Association of British Orchestras

Welsh Sinfonia

Contact details

Penllyn Court Cowbridge
CF71 7RQ
The Welsh Sinfonia relaunched in 2009 under the Artistic Direction of Mark Eager to champion the chamber orchestral repertoire, historically underperformed in Wales. It is now Wales’ premier chamber orchestra, consisting of up to 35 players, based on a regular committed core of principals and sub-principals. With the enthusiastic support of our Patron, the Earl of St Andrews, our International President Tadaaki Otaka and UK President Grant Llewellyn, The Welsh Sinfonia is on the way achieving its goal of becoming Wales’ national chamber orchestra. The core of the orchestra’s programme is an annual series of concerts in the Dora Stoutzker Hall in Cardiff, and our touring programme around Wales. In 2013 The Welsh Sinfonia performed at the Cheltenham Music Festival, and other Festival engagements are in the pipeline. The programme includes one major commission a year, and explores the full length, breadth and depth of work written for chamber orchestras. Welsh composers have an important place in our repertoire, and all our players are based in Wales. We hold regular auditions for our extras list. Over the past few years, with significant support from the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Sinfonia has developed a strong programme of education and audience development work. Work and Play sees us performing free concerts in factories; Strings Wind Brass Bang! is an introduction to orchestral sound for 9-11 year olds; Crescendo is a new rolling five year project, begun in 2013, to help build orchestras in secondary schools around Wales capable of playing classical orchestral music. The project concentrates on areas where participation, and opportunity, is limited. All our education work is based around a strong mentoring ethos, whether it is working with individual talented young soloists in secondary schools and County Youth Orchestras or with enthusiastic learners. We have developed a strong relationship with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, and a series of projects has sought to expand their repertoire, give their players an insight into the demands of the freelance orchestra and to give them a professional edge in auditions. The orchestra’s commitment to commissioning and composition has enabled us to work with the composition courses at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University. The 2013/14 season was marked by the appointment of the orchestra’s first Composer in Residence, Michael Csanyi-Wills. Part of the CIR responsibilities will be to participate in our education and audience development projects as well as writing the year’s major new work.

Annual Conference

The next conference will be held in Manchester from 29-31 January 2020,

hosted by The Hallé and BBC Philharmonic