In his role as Director of Creative Learning at the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Sean Gregory has some very pertinent questions about the professional life of a musician. Does the formality of the concert tradition encourage greater nerves? How do we define success as a musician? Does that success need to be summed up by competitions? And how can a musician’s career be long lasting and fulfilling?

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Sean Gregory works as a composer, performer and creative producer throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. He leads collaborative arts projects for all ages and abilities in association with many British and international orchestras, opera companies, theatres, galleries and arts/education organisations. His commissions range from chamber works to large scale collaborations in the community and include performances in a huge range of contexts and venues at local, national and international level.

Sean is Director of Creative Learning for the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This post, incorporating Barbican Education and Guildhall Connect has been recently established to develop and deliver a range of world-class creative learning programmes involving music, theatre, visual arts, cinema, dance and literature across the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School, in close collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra, resident and associate companies, and relevant local, national and international partners.

The programmes and projects he leads through this Creative Learning division particularly advocate widening participation and embrace a number of partnerships exploring ideas and approaches which aim to develop new modes of good practice in performing and visual arts within the formal and non-formal education sectors. He also leads MAP/Making International, a project dedicated to creating new landscapes in music, art and performance through inter-disciplinary and transcultural collaboration. A wide range of projects provide opportunities for participants to develop individual creativity, to extend forms of performance and communication both within and outside the Barbican and Guildhall School, and to foster a shared understanding between people from different cultural backgrounds.

Sean is particularly responsible for the development of a number of innovative courses at the Guildhall School, including a Masters in Leadership established to enable arts and education practitioners to develop further the fundamental skills for sustained personal, artistic and professional development in the areas of creativity, flexible performance and communication.

Central to Sean’s work is the facilitation and development of new ensembles (from 3-piece to 30-piece) with line-ups that include vocals, strings, wind, bass, rhythm sections, non-western instruments and technology. All of these groups are dedicated to exploring new musical-visual landscapes, drawing on local and global influences through collaborative composition, improvisation and performance.