City of London Sinfonia (CLS) is the orchestral home to over 40 outstanding professional musicians who come together in the shared belief that music has the power to transform the lives of people across all areas of society. They bring a distinctive, seriously informal style to everything they do, breaking down the barriers between their musicians and audiences – whether performing on a world-famous music stage or sharing musical, creative experiences with residents in care homes and hospital schools.
Led by Creative Director and Leader Alexandra Wood, CLS conceives and delivers innovative artistic programmes with associate partners and artists, including project leaders with specialist skills, musicians in classical, jazz, folk and contemporary music, and artists in film, dance or visual art. The imaginative concepts and themes – often relating to science, nature, history or philosophy – influence and inform their wellbeing and education projects just as much as their concert series, bringing the adventure, intrigue and enjoyment of these programmes to all their audiences.
In the 2018-19 Season, CLS celebrated 30 years of transforming lives through music in its reputable Participation programme, which now reaches over 10,000 people every year in the UK. CLS continues to build upon strengths in mainstream education, visiting schools where social background often creates a barrier to creativity and ambition, and in wellbeing, at hospitals for young people with challenging conditions and with older people dealing with loss of loved ones and memory.
CLS was one of the first UK orchestras to establish a year-round, permanent programme of participation activity in 1988, and the programme has been running continuously ever since, with more than 150 days of activity in the UK every year. The Orchestra’s education work has also spread as far afield as Mexico, Japan and South Korea in recent years.