The Nash Ensemble of London - Biografie

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: By the end of the 2019/20 season the group will have premiered over 300 new works by 225 different composers of which 215 have been especially commissioned.

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.

Highlights of the Nash’s past tours throughout Europe and the USA 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.

In Germany the Ensemble has performed at renowned houses such as Alte Oper Frankfurt, Berlin Konzerthaus, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Meistersingerhalle Nürnberg and Munich Herkulessaal as well as international festivals as Wiener Festwochen, Beethovenfest Bonn, Mozartfest Würzburg, Rheingau Musikfestival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Kissinger Sommer as well as Schwetzinger Festspiele and Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele.

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.

In the 2019/20 season the Nash places the music of Schubert at the centre of its annual series. The programmes feature some of the greatest chamber works ever written: the Trout Quintet for piano and strings; the sublime String Quintet, the abundantly tuneful Octet for wind and strings and the two masterly piano trios. The Nash Ensemble's annual Nash Inventions concert will celebrate the 60th birthday of Mark-Anthony Turnage, one of the most admired and widely performed British composers of his generation.

An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. Their latest releases include works by Ernst von Dohnányi, which they recorded in 2018 for Hyperion, as well as chamber works by Julian Anderson for NMC and those of Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, which were recorded in 2019 for 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 and Bath Bachfest since 2011. 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)