Southbank Sinfonia

Southbank Sinfonia

Southbank Sinfonia is internationally recognised as a leading orchestral academy, each year bringing together 33 of the world’s most promising graduate musicians to provide a much-needed springboard into the profession. Its annual fellowship provides unparalleled opportunities to gain crucial orchestral experience and the skills that 21st century musicians need to thrive, often in partnership with leading performing arts organisations including the Royal Opera and Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

From their Free Rush Hour Concerts at St John’s Waterloo to taking centre-stage in the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of Amadeus, the musicians bring their own exploratory impulse to classical music, asking anew what orchestras have the power to communicate in the modern world. By virtue of their youth, energy and excellence, Southbank Sinfonia players not only bring fresh resonance to the stage but are also ideally placed to act as role-models who inspire many younger musicians on the Southbank and beyond.

To find out more about the orchestra and its next performances, visit

Cornelius, Gerry


Gerry Cornelius was born in London of Irish and Sri Lankan parentage.  He read music at Durham University and went on to study conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then spent three years in the class of the legendary teacher Ilya Musin in St Petersburg.

Since making his debut in the UK at the Almeida Opera Festival, he has gone on to conduct for many of the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles, opera and ballet companies. These include recent appearances with Welsh National Opera, English National Ballet, BBC Concert Orchestra, Spitalfields Festival and The Opera Group.   He also regularly conducts in Europe and Asia and has recently enjoyed revisiting the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bochumer Symphoniker, RuhrTriennale Opera Festival and Klavierfestival Ruhr.  

As well as mainstream opera, ballet and symphonic repertoire he is particularly in demand to conduct world premiere productions of major new works.  These include award-winning new operas and ensemble pieces by George Benjamin, Colin Matthews, Errollyn Wallen, Edward Rushton, Julian Philips, and Elena Langer.

In education he has been a visiting conductor and tutor at the University of London - Goldsmiths, English National Opera Studio, The Royal College and Royal Academy of Music – the latter of which has just elected him an Associate of the Royal Academy.   He is Conductor in Residence for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and conducted the recent Music Mix concerts for children with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as large scale community projects for WNO Max Department and Spitalfields Festival.



MaJiKer (alias Matthew Ker) is a producer, songwriter, beatboxer & vocal arranger, based between London & Paris. A prolific collaborator, he has worked with an eclectic range of artists as well as creating his own projects in the studio & on stage.

Originally from Birmingham, England, MaJiKer studied Contemporary Music at the iconic experimental arts college Dartington, specialising in world music and electro-acoustic composition.

Savage, Grace


With ongoing support from BBC Introducing and listed as one of ELLE’s ‘100 Most Inspiring Women’, the young UK artist and 4 x UK Beatboxing champion released her debut EP “Savage Grace" in 2017 grabbing tastemaker acclaim from THE405, WONDERLAND and CLASH Magazine among others. She followed the release with a UK tour culminating in a sold out headline show at the Archspace in London.

In 2016, Grace performed at Radio 1 Academy in Exeter, at the inaugural SBTV RISE, hosted by Julie Andenuga as well as performing alongside MOBO winner Nadia Rose at the British House in Brazil for the Rio Olympics 2016.

In 2017, Grace was shortlisted for a number of competitions and funding opportunities including having two tracks selected and entered into the SALUTE Music “Top 10”, winning the "Public Choice Award" for the B-side Remix Project as well as being selected for the Emerging Artist and Transmission Fund through Help Musicians UK.

2018 has kicked off to to a great start, with Grace being nominated for "Best Female Solo Act" and "Best Songwriter" at the Unsigned Music Awards alongside impressive acts such as Ray Bak and Jorja Smith and also had a track selected for the highly competitive spot on "Fresh on The Net Faves". She is through to the quarter finals of the Isle Of Wight "New Blood" competition, selected by a panel, as one of only 40 acts from thousands of entries this year. 

With over 140K streams for her debut EP  (landing a placement on Spotify’s Discover Weekly), Grace now brings her first single of 2018 ‘Headlights’ into the spotlight, maintaining her signature electronic pop sound matched with her ethereal tone and emotive lyrics. She is working with Listen-Up PR on a campaign  covering both print and online press and already has a feature set up with NOTION magazine for later this year. 

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MC Zani

MC Zani

UK Beatbox Champion 2008, World finalist 2012, producer, MC, TV presenter and musician based in East London.

At 28, he is already a veteran on the scene with over 10 years beatboxing under his belt, having performed on some of the world's most prestigious stages (Madison Square Garden, Glastonbury to name a few)  and supported some highly respected artists including Ludacris, 50 Cent, Taylor Swift, Sean Kingston, Sean Paul, Lupe Fiasco, Dead Prez, GZA, Akon, Musiq Soulchild, Missy Elliot, 112, Kelly Rowland and Craig David and many more.

TV credits include appearances on Ellen De Generes Show, The Paul O' Grady Show, Coke Studio, The Disney Channel, BBC Breakfast, BBC2, Channel 4, and numerous TV shows across the globe including being the presenter for "Get your skills on" on Nickelodeon. His work to date has also taken him to venues in USA, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Holland, Romania, Hungary, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Lebanon, Mexico, Suriname, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Philippines

Zani transcends genres with collaborative work with Jay Sean, Foreign Beggars, ALYUSHA, The Beatbox Collective, Ray Parker Jr, Neil Thomas, Vula (lead vocalist of Bassment Jaxx) and his own solo show.

He was also Lead Tutor with Battersea Arts Centre's pioneering project the BAC Beatbox Academy. In association with leading human beatbox agency All From The Mouth, the project finds and works with young people in South London, introducing them to beatboxing, enhancing their skills and encouraging them to think of the pursuit as an art-form.

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Rajesh Taylor



The son of a blues musician and pianist, Hobbit was surrounded by music from birth. Hobbit soon found percussion to be his true calling and his love of sound naturally gravitated him towards beatboxing.


Beatboxing since 2003 and performing everything from intimate gigs through to stadium tours across the world means Hobbit is a true stage and seasoned festival artist. His show has taken him from stages at Glastonbury Festival to Times Square in New York. In a single decade, he has accomplished much, not only for himself but for the art form as well. Hobbit has judged the UK Beatbox Championships and hosted the International Beatbox Convention in London and NYC for several years running; an honour no other beatboxer has shared and in no small part due to his impressive battle record. He is the current 2x UK Loopstation Champion, 3x UK Team Champion with '2rBeat' (previously known as 'IllBits') and UK Solo Finalist, as well as international titles. Hobbit is also a member of World Champion beatbox crew, 'The Beatbox Collective'.


Brands and companies worked with throughout his career include Virgin Media, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, SKY, Toyota, Major League Soccer (US), Desperados, Pringles, Relentless and Vauxhall. Hobbit is also a sponsored artist with microphone company Audix USA. His TV credits include The Paul O'Grady Show, Big Brother, Blue Peter, SKY TV and  voicing the character 'Juke' on Cartoon Network show “The Amazing World of Gumball”.


Hobbit has had the privilege to collaborate with a range of recognised artists such as Congo Natty, Foreign Beggars and UK Pop Legend Gabrielle. He has also been able to show his versatility as an artist by playing with Indian kathak performer Guari Sharma Tripathi, creating a solo piece with choir group “The Great Sea Sessions”, collaborating with comedienne Nina Conti on stage and curating a live Beatbox and Comedy show with the incredibly funny Jarred Christmas, which has toured the UK and had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 & 2015. He returned to Edinburgh in 2016 with acapella legends, 'The Magnets' and 'The Beatbox Collective' for two incredible shows which both received 5 star reviews.


In 2010, Hobbit performed and co-wrote the soundtrack and soundscape to 20 Stories High’s theatre production, Ghost Boy. Three years later, he was asked to come back again with cellist Hannah Marshall on their biggest show to date, Melody Loses Her Mojo. 2016 saw him return the stage as part of “The Broke 'n' Beat Collective” national tour where he created all music and soundscape live as well as being an integral member of the cast. This creative and collaborative process helped lead the shows to 5 star reviews on their national tours.


With a new live show and more exciting projects lined up, there are no signs of stopping. Expect to see more of one of the finest beatboxers the world has to offer.

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Featherstone, Matthew


Matthew Featherstone’s early studies began in France, where he gained his ‘premier prix’ for flute at the Orléans Conservatoire in 2004.  Returning to England, he pursued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the undergraduate and postgraduate course with Philippa Davies, Sarah Newbold and Ian Clarke, where he was a fellow the following year.
During his studies he was awarded a Worshipful Company of Musicians Busenhart-Morgan-Evans award as well as awards from the MBF, the Countess of Munster Trust, and the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund.
Principal flute of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Matthew has also appeared as Guest Principal flute with Britten Sinfonia, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

 As a solo artist who was awarded the Royal Overseas League Wind Prize in February 2012, Matthew has enjoyed travelling round the UK to perform recitals with pianist Philip Shannon launched by their partnership with the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, as well as concerto appearances with Southbank Sinfonia and the BBC NOW.
Matthew is a keen chamber musician regularly performing with ‘Trio Anima’,  a flute, harp and viola trio, who were glad to receive the Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Ensemble in the 2012 Royal Overseas League Competition and are keen advocates of this rare  formation.

As an educator, Matthew gives masterclasses in the Uk and further a field and is flute professor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Alongside his classical training, he’s been lucky enough to work with some outstanding pop, gospel and jazz artists and gain experience as a backing vocalist and session singer, and can also be heard beatboxing with Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra

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Southbank Sinfonia
Gerry Cornelius conductor
MaJiKer beatboxer soloist
Alyusha ensemble beatboxer
Grace Savage ensemble beatboxer
Hobbit ensemble beatboxer
Mc Zani ensemble beatboxer
Matthew Featherstone ensemble beatboxer


Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music. Her sound is often described as ‘maximalist’, ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre-hopping’ and straddles the worlds of contemporary classical, avant pop, electronica and experimental rock.

Southbank Centre commissioned Anna Meredith to write a new piece for Beatboxer soloist Shlomo and Orchestra in 2010. The Concerto is an acclaimed modern classical work recognising the human voice box as a musical instrument.

This piece is part of New Music Biennial 2017. For more information about the project and to download the New Music Biennial album, please visit our project page:


Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra is commissioned by Southbank Centre.


'The Concerto is a stunning example of Meredith's combining electronica and classical' Journal of Music


Produced with the support of partners and funders:

NMB funders


The performance of Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra was recorded live at The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre London on 7th July 2017.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL201712
Release Date:
20 April 2018