Welcome to the University of Leicester Sinfonia website!
The University of Leicester Sinfonia was founded in 1970 by David Cursons as Leicester University Baroque Ensemble, changing name first to Leicester University Baroque Orchestra and later Leicester University Sinfonia to reflect its expanding repertoire and growing size, finally becoming University of Leicester Sinfonia when Leicester University became University of Leicester.
Since 1971 it has been conducted or directed by Michael Sackin and normally gives 3 concerts a year, including regular collaborations with Hinckley Choral Union, an association that celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2013. To read a Nuneaton News article about it, click here. The ULS has also hosted a one day chamber musicworkshop each year with the renowned Coull String Quartet. This year's event has been cancelled due to an insufficient number of applicants.
Repertoire ranges from the eighteenth century to the present day and has featured several first performances (those featuring the music of Sonja Grossner can be heard regularly on Radio Arts Indonesia). Rehearsals are usually on a combination of Wednesday and Friday evenings in the run up to a concert with an additional rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert. We work with some wonderful soloists, many with local connections & strive to combine decent standard of performance with a happy atmosphere. Click here for information on how to join us.
Last October, Sara Humber returned to sing three of Mozart's concert arias. The concert also included a lively Divertimento for strings, the Third Horn Concerto, played by ULS' own Roger Swann, and the warm and ebulient Symphony No. 39. In April, we travelled to Hinckley for our latest collaboration with the Hinckley Choral Union and their conductor Richard Archer. The programme included Haydn's Te Deum and Brahms' German Requiem seperated by Brahms' Variations on the Saint Antoni Chorale. Go to the photo page for pictures of the final rehearsal. In July, we are joined by local pianist Abigail Johnson to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, followed by Mozart's brilliant and ceremonial Symphony No. 34 with its rip-roaring finale. One of Schubert's Overtures "In the Italian Style" opens the concert. For more details, go to our concerts page.
"...sensitively shaped and phrased...a performance that had a dynamic sense of purpose" - Leicester Mercury
"There is always an infectious sense of enthusiasm and discovery at a ULS concert. Conductor Michael Sackin's wide knowledge of the orchestral repertoire and his knack of searching out unusual and interesting music, give his orchestra a distinctive character and purpose...performances are invariably persuasive and vital...there was a full house and a well-deserved, enthusiastic response" - Leicester Mercury
Go to the audio samples page to download extracts from some of our concerts.