Full biography

A man conducts an orchestra, who aren't using music stands

With its signature creative ethos, Aurora Orchestra combines world-class performance with trailblazing presentation and programming. Founded in 2005 under Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, it has quickly established a reputation as one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras, garnering several major awards including three Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, a German ECHO Klassik Award and a Classical:NEXT Innovation Award.

Collaborating widely across art forms and musical genres, Aurora has worked with an exceptional breadth of artists, ranging from Sarah Connolly, Ian Bostridge and Leonidas Kavakos to Wayne McGregor, Edmund de Waal and Björk. In recent years, Aurora has pioneered memorised performance (without the use of printed sheet music), and is thought to be the first orchestra worldwide to perform whole symphonies in this way. This distinctive approach forms part of a broader commitment to Orchestral Theatre: adventurous productions that rethink the concert format and offer bold new ways to engage with orchestral music. Based in London, Aurora is Resident Orchestra at the Southbank Centre and Resident Ensemble at Kings Place. The orchestra regularly tours to major venues across the UK and internationally.

Aurora inspires audiences of all ages and backgrounds to develop a passion for orchestral music. Through an award-winning Creative Learning programme, Aurora regularly offers workshops and storytelling concerts for families, schools and young people, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. In 2022, Aurora launched Aurora Classroom, a pioneering learning resource programme for primary schools, including its first feature film for young children and a wide range of resources to help teachers deliver music activities in the classroom.

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