The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

How do you build an orchestra for London?

In celebration of his 60th birthday, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker came to London for a dual residency at the Barbican and Southbank Centre. As part of this dynamic residency, Rattle asked for an opportunity to do something with the young people of London – he wanted to create a Young Orchestra for London.

He lifts his baton, ‘Shall we just play?’

Richard Bratby talks to the organisers, professional players and meets the Young Orchestra for London, following their journey from selection to rehearsal room to the stage to ask the question – How you build an orchestra for London?


Illustrations: Daniela Sherer

The Young Orchestra for London is generously supported by Prudential plc, SHM Foundation and many others.

Thank you to the Music Services, Schools, Music Teachers and other music organisations in London who have supported these young people and many others like them. Barbican Guildhall would especially like to thank the East London and City Culture Partnership (ELCCP) – an ambitious initiative to bring together cultural and education organisations across East London to develop cultural experiences and talent development for young people.

Find out how you can support the Young Orchestra for London: