ben Gernon, filmed at a Free Rush Hour Concert.

Watch the video here.

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Career prospects

Across the profession, former Southbank Sinfonia members now occupy prominent seats in leading orchestras around the world. Listed below are just a select handful of our alumni’s achievements, not to mention the dozens who regularly perform with their own ensembles, as busy freelance musicians, or who are currently trialling with the top orchestras.

Tamás András Leader, Oxford Philomusica
Sophie Appleton Violin, Royal Northern Sinfonia
Anna Banaszkiewicz Violin, BBC Philharmonic
Alice Batty Viola, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Sarah Bennington Flute, Scottish Opera
Richard Blake Principal Second Trumpet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Ellen Blythe Viola, Philharmonia
Leslie Boulin Raulet Co-Principal Violin, Manchester Camerata
Arthur Boutillier Sub-Principal Cello, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Ovanir Buosi Clarinet, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
James Burke Principal Clarinet, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Sam Burstin Viola, Philharmonia
Nuno Carapina Violin, Philharmonia
Sarah Chapman Viola, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Eva-Csengele Demeter Violin, NDR Radiophilharmonie (Hanover)
Abbey Edlin Horn, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Amy Fawcett Viola, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Featherstone Principal Flute, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Mireia Ferrer Violin, Ulster Orchestra
Nicola Gleed Violin, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Ben Griffiths Principal Bass, Aurora Orchestra
Amanda Izzo Principal Flute, Central Opera House of China
Thomas Jackson Violin, Ulster Orchestra
Linda Kidwell Viola, English National Ballet
David Lale Cello, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Eugene Lee Violin, Philharmonia Orchestra
Sojung Lee Cello, Korean Chamber Orchestra
Tom Lessels Clarinet, Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Julia Loucks Violin, Welsh National Opera
Peter Mallinson Viola, BBC Symphony Orchestra
Joan Martinez Violin, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Shelagh McKail Viola, Scottish Opera
Niamh Molloy Cello, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Tam Mott Violin, Welsh National Opera
Harriet Murray Violin, Scottish Ballet
Olga Muszynska Violin, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Rustom Pomeroy Violin, BBC Concert Orchestra
Alice Rickards Violin, BBC Symphony Orchestra
Helena Roques Violin, Philharmonia
Emma Selby Bassoon, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Mizuki Shindo Associate Principal Flute, Estonian National Opera
Laura Sinnerton Viola, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Andrew Skidmore Cello, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Hannah Smith Violin, Hallé
Claire Sterling Violin, English National Opera
Amy Turner Principal Oboe, Scottish Opera
Matthew Watson Violin, BBC Philharmonic
Anthony Williams Bass, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Anne Wilson Viola, Opera North
Adrian Wilson Principal Oboe, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Michael Wilson Principal Oboe, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Annabella Zilber Bass, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra 

Southbank Sinfonia

In the words of players

Imogen Hancock Trumpet, 2016
“The opportunities Southbank Sinfonia offers recent graduates are unrivalled. I loved performing as a chamber and symphony orchestra, alongside choirs, in operas and as a soloist, tackling an amazing variety of music.”

Eugene Lee Violin, 2009
“Being able to call yourself a Southbank Sinfonia player exemplifies belonging, talent, credibility and the future. The fellowship is a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover and push your boundaries. I wouldn’t be the same without this programme.”

James Burke Clarinet, 2010
“As a member of Southbank Sinfonia, you live the life of a working orchestral musician for a year. I found this invaluable, as when the call comes in to play with a professional orchestra you don’t feel thrown in at the deep end. You are already doing the job, and you know exactly what to expect.”

Julia Loucks Violin, 2013
“I wouldn’t have my job [First Violin, WNO] without Southbank Sinfonia. I gained so much confidence through all the fantastic performance and audition opportunities”

Thomas Wraith Cello, 2014
“Southbank Sinfonia has been the perfect opportunity to help me break into the profession. You simply cannot put a price on the relationships built with principals of major orchestras, the large amount of core repertoire learnt and, above all, the friendships made within our orchestra.”

Stephen Craigen Horn2015
“I learnt a great deal about myself and the music profession through the fellowship. The performance experience I gained in London and on tours to Italy and Hong Kong is not something easily acquired as a young musician.”

Letty Stott Horn, 2013
“My expectations were to cover a large amount of repertoire and to see what life in a professional orchestra would be like. Southbank Sinfonia met these and far, far more besides. The opportunities I had challenged how I might approach music and I feel very lucky to have had them. I really enjoyed being pushed to the boundaries of what I could do, not just as a horn player but as a person. That’s what makes Southbank Sinfonia really special.”

Andrew Watson Bassoon, 2009
“While at university and  music college I learnt how to play my instrument, but Southbank Sinfonia was definitely where I learnt how to play in an orchestra. The variety of projects throughout the year gave a great insight into so many styles of playing, and it was a great way of preparing me for my career in the music industry.”

You can see recent Southbank Sinfonia members here. If you recognise any, please feel free to ask them about their Southbank Sinfonia experience!

Southbank Sinfonia

Britain’s busiest chamber orchestra

With concerts throughout the UK and Europe, Southbank Sinfonia has one of the busiest schedules of any chamber orchestra. Whether performing at our home at St John’s Waterloo, on London stages including the Royal Festival Hall and Cadogan Hall, in industrial warehouses with Nonclassical, or in Tuscan piazzas, a typical year sees a wealth of performance opportunities.

To see all of our 2017 public concerts, browse our Concert Diary here.

Southbank Sinfonia | Concert Diary

In partnership

Play alongside and learn from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and in projects collaborating with the National Theatre, providing you not only with valuable experience but unique opportunities to make contacts within some of the UK’s leading arts organisations.

Find out more about our partnerships here.

Southbank Sinfonia and Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Perform in venues throughout Europe

Southbank Sinfonia performs throughout Europe each year, including regular appearances at Notre-Dame de Paris and an annual residency in the exquisite Tuscan hill town of Anghiari. As the resident orchestra of the Anghiari Festival, a huge diversity of orchestral and chamber music is programmed throughout the week and performed in the town’s historic piazzas and churches. Recent programmes have ranged from Mozart Quartets to Verdi Requiem. Watch our videos from Anghiari for a flavour of what awaits each summer.

Watch Verdi Requiem here.

Watch chamber music by Mozart, Debussy, Strauss and more dotted around the town here.

Southbank Sinfonia

Collaborate with renowned guest artists

Southbank Sinfonia has collaborated with some of the world’s most esteemed conductors and soloists. In recent years this has included projects with our Patrons Vladimir Ashkenazy and Edward Gardner, Sir Antonio Pappano, Mark Wigglesworth, John Wilson, Keith Lockhart, Nicholas Collon and jazz virtuoso Guy Barker. Guest soloists have included Benjamin Grosvenor, Sir Thomas Allen, Nicola Benedetti, Ning Feng and Alessio Bax, while theatrical projects and workshops have seen collaborations with the likes of Rufus Norris (National Theatre), Michael Longhurst (National Theatre, Amadeus), Simon McBurney (Complicite) and Damon Albarn (Blur).

Conductors | Southbank Sinfonia

Present things differently

Classical music has an incredible tradition, one that Southbank Sinfonia is proud to continue. But we’re also a musical laboratory in which to experiment and introduce new ideas to the profession. As part of the fellowship, players are encouraged to think afresh about how classical music might be presented, directly helping to shape its future.

Find out more about #ConcertLab here.

Southbank Sinfonia


Apply now

Apply to join Southbank Sinfonia in 2018.

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Apply for Southbank Sinfonia

Frequently Asked Questions

We naturally expect you to have lots of questions: for some of the most common ones, you will find the answers right here.

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Apply for Southbank Sinfonia | FAQs