What is the LSO East London Academy and what is our aim?
The LSO East London Academy, launched in 2019, aims to identify and develop the potential of young East Londoners between the ages of 11 and 18. Through the provision of free, inspirational coaching delivered by world-class musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, the Academy will offer high-level training and mentoring to young musicians who show exceptional promise, accelerating their instrumental learning, confidence and aspirations.
The LSO East London Academy aims to represent the diversity of east London, particularly encouraging young musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional orchestras to take part and continue their instrumental learning, including those that experience financial, cultural and practical barriers – a step towards facilitating wider diversification of the professional classical music sector.
LSO East London Academy Year 1
Stage 1 – Taster workshops (Spring Term)
Young musicians at Grade 5 level or above will be invited to attend workshops with LSO musicians held in local community venues across East London. Following the workshops, five young musicians per borough – 50 in total – will be nominated by their local Music Service, with input from the LSO, to attend an intensive training course at LSO St Luke’s during the summer term.
Stage 2 – Intensive Orchestral Holiday Course (Summer Term)
An intensive two-day course will be led by members of the London Symphony Orchestra and will develop participants’ ensemble skills through repertoire coaching, creative work, section masterclasses, instrumental technique sessions, and wellbeing workshops. At the culmination of the course, the participants will perform a concert together as a full orchestra, sitting side-by-side with LSO musicians.
Twenty of these young musicians will progress to the full LSO East London Academy in the Autumn and unsuccessful participants may be invited to return the following year, or be nominated again by their Music Service.
LSO East London Academy (Autumn Term)
The LSO East London Academy will take place throughout the autumn term, with full days of intense coaching at weekends, designed to stretch each of the participants beyond their current abilities. Training will include coaching in small chamber groups, masterclasses and ensemble coaching for orchestra.
The programme will culminate in a public concert at LSO St Luke’s showcasing the work across the term, participants performing in different ensemble sizes and side-by-side with LSO players in a chamber orchestra. Alongside the general public, participants’ friends and family will be invited to attend as well as industry professionals from across the music and education sectors.
LSO East London Academy Year 2
Spring & Summer
LSO East London Academy members will be provided with supported high-level instrumental training opportunities carefully selected through partnerships and relationships through LSO On Track across the following Spring and Summer terms. There opportunities will establish and strengthen progression routes for the LSO East London Academy participants and include:
- Opportunities for further engagement with the LSO for participants, through attendance at rehearsals and concerts, and exclusive opportunities to meet and work with composers, artists and the LSO's family of conductors.
- Partnership days with established high-level training providers, identifying ways to increase their accessibility and support the progression of LSO East London Academy participants.
Joined by a new cohort of young musicians, Year 2 LSO East London Academy members will take part in a second intensive coaching programme across the Autumn term, including a public showcase concert, marking the end of their participation on the programme.
The pandemic has caused disruption to the usual LSO East London Academy programme and some adjustments have been necessary to the above schedule.
The next round of recruitment will begin in Spring 2022 for young string players from East London.
DreamCity with Ayanna Witter-Johnson
During Autumn 2020, the LSO East London Academy worked with composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson and LSO Members through an online composition, coaching and recording project. Together they created a brand new piece, DreamCity. Click here to read more about the project on our blog.
The LSO East London Academy is developed by the London Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the local Music Services in ten East London boroughs: Bexley, Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The LSO East London Academy is made possible through the generous support of the Henocq Law Trust, The Steel Charitable Trust, The Irving Memorial Trust and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.