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Back in November, when we learnt that Britten Sinfonia was being cut from Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, the many generous, concerned messages I received finished so often by saying ‘please let me know what I can do to help’.

Today, the launch day of Play On, is that moment of asking for help. Today, our appeal to secure our future asks everyone who loves music, and cares about culture and excellence, to join us in shouting from the rooftops about the continued importance of Britten Sinfonia – an ensemble which over 30 years has supported hundreds of young composers, pioneered cross-artform collaboration, celebrated the joyful richness of diverse musical cultures, and taken music into everywhere from the smallest East of England communities to the Sistine Chapel.

“They are different. There’s a different feeling working with them, writing for them. This country, this musical world needs Britten Sinfonia.” Sir James MacMillan

Play On launches today with an appeal video featuring a range of people close to Britten Sinfonia. They include composers Steve Reich, Judith Weir, James MacMillan, Thomas Adès and Nico Muhly, singers Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams, trumpeter Alison Balsom, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and choreographer Urja Desai Thakore. They are joined by others connected with Britten Sinfonia, including an NHS nurse and a teacher, in a short film that conveys the range and importance of our work.

How can you help us? Essentially, we want to share our story and our vision for our future as widely as possible.  Please take a look at to watch our campaign film and read more about our vision for the future – and then please share the film with your networks, and of course, please make a donation at

If you are on social media, we would be very grateful if you can promote the campaign to friends, family, colleagues and audiences by either posting yourself or sharing a Britten Sinfonia post with the hashtag #BrittenSinfonia #PlayOn.

“We definitely need to experience more live classical music outside of our biggest urban centres - in smaller cities, towns and rural spaces. Fortunately we have a successful model for this, widely considered to be the UK’s finest chamber orchestra - inventive in its public approach, accessible and creative. This is, of course, Britten Sinfonia. Hearing less of - or even losing - this vital ensemble is not an option, especially in its East of England centres. Please support ‘Play On’ at this significant and vital moment in Britten Sinfonia’s thirty-year history.” Judith Weir

We are so proud of the range and quality of our work, and are determined that this loss of ACE funding will not decrease or degrade what we do. The collective belief in the importance of this – for audiences, communities and the wider cultural ecology – is too great for that to happen.

Please help us to make the case for our future as loudly, vividly and positively as possible, and thank you in advance for anything you can do.

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