City of London Sinfonia

Composers

Biography

Active: 1971 - ; London, England
The City of London Sinfonia is one of the best known of the several smaller and specialty orchestras that transformed London's concert life in the late 1900s.

Although London had five major full-sized symphony orchestras, interest grew in the 1960s for specialty ensembles, such as modern, avant-garde, period, or chamber orchestras. Richard Hickox founded his own orchestra, the Richard Hickox Orchestra, in 1971. It immediately
Read more commissioned a new work, Fancies by John Rutter. By 1973 its reputation had already grown so that it was invited to play in a performance of Handel's Messiah at a Royal Albert Hall Promenade concert, and in 1975 it made its first recording, a pair of J.S. Bach Masses, on the Argo label.

In the late 1970s, the City of London, a specific and rather small area in greater London that is its commercial center and has its own historic city government, made a decision to build a major concert hall, the Barbican Centre. To ensure its use and distinctive identity, the City made arrangements for permanent resident ensembles: the London Symphony Orchestra and the Hickox Orchestra were the two leading ones, with the latter taking the name The City of London Sinfonia (CLS) in 1979 and moving into the Barbican when it opened in 1982. The Barbican and its ensembles, subsidized by the City, opened with an innovative plan to integrate its operations artistically. The ensembles cooperate in presenting festivals and thematically interrelated concert series. Among the most successful Barbican series in which the CLS participated was "Mahler, Vienna, and the Twentieth Century." Such ideas, and alert marketing strategies based on them, have made the Barbican along with Royal Albert Hall and its long established Proms the most successful concert areas in Greater London.

In 1985, the CLS made its first major international tour with a trip to Germany. Since then it has made numerous tours, which included a tour of Australia in 1993. In 1989, it made its first appearance at the Edinburgh Festival, and 1994 was notable in CLS history for its world premiere of John Tavener's The Apocalypse at the Proms. Since 1985 it has made at least one major international tour every year.

In 1990 it was invited to play at Sadler's Wells' production of Britten's opera A Midsummer Night's Dream, a performance recorded in an acclaimed Virgin Classics release, and in 1995 again made a major Britten recording, a prize-winning rendition of Peter Grimes for Chandos. 1995 also saw a pair of extraordinary special concerts. One was the performance in the Houses of Parliament commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter in the presence of the Queen, the Prime Minister, and the UN Secretary-General. The other was a special invitation by Patriarch Partherios of Alexandria to play a concert of John Tavener's music at a special symposium at the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey.

The CLS is a medium-sized symphony orchestra, listing as its permanent personnel 22 strings (divided 6-6-4-4-2) and winds in pairs, which is ideal for the Classical era and for numerous post-War modern works. The CLS has become the resident orchestra of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and of the Otto Schiff Housing Association for victims of Nazi persecution. It also has residencies in the cities of Ipswich, King's Lynn, and High Wycombe. In 1997, the CLS won the Royal Philharmonic Society Large Ensemble Music Award for contributions to musical life in the United Kingdom, including the Education & Community Programme. Richard Hickox has continued as musical director, with Marin Alsop as principal guest conductor. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 132 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Contemporary American Operas
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: OA 1179BD Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  John Adams,  Philip Glass
    Performer:  Karl Daymond,  Stephanie Novacek,  Eric Owens,  Thomas Glenn  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel,  Lawrence Renes,  Dennis Russell Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Netherlands Opera Chorus,  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Bax, Dyson, Veale, Bliss: Violin Concertos
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24153 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Veale,  Arnold Bax,  George Dyson,  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Lydia Mordkovitch
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Bryden Thomson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of London Sinfonia  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    A Double Celebration / Rutter, Cambridge Singers
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 137 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Amner,  Anonymous,  Thomas Tallis,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Williams,  Mark Padmore,  Donna Deam,  Frances Jellard  ... 
    Conductor:  John Rutter,  John Birch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Singers,  City of London Sinfonia,  BBC Concert Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Britten, Finzi, Holst: Works for Chorus & Orchestra / Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10783 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gerald Finzi,  Benjamin Britten,  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Stephen Varcoe,  John Mark Ainsley
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Britten Singers
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 21 & 24 / Howard Shelley, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1067 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Howard Shelley
    Conductor:  Howard Shelley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 6.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.95
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  • 7.
    Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Layton, Trinity College Choir Cambridge
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67946 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Zoë Brown,  Katherine Watson,  Sally Pryce,  Allan Clayton
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Holst Singers,  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
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  • 8.
    Richard Hickox Conducts Sir John Tavener
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Tavener
    Performer:  Patricia Rozario,  John Mark Ainsley,  Andrew Murgatroyd,  Stephen Richardson
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Britten Singers,  Chester Festival Chorus,  BBC Welsh Symphony  ... 
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  • 9.
    Weber: Clarinet Concertos 1 & 2, Concertinos / Collins, Stirling, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10702 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Michael Collins,  Stephen Stirling
    Conductor:  Michael Collins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 10.
    English Music For Strings / Sir John Barbirolli
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85187 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Frederick Delius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Allegri String Quartet,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 & 24 / Shelley, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1167 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Howard Shelley
    Conductor:  Howard Shelley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 12.
    Balanchine Ballets: Jewels; Serenade; Allegro Brillante; Symphony In C
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48625 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Seiji Ozawa,  Riccardo Muti,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Paris Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Bizet: Symphony In C;  Faure: Pavane;  Ibert, Ravel / Hickox
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 90765 Release Date: 09/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gabriel Fauré,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 14.
    Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, Flute & Harp Concerto / Campbell, Master, Davies, Hickox
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1071 Release Date: 05/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Campbell,  Philippa Davies,  Rachel Masters
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 15.
    Best Tchaikovsky 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56339 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Charles Abramovic,  Sarah Chang,  Ayako Uehara,  Olaf Maninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lovro von Matacic,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    Burgon: Viola Concerto; Cello Concerto; Merciless Beauty / Gamba, Connolly, Dukes, Knight, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10592 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Geoffrey Burgon
    Performer:  Josephine Knight,  Philip Dukes,  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 17.
    Haydn: Mass no 11
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414464 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Anne Howells,  Stephen Roberts,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Barbara Bonney
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 18.
    Britten: Beggar's Opera / Curnyn, Bickley, White, Jones, Randle
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10548 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Gay
    Performer:  Robert Gardiner,  Susan Bickley,  Leah-Marian Jones,  Jeremy White  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Curnyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 19.
    Within A Dream - A Celebration Of The Artistry Of Richard Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10568 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James Gilchrist,  Pamela Helen Stephen,  Roderick Williams,  Bruce Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    50 Classics For Relaxation / Ingman, Gerhardt, Gamley, Et Al
    Label: Time/Life Music   Catalog: 24742 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Paul A. Martini  ... 
    Performer:  Keith Harvey,  José Luis Garcia,  Larry Dalton,  Skaila Kanga  ... 
    Conductor:  David Firman,  Franck Pourcel,  Charles Gerhardt,  Eric Hammerstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Franck Pourcel Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Ultimate Haydn - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280402 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Anne Howells,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Antal Doráti,  Christopher Hogwood,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian String Quartet,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 22.
    Benjamin Britten - The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17526 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Andrew Mead,  Jill Gomez,  Norman Bailey,  Penelope Walker  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall,  Richard Hickox,  Daniel Harding,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trinity Boys Choir,  City of London Sinfonia,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $157.98
    CD: $132.49
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  • 23.
    Britten: Turn Of The Screw / Hickox, Padmore, Milne, Wyn Davies
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 907 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Catrin Wyn-Davies,  Lisa Milne,  Mark Padmore,  Diana Montague  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
    Recommendation
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 24.
    Bernstein: Trouble In Tahiti / Daymond, Novacek
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 838 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Stephanie Novacek,  Karl Daymond
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
    Recommendation
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 25.
    Martinu: Double Concerto, Concerto For String Quartet, Etc. / Hickox, Alley, Daniel, Reay, Endellion Quartet, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91099 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
    Performer:  John Alley,  Charles Fullbrook,  Andrew Watkinson,  Ralph De Souza  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Endellion String Quartet
    ArkivCD $17.99
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