The Nash Ensemble of London  - Biography

The Nash Ensemble of London

The Nash Ensemble of London
© Hanyu Chlala

The Nash Ensemble of London

"For me the secret of their success is the joy they impart to whatever music they lay their hands on."

(Sir Simon Rattle)

The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest and most adventurous chamber groups, and through the dedication of its founder and artistic director Amelia Freedman and the calibre of its players has gained a similar reputation all over the world. Its repertoire is vast, and the imaginative, innovative, and unusual programmes are as finely designed as the beautiful Nash terraces in London from which the group takes its name. Not that the Nash Ensemble is classically restricted; it performs with equal sensitivity and musicality works from Haydn to the avant-garde. Indeed, it is one of the major contributors towards the recognition and promotion of many leading composers.

The Nash Ensemble has won numerous awards including the Edinburgh Festival Critics’ Music Award “for general artistic excellence” and The Royal Philharmonic Society’s Small Ensemble Award “for the breadth of its taste and its immaculate performance of a wide range of music”. In 1994 it was appointed Chamber Music Ensemble of the Year.

The Nash tours throughout Europe and the USA: highlights include 3 concerts in the 92nd Street Y New York's Theresienstadt project "Will to Create, Will to Live", performances in the Berlin Konzerthaus, Musée d'Orsay (Paris) and the Vienna Konzerthaus; at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival; and residencies at the Toronto Festival in Canada and the Lofoten Festival in Norway.

Partners of The Nash Ensemble are amongst others the singers Christine Schäfer, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Walker, Christiane Oelze, Wolfgang Holzmair, Ruth Ziesak, Nuria Rial and Christopher Maltman.

An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. CDs released in 2010/11 have included all the Mozart String Quintets for Hyperion, and Brahms Piano Quartet in A and the Clarinet Trio for Onyx. A disc of chamber works by David Matthews for NMC was recently shortlisted for a Gramophone Award. Future releases include chamber works by Schumann, Turina and 19th-century Russian composers. As a consequence of the Ensemble's acclaimed Theresienstadt weekend at Wigmore Hall in June 2010, Hyperion will record a CD of works by composers who were incarcerated in the Theresienstadt concentration camp between 1941 and 1945 - Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas and Hans Krasa. Recently CDs with works by Turina and Schumann have been released on Hyperion.

The Nash has received many accolades including two Royal Philharmonic Society Awards in the chamber music category "for the breadth of its taste and its immaculate performance of a wide range of music". The Nash Ensemble's artistic director Amelia Freedman has received many honours including an FRAM and the MBE, which was conferred upon her in 1989. In 1996 she was appointed Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite by the President of France for her services to French music. She has also been awarded the prestigious Leslie Boosey Award by the Performing Right Society and the Royal Philharmonic Society. In June 2006 she was awarded the CBE in the Queen's birthday honours, for her services to music. In 2010 she was awarded the Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, for her services to classical music. Amelia Freedman was Head of Classical Music at the South Bank Centre from 1995 to 2006. She has been the Artistic Director of the Bath Mozartfest since 1995. In 2011 she received the IAMA Award "as a sign of great respect for her work from the artist management profession."

“The Nash Ensemble is still the best champion any composer could hope to have.” (The Times)

www.nashensemble.org.uk