Welcome to the University of Leicester Sinfonia website


The University of Leicester Sinfonia was founded in 1970 by David Cursons as Leicester University Baroque Ensemble, changing name first to Leicester University Baroque Orchestra and later Leicester University Sinfonia to reflect its expanding repertoire and growing size, finally becoming University of Leicester Sinfonia when Leicester University became University of Leicester.

From 1971 - 2019 it was conducted or directed by Michael Sackin and normally giving 3 concerts a year, including regular collaborations with Hinckley Choral Union, an association that celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2013.

Repertoire ranged from the eighteenth century to the present day and has featured several first performances (those featuring the music of Sonja Grossner can be heard regularly on Radio Arts Indonesia). For details of our past concerts visit our concerts page.

Regrettably, following the death of Michael Sackin, the difficult decision has been taken to wind up the orchestra. We would like to thank everyone who has supported the orchestra, either as a player or a member of the audience. This website will be closed down by the end of July, but ULS related material will continue to be available elsewhere on the internet. Photos can be found on flickr, and recordings of some of our concerts can be found on youtube - bookmark these sites now!

"...sensitively shaped and phrased...a performance that had a dynamic sense of purpose" - Leicester Mercury

"There is always an infectious sense of enthusiasm and discovery at a ULS concert. Conductor Michael Sackin's wide knowledge of the orchestral repertoire and his knack of searching out unusual and interesting music, give his orchestra a distinctive character and purpose...performances are invariably persuasive and vital...there was a full house and a well-deserved, enthusiastic response" - Leicester Mercury

Go to the audio samples page to hear or download extracts from some of our concerts, including highlights from our April 2019 concert with the Hinckley Choral Union.




It is with great sadness that we must report that Michael Sackin passed away on Monday 12th August 2019, three weeks after his 77th birthday. This was after an often unconventional nine-year battle with lymphatic cancer.

Michael Sackin was a keen amateur musician and played much chamber music on the violin and viola. He performed with several local orchestras, including the Knighton Chamber and Leicester Symphony Orchestras and played an active part in the musical life of the University of Leicester from 1964 onward. His last public performance was in April at the United Reformed Church in Hinckley, playing one of the solo violins in Corelli's Concerto Grosso Op. 6 no. 7 and conducting an urgent and dramatic performance of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture (this can be heard on our audio samples page). Michael also campaigned on environmental and social issues, frequently contributing to the letters page of the Leicester Mercury. He will be greatly missed.

Michael's daughter Rachel has set up a page in his memory, to make donations to Friends of the Earth: click here.

Because of the Corona virus pandemic, a celebration of Michael's life for his friends and musical colleagues planned for the 20th June has been postponed. It has been provisionally rescheduelled for the 19th June 2021.




 v3.1 updated 3rd July 2020