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Young people and LSO musicians playing horn

LSO East London Academy

Inspirational training and mentoring for young East Londoners aged 11 to 18.

The LSO East London Academy aims to identify and develop the potential of young East Londoners between the ages of 11 and 18.

A free programme of inspirational coaching and sessions, delivered by LSO musicians, offers high level training for young musicians who show exceptional promise, accelerating their instrumental learning, confidence and aspirations.

The LSO East London Academy aims to represent the diversity of East London, particularly encouraging young musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional orchestras to take part and continue their instrumental learning, including those that experience financial, cultural and practical barriers – a step towards facilitating wider diversification of the professional classical music sector.

‘Taking part in the LSO East London Academy not only helped me to broaden the depth of my musical knowledge and understanding, but transformed what was a hobby into a passion.’ – Andrei, LSO East London Academy Participant 2019–21

How It Works

Year 1

Taster Workshops – Spring Term
Young musicians at Grade 5 level or above are invited to attend workshops with LSO musicians held in local community venues across East London. Following the workshops, five young musicians per borough – 50 in total – are nominated by their local Music Service, with input from the LSO, to attend an intensive training course at LSO St Luke’s during the summer term.

Orchestral Holiday Course – Summer Term
An intensive two-day course led by LSO musicians to develop participants’ ensemble skills through repertoire coaching, creative work, section masterclasses, instrumental technique sessions, and wellbeing workshops. At the culmination of the course, the participants perform a concert together as a full orchestra, sitting side-by-side with LSO musicians. Twenty of these young musicians progress to the full LSO East London Academy in the Autumn.

Intensive Coaching – Autumn Term
The LSO East London Academy takes place throughout the autumn term, with full days of intense coaching at weekends, designed to stretch each of the participants beyond their current abilities. Training will include coaching in small chamber groups, masterclasses and ensemble coaching for orchestra.

The first year culminates in a public concert at LSO St Luke’s showcasing the work across the term, with participants performing in different ensemble sizes and side-by-side with LSO musicians in a chamber orchestra. Alongside the general public, participants’ friends and family are invited to attend, as well as industry professionals from across the music and education sectors.

Year 2

Training Opportunities – Spring & Summer Terms
LSO East London Academy participants receive supported high-level instrumental training opportunities, carefully selected through partnerships and relationships with LSO On Track. These opportunities are a chance to establish and strengthen progression routes for participants and include:

  • Opportunities for further engagement with the LSO through attendance at rehearsals and concerts, and exclusive opportunities to meet and work with composers, artists and the LSO’s family of conductors.
  • Partnership days with established high-level training providers, identifying ways to increase accessibility and support the progression of LSO East London Academy participants.

Intensive Coaching – Autumn Term
Joined by a new cohort of young musicians, Year 2 LSO East London Academy members take part in a second intensive coaching programme across the Autumn term, including a public showcase concert marking the end of their participation on the programme.

Take Part

All nominations to take part are made through our partner Music Education Hub lead organisations. Contact your local Music Education Hub to express interest or discuss eligibility.

To find out more contact:

Anahi Ravagnani LSO On Track Projects Manager

The LSO East London Academy is developed by the LSO in partnership with the local music services in ten East London boroughs: Bexley, Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

The LSO East London Academy is made possible through the generous support of the Henocq Law Trust, Irving Memorial Trust, John Thaw Foundation and Radcliffe Trust.

Header image © Kevin Leighton