The Sinfonia of London is the name of two distinct session orchestras based in London, England. The original ensemble of this name was founded in 1955 by Gordon Walker, an eminent flautist of his time, specifically for the recording of film music. The orchestra appeared on the musical credits of many British and American films of the 1950s and 60s.
Among the original ensemble’s most celebrated commercial classical recordings is its 1963 recordings with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the Serenade for Strings of Edward Elgar and the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis of Ralph Vaughan Williams for EMI Classics and the 1958 soundtrack album from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo with Bernard Herrmann’s score conducted by Muir Mathieson (Mercury Records). The label World Record Club released an Lp (WRC T 11) of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and the Egmont Overture with Hans Swarowsky conducting the ensemble. The original orchestra ceased to perform during the 1960s.
In 1982 the title Sinfonia of London was bought by Peter Willison and Howard Blake from the Walker family for the purpose of having a named orchestra for the first recording of The Snowman. In February 1998, Bruce Broughton was named the orchestra’s second musical director after Blake. Under Peter Willison’s management, the orchestra went on to record many soundtracks for major Hollywood films, including Batman, The Mummy Returns, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lost in Space, The Lawnmower Man, Stargate, Tombstone, RoboCop and Young Sherlock Holmes.