Music in Hospitals… Britten Sinfonia at Addenbrooke's - Britten Sinfonia

Music in Hospitals… Britten Sinfonia at Addenbrooke’s

“I’m just following the sound of the cello! It’s lovely.” Staff member


After two initial visits over summer, including as part of the Hospital’s Arts Week in June, we kicked off our series of “pop-up” performances at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), in partnership with CUH Arts and their new Sounds programme.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Hospital with cellist Chris Allan who brought music to a range of different spaces: wards, clinics, waiting rooms, staff areas, and children’s playrooms, and interacted with staff and patients of all ages, many of whom were fascinated by the cello and the sounds it could produce.

A man plays the cello to patients and families in a hospital

“It’s just such a lovely warmth.” Patient

Music has the potential to transform a space and to create meaningful connections, and I think this is something that makes hospital arts work so important. From celebrating three birthdays on a geriatric ward to playing dance tunes and nursery rhymes to young children in oncology, and arrangements of Bach, Saint-Saëns, and Bob Marley in waiting rooms, it was a day which brought a great deal of variety and connection as well as some very moving moments. Most of all it was touching to see how music can spark conversations between people and provide a sense of relief and distraction that is often so needed in environments such as these.

A man plays the cello in a hospital corridor

“It’s a bit different on a Wednesday afternoon.” Staff member

I’m looking forwards to seeing how this project develops as we plan to visit with more of our players in the coming months. Special thanks to Chris for his playing and to the Arts Team at Addenbrooke’s for all their support.


Lauren Hill 

  • Production Assistant