Supporting innovation and access
The LSO is immensely grateful for the support it receives from trusts, foundations, livery companies and statutory funders.
The LSO’s charitable partners support some of our most innovative projects, engaging audiences and participants of all ages and abilities in transformative music experiences. Below are just a few examples of the enormous impact that trusts and foundations have had on our community and education work.
LSO Children's Hospitals programme
The LSO Children's Hospitals programme provides bespoke music activities for children facing severe, life-threatening, or terminal illnesses in east London hospitals. We work with children aged 0-16 undergoing a range of distressing treatments, including some who have been in hospital their whole lives.
Through the programme, we aim to reduce levels of anxiety and stress, enabling children to cope with distressing treatments; improve children’s confidence and self-esteem, combatting the loss-of-identity and feelings of isolation often felt in hospital; and increase the provision of musical activities outside of our visits, equipping hospital staff and parents with the confidence to use music more regularly with their children.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we delivered sessions to children in hospital via Zoom. We were thrilled to be able to maintain sessions despite the challenging circumstances, ensuring that we could continue to reach the children most in need of uplifting musical experiences. One child’s response was described by a hospital staff member as "one of the most powerful responses I have witnessed in all my years of working with the LSO. It was an honour to be a part of that. [She] could not stop smiling and literally shook with emotion. The session uncovered a love for classical music."
We have also recently worked with prematurely-born babies on the Neonatal Ward at Newham University Hospital; young children with eye-cancer on the Retinoblastoma Ward at the Royal London Hospital; and children aged 0-16 suffering from life-threatening illnesses including cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell syndrome on the General Children's Wards at the Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital.
We are extremely grateful to BBC Children in Need and the Gapper Charitable Trust, whose generous support has made the LSO Children’s Hospitals programme possible.
LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme
"The opportunity to spend a whole year with a world-class orchestra has been a thoroughly invigorating, inspiring, and transformative experience." - James Hoyle (2017 Scheme)
The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is the LSO’s renowned programme for early-career composers pursuing a career in orchestral composition, providing a world-class development opportunity for six individuals each year to gain vital skills and experience in writing for a full professional symphony orchestra.
The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme was devised in collaboration with Lady Panufnik in 2005, and named in memory of her late husband, composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik. Since its inception, Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust have generously supported the Scheme, enabling 90 composers to progress through the programme to date. Each participating composer receives expert mentoring and support from professional composers and LSO musicians, the chance to compose a three-minute work for full symphony orchestra, and the opportunity to have their final piece workshopped by the LSO in front of a public audience at LSO St Luke’s. Following the public workshop, two of the most innovative composers are awarded a full LSO commission (five or ten-minutes), with each piece subsequently receiving its world premiere in the Barbican Hall as part of the LSO’s main concert season.
The long-term impact that the Scheme has had on the pool of composers now actively working in the UK has been significant. The 2019 BBC Proms featured orchestral works by four alumni of the Scheme, including the world premiere of Woke by Daniel Kidane (2016 Scheme) which opened the Last Night of The Proms. In addition, the past three years have seen five former participants take home awards at The Ivors Composer Awards – the Oscars of the classical music world.
We are extremely grateful to Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust, whose longstanding and visionary support has made the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme possible.
LSO East London Academy
The LSO East London Academy, launched in 2019, aims to identify and develop the potential of talented young east London musicians between the ages of 11 and 18. Through the provision of free, inspirational coaching delivered by the LSO’s musicians, the Academy offers high-level training and mentoring to young musicians who show exceptional promise, accelerating their instrumental learning, confidence and aspirations.
“We know there is so much talent on our doorstep. We see these young people through our work every day in schools and the wider community. But they face some of the biggest social and financial barriers to realising their ambitions, and we want our programme to constantly evolve to meet the challenge of being truly London’s Symphony Orchestra.” Sir Simon Rattle
Each year, the LSO East London Academy engages 40 young musicians who are at Grade 5 equivalent or above on their chosen instrument. Through the programme, we aim 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. By the time participants leave the Academy, after spending two years on the programme, they have stronger instrumental and ensemble-performance skills, greater confidence and belief in their musical ability, and increased resilience and aspirations to further their musical progression.
“I have absolutely loved my time in the LSO East London Academy! It has been so fun. I feel like I have improved so much and I just wanted to say thank you!” LSO East London Academy participant (2019)
We are extremely grateful to the Henocq Law Trust, The Steel Charitable Trust, The Irving Memorial Trust, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, The Radcliffe Trust, an anonymous donor and our east London Music Service partners, whose generous support has made the LSO East London Academy programme possible.
LSO Jerwood Composer+
LSO Jerwood Composer+ is a support programme for early-career composers, providing two composers each year with the space, time and opportunities to develop new work and showcase their artistic practice, whilst equipping them with a broad range of entrepreneurial skills to establish and promote themselves professionally.
With the opportunity to programme, plan and deliver two events each in the Jerwood Hall at LSO St Luke’s, the composers have complete creative freedom to develop and showcase new music by both themselves and their peers, exploring innovative cross-genre collaborations with a diverse range of artists and partners.
Underpinned by an in-depth programme of mentoring and support, the programme equips composers with a range of practical skills in programming; event planning; budgeting; marketing; fundraising; and evaluation, supporting composers to thrive as both artists and producers in the early stages of their careers.
“The scheme has enriched my creative practice and allowed me to develop my skillset to become a more accomplished and well-rounded artist. I feel I can now take on large-scale curation, programming and composition projects more readily, and will continue to throughout my career.” Emma-Jean Thackray, LSO Jerwood Composer+ (2018 Cohort)
We are extremely grateful to Jerwood Arts, whose generous support has made the LSO Jerwood Composer+ programme possible.
Find out more
To find out more about supporting the work of the Orchestra please contact Philip Chandler, Head of Strategic Funding:
Tel: +44 20 7382 2561