"The Nash are chamber music royalty." The Sunday Times
The Nash Ensemble, Resident Chamber Ensemble at Wigmore Hall since 2010, is acclaimed for its adventurous programming and virtuoso performances. It presents works from Haydn to the avant-garde, and is a major contributor towards the recognition and promotion of contemporary composers: by the end of the 2016/17 season the group will have premièred over 300 new works, of which well over 200 have been specially commissioned from 225 different composers.
An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. Releases receiving critical acclaim include all the Mozart String Quintets, Russian chamber music, chamber works by Schumann and Joaquin Turina, and chamber works by Czech composers incarcerated in the Theresienstadt concentration camp between 1941 and 1945. Recent releases include a CD of Hollywood composers for Hyperion, Harrison Birtwistle's The Moth Requiem for Signum Classics and a chamber music CD of works by Max Bruch for Hyperion. In June the Nash will record works by Ernst von Dohnányi and there are plans for a recording of chamber works by Julian Anderson for NMC.
In its 2016/17 series at Wigmore Hall the Nash Ensemble combined the music of Vienna, from the 'Viennese Classical school' of Haydn and Mozart to Mahler and the 'second Viennese school' of Schoenberg and his pupils, with music from Hungary and the Czech lands. Continuing the ongoing and fruitful collaboration between the Ensemble and the Royal Academy of Music, there was a special concert in February in which members of the Nash and students from the RAM combined 'Side by Side', to perform rarely heard early works by Schoenberg, Webern and Berg.
The main theme for the 2017/18 Wigmore Series is 'The French Connection', juxtaposing music from Stravinsky's French period with music by Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Milhaud. The Ensemble's annual selection of the best of British contemporary music - Nash Inventions on 20th September - includes Alexander Goehr's latest chamber work (a Wigmore Hall commission for the Ensemble), Harrison Birtwistle's single movement Trio, Peter Maxwell Davies's acclaimed String Quintet, and another new Nash commission - a Quintet for clarinet and strings by John Casken.
Recent highlights have included concerts in Turkey, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy as well as a tour of the USA. The Ensemble broadcasts regularly for the BBC including appearances at the BBC Proms.
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."