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Britten Sinfonia Residency 2018

Britten Sinfonia Residency 2018

Now in its fourth year, the annual residency of musicians from the Britten Sinfonia took place just before half term. The visiting world class musicians gave a series of workshops and masterclasses, and their time concluded with a thrilling concert. Our string players were able to take part in a workshop on Schubert’s ‘Trout’ quintet, playing with pianist Huw Watkins, and receiving expert coaching from Britten Sinfonia section principals, Jackie Shave and Caroline Dearnley. There was an oboe masterclass with Emma Fielding, and further string and piano masterclasses too. In what has become a particularly special annual highlight, some of our GCSE and A level composers had their music workshopped and performed by the visiting players.

There is nothing quite like hearing your music come to life in truly expert hands, and the pupils were delighted (and, perhaps, surprised) at just how good their music sounded. Samuel Hopkins had composed a particularly tricky piece of serial music, and the Britten players, who specialise in ‘new’ music, gave him some valuable help in performing the piece. Alexandria Eyre’s sonata form movement adopted a more conventional style, but was much admired by all, and was also performed in their concert as a ‘surprise’ item.


Recording of Sam's composition

Recording of Alexandria's composition


Images from the residency

We are delighted to continue to welcome such expert musicians here, and look forward to the residency continuing next year.  For more information about the Britten Sinfonia, please visit

Reporting by Christopher Sparkhall, Director of Music