Inside Southbank Sinfonia

An orchestra like no other, based in the heart of London

Half Marathon Playlist

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When it comes to running, an iPod and some headphones are today almost as essential as a good pair of trainers. Lucozade and bananas aside, what better way to keep you going than great music?

With Southbank Sinfonia’s Oxford Half Marathon effort just days away, here’s the start of our playlist of pieces perfect for running to.

What have we missed? Let us know your suggestions to help us survive the race!

1. Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.9 – First movement
Invigorating, clear, melodic, rhythmic – a good starter to get you warmed up and feeling ready for the run ahead.

2. Richard Wagner: The Ride of the Valkyries
You’re a couple of miles in and it’s time to get serious. Cue Wagnerian brass.

3. John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
The wood block hammers away throughout to inject some energy. The orchestral equivalent of a can of Red Bull.

4. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.7 – Finale
Continuing to feed the craving for energy, but now adding some serious feel-good factor –  what better than a symphony that makes you want to dance?

5. George Frideric Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks – La Réjouissance
It may be 265 years old, but this piece written for fireworks in London’s Green Park still offers more than enough to keep you clocking up the miles.

6. Giuseppe Verdi: Il Trovatore – Anvil Chorus
Imagine you’re 10 miles in and need a morale boost. Now listen out at 1:05.

7. Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite – Les Toreadors
We’ve all seen it at the end of a Formula 1 race: champagne spraying, victor beaming with joy at having climbed his sporting Everest. The soundtrack for crossing our half marathon finishing line..?

And just for the benefit of all the other runners on the day…
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Because who doesn’t want to run in 7/16? Or 11/16? Or 3/8? As your feet try to compute the changing time signatures, it will give the other runners struggling to finish something to smile about.

A team of 25 Southbank Sinfonia musicians and staff are running the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday 12 October. Collectively they’ll be running 327 miles for music education, helping to raise funds for our Let’s Inspire appeal.

In 2014, Southbank Sinfonia has brought the magic of classical music to thousands of new ears. Whether in free concerts for schools of passenger seats projects at the Southbank Centre, we believe every child deserves opportunities to embrace the power of music as a life-changing force and have ambitious plans to further what we can provide those most in need of musical inspiration.

To find out more about Southbank Sinfonia’s Half Marathon, the life-changing education projects we’re fundraising for and to sponsor our team, click here.


Author: southbanksinfonia

Every year, Southbank Sinfonia brings together 33 young musicians for an experience that will change their lives. Find out about our upcoming concerts, including our Free Rush Hour Series, at

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