Sir Simon Rattle, the music director of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), recently announced plans to open a music academy for young musicians in East London in 2019. The LSO East London Academy, as it will be known, will aim to offer free musical education opportunities to 40 young musicians annually from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds who show exceptional promise.
The high-level training and mentoring offered by the Academy will act as a bridge between secondary school teaching and music conservatoires. This kind of tuition can cost up to £3,000 a year in other institutions, which prevents many promising musicians from continuing with their craft. This free music training will be offered to promising musicians between 11 and 18 years of age, regardless of their financial circumstance.
The LSO East London Academy is set to open in the Spring of 2019. It aims to support music development more evenly across London and to make the London Symphony Orchestra more representative of the whole London community.
“The LSO’s education work is world-famous and rightly admired and copied,” said Sir Simon Rattle. “But we want to go much further. 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 programmes to constantly evolve to meet the challenge of being truly London’s Symphony Orchestra,” he said.
In its first year the Academy’s program will work with 20 string players. In its second year 20 woodwind, brass and percussion players will be added, building towards the creation of a chamber orchestra. At the conclusion of each program cycle the young musicians will perform in a public concert at LSO St Luke’s, where industry professionals across the music and education sectors will be invited to watch.