A Profile of Simon Over, Director of Music, Southbank Sinfonia
Assume for a moment you’re a graduate student of music. And you’ve got a dream – to one day join a great orchestra. But realising dreams like that isn’t easy. Particularly if you live in a remote corner of the world.
Simon Over understands that dilemma. That’s why he founded Southbank Sinfonia. Based in London, each year over 500 hope-filled students worldwide apply for only 32 positions in an orchestra like no other. If they make the cut, they receive expert training and experience, giving their musical career a huge boost.
But Simon saw a problem. To participate in 15-minute auditions, applicants had to travel to London from points across the globe. “We were seeing only those who could afford to travel, yet I had always hoped the orchestra would be much more egalitarian,” says Simon. “So how do we discover young talent if they can’t get to us?”