The Nash Ensemble celebrates 50 years

Free composer talks will feature in a special concert series

The Nash Ensemble (photo: Hanya Chlala)
Published: August 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm

The Nash Ensemble, one of Britain’s leading chamber groups, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a special concert series at the Wigmore Hall.


Taking place from September 2014 to March 2015, the series will feature brand new works by Huw Watkins, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir Harrison Birtwistle as well as repertoire that the ensemble has been celebrated for over the years.

It will also include the London premiere of a new piano quintet by Richard Causton, commissioned by the BBC especially for this 50th anniversary.

Throughout the series there will be free evening events where composers will discuss works commissioned by the ensemble and talk about their relationship with Nash Ensemble founder Amelia Freedman.

The Nash Ensemble was set up by Freedman in October 1964 to present a range of music from Haydn to the present day. In half a century, they have commissioned 193 works and performed over 300 premieres from 225 different composers internationally.

Composer Harrison Birtwistle comments: 'Michael Tippett used to say that the world was divided between those on the side of the angels and those not. In the case of Amelia Freedman and her Nash Ensemble there is no question they stand well over the line of good and blessed with wings of gold. In the past thirty years I have worked with and been performed by most of the leading groups in Europe and America and without question the Nash are certainly leading contenders for top of the league, unique in their dedication to the old and the new.'

The 50th anniversary series will begin on 28 September with a Coffee Concert featuring works by Martinů and Dvořák.

Founder of the Nash Ensemble Amelia Freedman has said, ‘What matters has always been the joy of music-making in a team married to the thrill of new discoveries. I am deeply grateful to the Wigmore Hall, and to the players both past and present who have kept the Nash spirit so consistently fresh for the past fifty years.’

Visit: for more information

Listen to five Nash Ensemble performances below

1. Birtwsitle: The Moth Requiem (UK Premiere)

2. Brahms: Trio for Violin, Trumpet and Piano

3. Webern: Concerto for Nine Instruments

4. Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor op. 84 (Adagio)

5. Holst: Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda

Eliot McGuire

Photo: Hanya Chlala


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