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London Symphony Orchestra Partnership

Including Festival Signature Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in residence

The Music Academy of the West and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) launched a major new partnership in 2018, based at the Academy’s annual Summer School and Festival in Santa Barbara, California, and at the Barbican and LSO St Luke’s in London.

Michael Tilson Thomas, the LSO’s Conductor Laureate, will be in residence in Santa Barbara each summer during the eight-week festival alongside principal players from each section of the LSO, to teach some of the most gifted young musicians (aged 18-34) in America and from around the world.

Twelve of the Academy’s instrumental fellows are selected each summer by an audition process overseen by the resident LSO players to travel to London for ten days of intensive training with the London Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Sir Simon Rattle. They will experience a week in the life of an LSO musician, taking part in rehearsals, performances, and mock auditions; receiving lessons; and performing chamber music with members of the orchestra.

The winners of the Academy’s annual Solo Piano and Marilyn Horne Song Competitions will also travel to London to be presented in recital at LSO St Luke’s. Each recital will feature the European premiere performance of a work specially composed for the winners as part of the Academy’s Composer-in-Residence program.

As well as creating meaningful opportunities for Academy fellows, the new partnership will bring an extraordinary roster of guest artists to Santa Barbara each summer.

Over the next three summers, Michael Tilson Thomas and other key LSO conductors and musicians will perform and teach at the Academy. The full London Symphony Orchestra will be in residence in 2019 and 2021, performing in concert and side-by-side with the Academy Festival Orchestra.