We are most grateful to all our individual sponsors and Friends for their kind support of Sinfonia UK Collective's activities.If you would like to support our work, please contact the Managing and Artistic Director Lee Tsang for more details.
In 2015 we completed an international tour with two-time Juno-award winning Canadian jazz pianist, composer and official Steinway artist David Braid. During that summer, we toured the North of England, Ontario and Quebec, with performances at a range of prestigious venues and festivals, including the Festival of the Sound, Festival classique des Hautes-Laurentides and Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Throughout the year we also worked in and with schools to inspire the next generation of composers, performers and artists.
In 2015 an estimated 16,192 members of the public experienced our music as live audiences over 40 sessions. Our work has attracted local media interest at home and abroad with dedicated articles reaching estimated audiences of some 240,000 (excluding social media, web hits, listings).
Audience reception has been fantastic!! Our collaborative 'democratic authorship' work has frequently prompted standing ovations for music that the public are describing as "exciting", "powerful and thought provoking", for interpretations and performances that were "captivating" and had them "spellbound".
Our current programmes are examples of genuinely exciting developments in classical-jazz crossover. They consist of original music written in response to films by Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams) and Glenn Gould (The Idea of North) and music featured in film ('Once away' from the soundtrack for Born to be Blue). We also regularly perform Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Braid) with David Braid as concerto soloist.
"an unforgettable immersive musical experience"
"magnificent concert ... the public loved you! Bravo ... beautiful energy"
"spectacular, tremendous, vibrational, cosmic"
"... your music is emotional and colourful and captivated our audience throughout the concert, the standing ovation they gave your performance was well deserved."
"Amazing concert... deep and satisfying...[an] abundance of musical riches"
"A spectacular performance ... an exceptional evening"
"exquisite... the orchestra performances... were superb... your music shines ... a sublime evening"
"Wonderful, adventurous music, beautifully presented."
"spectacular programme – incredible musicians ... brilliant writing"
"I absolutely loved it! Beautiful music - all of it. That long slow section in Chauvet with all the glissandi took me some place I've never been before. And Semi took me someplace new again. Very deep and rich listening experiences. Beautiful orchestrations and great playing from everyone - especially that bravura trumpet solo!"
"'YEHS' AD LIBITUM!!!!!!!!!>>>>>>!!!!!!!!!>>>>>>!!!!!!!!!"
Originally founded by Lee Tsang in 2004, the Sinfonia UK Collective now has a reputation as one of the UK's freshest, most innovative ensembles. It provides a platform for pioneering new work, champions unusual and appealing historically significant repertoire and creates a dedicated outlet for musical artworks informed by research. Led by one of the country's leading violinists and with a membership drawn from across the UK, it operates on an increasingly international touring basis and raises cultural awareness amongst universities, schools, colleges and academies.
With support from the University of Hull, the collective has received awards from PRS for Music Foundation, CASH Music Fund, Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, Hull City Council, Arts Council England and in its first year of operation received a Vice Chancellor's Prize for inspiring young audiences. Its work has led to publications, including a DVD for Stream TV, a song anthology for UYMP, a published performing translation for Faber Music, as well as a number of original films that have been screened on BBC, at the National Media Museum, the Beverley Literature Festival and Holmfirth International Film Festival. Major commissions have included Equiano's Lament (Wilberforce 2007), Lear Settings (Creative Partnerships, ACE), The Music is but Momentary (Consolation) (CASH), the UVW Song Project (VWCT), Larkin in Song with Paper Caper (Faber, Philip Larkin Society, RMA, CUHK) and Fields of the Fallen (HCC, ACE).
The collective's distinguished Special Associate Artists include celebrated composer-conductor Ronald Corp OBE; world-leading soprano Sarah Leonard; former President of the ISCM, Richard Yip Fat Tsang; and double Juno-award winning Canadian jazz pianist and composer David Braid.
Braid has been hailed in the Canadian press as 'A jazz genius to call our own' (MacLean's Magazine). He is a former SOCAN Composer of the Year, an official Steinway artist, a multi-National Jazz Award Winner, a recipient of Canada Council for the Arts' JazzID Award and was recently awarded Jazz Pianist of the Year (Canada), He has performed concerts of his original music and improvisations across The United States, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia, Brazil and Canada and has released nine recordings.
Lee Tsang received vocal training from Alison Shiel, Mary Hitch, Keith Davis, Sarah Rhodes, and Sarah Leonard and has participated in public masterclasses with international pianist and broadcaster David Owen Norris. His solo repertoire includes major choral works by Purcell, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Fauré, Schubert, Stainer, Vaughan Williams and Tippett; recital works by composers such as Schumann, Vaughan Williams and Copland; and arias from popular operas by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. He has championed work by neglected nineteenth-century composers such as Battison Haynes, and in the field of classical contemporary vocal music, his performances and premieres have included works by Iannis Xenakis (Pour Maurice), Alastair Borthwick (Time Being and Days, 2010-13), Torsten Rasch (The Dreaming Boys, 2012), Andrew McBirnie (American Lyrics, 2013), Ronald Corp (Songs of Larkin, 2013), and Richard Tsang (Ignorance and The Trees, 2013). He has held duo partnerships with Jonathan Gooing (UK) and Agata Jozwik (Europe) and has performed and recorded with the Heath Quartet, international pianist Sarah Beth Briggs, soprano Sarah Leonard and, most recently two-time Juno award winning jazz pianist and composer David Braid with whom he recorded and toured the Red Hero Cantata. His solo work has taken him to locations throughout the UK, to Europe, China and North America.
Lee holds a first class degree in Music (Newcastle), a MMus (distinction) in Conducting Studies (UEA) and a PhD in Music (Southampton) and he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Having formerly held posts as Lecturer and Research Fellow of Birmingham Conservatoire and Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull, he now holds the post of senior lecturer in Musical Theatre at Edge Hill University. His teaching expertise extends to music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, music theory, conducting, orchestral studies, vocal performance and film as well as music(al) theatre. He is an authority on the life and music of Ethel Leginska and curates the Sinfonia UK Collective Leginska Archive.
As a conductor, Lee received training from Eric Cross, Isobel Preece, Julian Webb, Martyn Brabbins, Peter Stark and Adrian Brown. For over 20 years, his conducting work for numerous professional and amateur groups has embraced a diverse repertoire, including work by contemporary composers Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Simaku and Richard Tsang, symphonies by Haydn, Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams, major choral works by Tippett (A Child of Our Time), Prokofiev (Alexander Nevsky), Bernstein (Chichester Psalms) and Vaughan Williams (Five Tudor Portraits) and, for the stage, works by Purcell (Dido and Aeneas), Berlioz (Lelio), Copland (Appalachian Spring), Weill (Seven Deadly Sins, Der Jasager, Der Protagonist, Lady in the Dark), Bernstein (Candide), Stravinsky (A Soldier's Tale), Walton (The Bear) and Webern (Dead). In 2004 he founded the Sinfonia UK Collective (originally as Hull Sinfonietta) initially to improve access to professional music-making in the UK's Humber region, to facilitate new work by living composers and to explore issues relating to democratic authorship. His work with the ensemble continues now on an increasingly national and international basis.