LSO launches free music academy

Simon Rattle has launched the LSO East London Academy, a new free academy for young musicians aged 11-18. London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will run it in partnership with 10 East London Boroughs.

The LSO East London Academy will open at LSO St Luke’s in spring 2019. The entire programme is free, bridging the gap between secondary school music education, universities and conservatoires.

In particular, LSO hopes it will make learning an instrument more accessible for those from less affluent backgrounds. It estimates that the training it will offer would usually cost GBP3,000 (€3,350) a year.

“The LSO’s education work is world famous and rightly admired and copied,” said 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.”

Students will benefit from masterclasses with LSO players; public performance opportunities at LSO St Luke’s; and one-to one tuition from world class teachers. The programme will begin with 20 string players, before adding woodwind, brass and percussion players in subsequent years.