- Nash Ensemble
- Established: 1964
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. The repertoire is vast, and the imaginative, innovative, and unusual programmes are as finely architectured 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 Mozart 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 2007/8 season the group will have performed over 250, of which 138 have been specially commissioned, providing a legacy for generations to come.
An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. The Nash Ensemble’s recordings such as the Hyperion British Composers series are often nominated for awards. The Ensemble’s most recent releases include recordings of Mozart’s piano quartets, Brahms’s string sextets and chamber works by Richard Strauss. In addition, the Group has been involved in a contemporary music series for Black Box Records which has included chamber works by James MacMillan and Mark-Anthony Turnage. A vocal and chamber music disc by Birtwistle has also received much critical praise, including a Grammy nomination. The Nash’s Teldec recording with the Arditti Quartet and soprano Claron McFadden of Birtwistleâ€™s Pulse Shadows won a Gramophone Award in the contemporary music section.
The Nash makes many foreign tours; concerts have been given throughout Europe, the USA, South America, Australia and Japan. The Group are regular visitors to many music festivals and are heard on the radio, television, at the South Bank, the BBC Proms, at music clubs throughout the country and at Wigmore Hall, where their regular series have been enthusiastically received. Their 06/07 season at Wigmore Hall (“Realms of Gold”) explored the riches of the English musical renaissance and celebrated the 150th anniversary of Elgar’s birthday with performances of all his chamber works. During the 2007/8 season the Nash present a series at Wigmore Hall entitled “Around Schubert” in which the music of Schubert’s contemporaries forms a garland around Schubert including some of his greatest chamber works, giving the opportunity to hear them in a new light.
The Nash Ensemble has won numerous accolades including The Edinburgh Festival Critics award ‘for general artistic excellence’ and 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’. In 2004/5 the Nash Ensemble celebrated its 40th anniversary to great acclaim. At the heart of this series were performances of ten newly commissioned works, ranging from the younger generation of composers to those already indisputably the leaders in their field.
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. Amelia 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 June she was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.