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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
Christmas Night - Carols of the Nativity / Rutter
Release Date: 01/20/1993   Label: Collegium Records  
Catalog: 106   Number of Discs: 1
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Gloria - The Sacred Music Of John Rutter / Cambridge Singers
Release Date: 09/20/2005   Label: Collegium Records  
Catalog: 515   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Vivaldi
Release Date: 09/15/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556655   Number of Discs: 1
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The Art Of The Oboe - Famous Oboe Concerti / Anthony Camden
Release Date: 06/01/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553991   Number of Discs: 1
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Rutter: Mass Of The Children / Rutter, Cambridge Singers
Release Date: 09/23/2003   Label: Collegium Records  
Catalog: 129   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 163 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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! $102.98
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  • 5.
    Roxanna Panufnik: Westminster Mass, Choral Works / Joyful Company Of Singers, Westminster Cathedral Choir
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 51860 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roxanna Panufnik
    Conductor:  Peter Broadbent,  James O'Donnell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joyful Company of Singers,  Westminster Cathedral Choir,  City of London Sinfonia
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Britten: Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 781602 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Robert Tear,  Peter Donohoe,  Peter [English Horn] Walden,  Wesley Warren  ... 
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek,  Simon Rattle,  Paavo Järvi,  Paavo Berglund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Choir  ... 
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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.
    The Jazz Album / Simon Rattle, London Sinfonietta
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 636556 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Darius Milhaud,  George Gershwin,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Collins,  John Harle,  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  London Sinfonietta
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  • 9.
    William Walton: The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40858 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sir William Walton
    Performer:  Ida Haendel,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  David Bell  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn,  Paavo Berglund,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    British Composers - Rutter: Requiem, Cantate Domino / Cleobury, Choir Of King's College
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 87388 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter
    Performer:  Jo Cole,  Duke Dobing,  Thomas Harries,  Christopher Hooker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  The Wallace Collection
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  • 14.
    Best Waltzes & Polkas 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80455 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jean-Baptiste Mari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Vienna,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 15.
    British Composers - Elgar, Stanford, Parry
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 95422 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Charles Hubert Parry
    Performer:  Francis Brett
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lawrence Collingwood,  Norman Del Mar,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta Chorus  ... 
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  • 16.
    The Grainger Edition [19-CD Set]
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10638 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Penelope Thwaites,  Stephen Varcoe,  Mark Padmore,  Andrew Watkinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Timothy Reynish,  Clark Rundell,  Jesper Grove Jorgensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of London Sinfonia,  Joyful Company of Singers  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $98.99
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  • 17.
    Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2, Sospiri, Serenade, Cockaigne
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 7221 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Richard Hickox,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 19.
    Essential Ballet
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48650 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
    Conductor:  John Lanchbery,  Robert Irving,  Barry Wordsworth,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Hickox
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 40621 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Penelope Walker,  Della Jones,  Jill Gomez,  Nicholas Watson  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trinity Boys Choir,  City of London Sinfonia
    Recommendation
    CD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    Gluck: Armide / Palmer, Rolfe Johnson, Hickox
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40728 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Raimund Herincx,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Sally Burgess  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Richard Hickox Singers
    On sale! $42.98
    CD: $36.99
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  • 22.
    English Music For Strings / Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31788 Release Date: 10/12/2010   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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $100.98
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