Nash Ensemble diary for the year ahead
"The originality and boldness of programming has kept Amelia Freedman's unique ensemble at the heart of British music-making."   Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

Diary - February 2021 to March 2022:


February 27 & 28
Elgar Series - four BBC Lunchtime Concerts at LSO St Lukes

April 27, Wigmore Hall
Nash Inventions
RAM Project Side by Side concert
Works by Julian Anderson. Helen Grime, Philip Cashian and two new commissions by student composers Electra Perivolaris and Gabriel Williams, performed by RAM student instrumentalists and members of the Nash Ensemble.  
Pre-concert talk: Composers in discussion with journalist Tom Service  
with Geoffrey Paterson (conductor), Claire Booth (soprano/reciter), Harrison Birtwistle (speaker*), Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Lawrence Power (viola), Adrian Brendel (cello)
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Owl Songs for soprano and ensemble (world premiere) *
Julian Anderson: Prayer for solo viola +
Julian Anderson: Another Prayer for solo violin +
Harrison Birtwistle: Four Songs of Autumn for soprano and string quartet
Harrison Birtwistle: …when falling asleep for reciter, speaker and ensemble *
Simon Holt: Cloud Shadow for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (world premiere) *
Harrison Birtwistle: Duet for Eight Strings for viola and cello *
Colin Matthews: Seascapes for soprano and ensemble (world premiere) *  
* Nash Ensemble commission or co-commission
+ recorded for an NMC Julian Anderson CD by the Nash Ensemble  
The Nash Ensemble is renowned for the depth and strength of its relationships with leading British composers of successive generations. Some of the most significant of its current associations are celebrated in this season’s Nash Inventions concert, consisting of a song cycle by Mark-Anthony Turnage, originally commissioned for his 60th birthday year in 2020 but now receiving its world premiere, a pair of Prayers for solo strings by Julian Anderson, three recent works by Harrison Birtwistle including a Duet specially written for Lawrence Power and Adrian Brendel, a newly commissioned piano-and-wind quintet by Simon Holt, and a new song cycle by Colin Matthews co-commissioned with the Aldeburgh Festival and marking the composer's 75th birthday.

Mark-Anthony Turnage
Colin Matthews
Harrison Birtwistle
Julian Anderson
Simon Holt

May 10-12: Recordings of Ferdinand Ries chamber works for Hyperion Records  
Grand Sextet in C minor Op.100 (piano, string quartet & double bass)
Piano Trio in C minor Op.143
Sextet in G minor Op.142 (piano, harp, clarinet, bassoon, horn & double bass)
Introduction and Rondo on a Russian Dance Op.113 No.1 for cello and piano

August 25: Melk Abbey as part of the Danube Festival  
Beethoven: Septet in E flat, Op.20
Schubert: Octet in F, D803

October 7 at 1pm, National Gallery
National Gallery Myra Hess Annual Lunchtime Concert
Introduced by Lecturer Katy Hamilton
with Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano), Marianne Thorsen (violin), Adrian Brendel (cello)
Mozart: Piano trio in E major K 542
Brahms: Piano Trio in C Op.87
Performed at the National Gallery on 28 March 1941 with Henry Holst (violin), Helen Just (cello) and Phyllis Sellick (piano)  
The National Gallery's own annual celebration of its wartime concert series and its director Myra Hess. This trio programme from the year in which Hess was made a Dame, combines Mozart at his most sublime with Brahms at his most sonorous.

Simon Crawford-Phillips
Marianne Thorsen
Adrian Brendel
Phyllis Sellick

October 16, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII

The Nash Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble in Residence at Wigmore Hall, presents a season of programmes performed in the National Gallery’s famous series of lunchtime concerts, which was given to enthusiastic audiences throughout the Second World War, even during the Blitz, under the determined direction of the pianist Dame Myra Hess. Each evening concert at Wigmore Hall (7.00 pm to approximately 9.45 pm) consists of two complete National Gallery programmes, chosen to represent the taste and skill with which the series was devised and its wide popular appeal.
Click here to watch an introduction to
the Nash Ensemble's celebration of
Dame Myra Hess and her National
Gallery concerts in World War II.  
Film clip from "Listen to Britain"
© Imperial War Museum.

Katy Hamilton chairs a discussion reviewing the legacy and vision of Dame Myra's extraordinary concerts, with composer Nigel Hess (Dame Myra's great nephew), her niece Libbie Foster, and actress Dame Patricia Routledge, who represents Myra in Admission One Shilling (see December 12th at 5pm)  
with Simon Crawford-Phillips & Alasdair Beatson (piano duet), Stephanie Gonley (violin), Lawrence Power (viola)
Mozart: Sonata in B flat major K 358
Schubert: Fantasia in F minor D 940
Brahms: Variations on a theme of Schumann Op.23
Dvorak: Slavonic Dances in B flat minor Op.72 No.5, in A flat Op.72 No.8, in C Op.72 No.7
Performed at the National Gallery on 30 September 1940 by Denis Matthews & Howard Ferguson (piano duet)  
Mozart: Serenade in G major for strings K 525 Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart: Duo in B flat major for violin and viola K 424
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 23 in A major K 488
Performed at the National Gallery on 30 October 1940 by Myra Hess (piano) and the Orchestra of the Central Band of H.M. Royal Air Force, conductor Wing Commander R.P.O. O’Donnell, MVO, with Frederick Grinke (violin) and Watson Forbes (viola)  
This opening evening, preceded by a discussion, embraces a delectable selection of music for four hands on one piano, and an all-Mozart programme including one of his finest piano concertos.

Simon Crawford-Phillips
Alasdair Beatson
Myra Hess
Howard Ferguson turning pages for Myra Hess.
Still from film Listen to Britain © Imperial War Museum

November 13, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
To preface an evening including French music, the much-loved actress and dancer Leslie Caron talks to lecturer Katy Hamilton about her experiences as a young girl living in Paris under the German occupation. (subject to confirmation)  
with Lucy Crowe (soprano), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano), Benjamin Nabarro (violin), Philippa Davies (flute), Richard Hosford (clarinet), Lucy Wakeford (harp)  
Stravinsky: Duo Concertant for violin and piano
Stravinsky: Berceuse, Prelude and Round Dance of the Princesses from The Firebird (vln, pf)
Stravinsky: Ragtime; Russian Dance from Petrushka, for solo piano
Stravinsky: Suite from The Soldier's Tale for clarinet, violin and piano
Performed at the National Gallery on 9 July 1942 by Franz Osborn (piano), Max Rostal (violin), Pauline Juler (clarinet)  
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet
Debussy: Syrinx for solo flute
Songs with piano: Berlioz: Absence from Les nuits d’été; Chabrier: Villanelle des petits canards; Hahn: Les fontaines; Fauré: L'hiver a cessé
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor
Performed (Introduction and Allegro and Syrinx) at the National Gallery on 17 April 1940 by Gwendolyn Mason (harp), Joseph Slater (flute), Stephen Waters (clarinet) and the Hirsch String Quartet: Leonard Hirsch & Henry Ball (violins), James Verity (viola) and Kathleen Moorhouse (cello); (songs and Trio) on Tuesday July 14th 1942 by Dame Maggie Teyte (soprano) with Ivor Newton (piano), and the Classical Trio: Kathleen Long (piano), Eda Kersey (violin), James Whitehead (cello)  
A brightly coloured evening of music from a 1942 National Gallery programme dedicated to Stravinsky, and from two concerts of French music in 1940 and 1942. The French selection includes a group of songs sung then by the great soprano Maggie Teyte and now by the ever-popular Lucy Crowe.

Lucy Crowe
Leslie Caron
Leaflet for Pauline Juler's recital at Wigmore Hall, 22 March 1939
Dame Maggie Teyte

November 14: Bath Mozartfest Assembly Rooms  
Programme to be confirmed

19-28 November: Tour of Germany & Switzerland (piano and string quartet) to include:  
November 21: La Chaux de fonds
November 23: Liestal
November 24: Fulda
November 25: Hannover

December 11, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
Admission: One Shilling
Dame Patricia Routledge as Dame Myra Hess, Piers Lane (piano)
Admission One Shilling, devised by Dame Myra Hess's composer great-nephew Nigel Hess, tells the story, in words, music and images, of the series of morale-boosting lunchtime concerts that Dame Myra organised at the National Gallery during the Second World War. It draws on press interviews she gave and comments she made during BBC broadcasts. She is represented by the much loved Patricia Routledge. The pianist Piers Lane performs music Myra Hess played in these concerts, by Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin, Beethoven and Bach - including her celebrated transcription of Jesu, joy of man's desiring.

Dame Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane
with Renata Pokupic (mezzo-soprano), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano), Stephanie Gonley (violin), Lawrence Power (viola), Adrian Brendel (cello)  
Brahms: A selection of songs for voice & piano
Brahms: Sonata in F minor for viola and piano Op.120 No.1
Brahms: Two Songs for voice, viola and piano Op.91
Performed on 4 August 1941 by Elena Gerhardt (contralto), Lionel Tertis (viola) and Myra Hess (piano)  
Dvorak: Zigeunerlieder (Gipsy Songs) Op.55
Dvorak: Piano Trio in F minor Op.65
Performed at the National Gallery & broadcast on 10 September 1941 by Olga Haley (mezzo) with Gerald Moore (piano) and the Czech Trio: Walter Susskind (piano), Maria Lidka (violin), Karel Horitz (cello)  
From National Gallery concerts in 1941, programmes of songs and instrumental works by Brahms and his friend Dvorak - the latter in celebration of the centenary of his birth. The evening includes one of Brahms's late clarinet sonatas in the composer's own version for viola, and Dvorak's greatest piano trio, the powerful F minor.

Renata Pokupic © Chris Gloag
Lawrence Power
Lionel Tertis (1940s)
© Lebrecht Music Arts - Bridgeman Images.jpg
Elena Gerhardt
© Lebrecht Music Arts - Bridgeman Images


January 15, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
with Roderick Williams (baritone), Simon Crawford-Phillips & Philip Moore (piano duet), Marianne Thorsen (violin), Lawrence Power (viola), Adrian Brendel (cello)
Debussy: Songs: Beau soir; L'echelonnement des haies; Colloque sentimental; Green
Debussy: Sonata for violin and piano
Poulenc: Song cycle: Tel jour telle nuit
Poulenc: Sonata for violin and piano (in memory of Federico Garcia Lorca)
Performed at the National Gallery on 22 March 1945 by Pierre Bernac (baritone), Ginette Neveu (violin) and Francis Poulenc (piano)  
Fauré: Dolly Suite for piano duet Op.56
Fauré: Piano Quartet No.1 in C minor Op.15
Performed at the National Gallery on 11 May 1945 by Denis Matthews & Howard Ferguson (piano duet), Clifford Curzon (piano) and members of the Griller Quartet.  
This concert reproduces two French programmes performed at the National Gallery in the closing stages of the War in Europe: a recital of music by Debussy and Francis Poulenc given by three outstanding visiting French artists including Poulenc himself; and a celebration by leading British performers of the centenary of Gabriel Fauré.

Roderick Williams
Pierre Bernac and Francis Poulenc
© Lebrecht Music Arts - Bridgeman Images
Griller Quartet c.1950
© Tully Potter - Bridgeman Images

February 12, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
with James Gilchrist (tenor), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano), Marianne Thorsen (violin), Adrian Brendel (cello)  
Mendelssohn: Sonata in D major for cello and piano Op.58
Mendelssohn: Song without Words in G minor Op.53 No.3 & in E Op.19 No.1 for solo piano
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in D minor Op.49
Performed at the National Gallery on 21 February 1940 by Margaret Goode (piano), Harry Blech (violin) and William Pleeth (cello)  
Dowland: Awake! sweet love; In darkness let me dwell; Come heavy sleep
Purcell: I'll sail upon the dog-star; There's not a swain; Not all my torments; On the brow of Richmond Hill
Tippett: Boyhood's End
Britten: Folk song arrangements for voice & piano
Performed at the National Gallery on 7 October 1943 by Peter Pears (tenor) and Benjamin Britten (piano)  
Re-creations of instrumental and vocal concerts at the National Gallery: an all-Mendelssohn programme from 1940, including the brilliant D minor Trio; and a 1943 recital of English songs in which Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten performed a work written for them by Michael Tippett, the radiant cantata Boyhood's End.

James Gilchrist

Adrian Brendel
Peter Pears & Benjamin Britten.
Portrait by Kenneth Green © National Portrait Gallery - De Agostini Picture Library - Bridgeman Images

February 13, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
with Alasdair Beatson (piano), Stephanie Gonley (violin), Adrian Brendel (cello)
Beethoven: Piano Trio in C minor Op.1 No.3
Brahms: Piano Trio No 1 in B major (revised) Op.8
Performed at the National Gallery on 6 November 1940 by Myra Hess (piano) with Arnold Rosé (violin) and Friedrich Buxbaum (cello) (former members of the Rosé Quartet)  
The Nash Ensemble's series based on the famous National Gallery wartime concerts comes to an end with a morning performance of trios by Beethoven and Brahms, as played in 1940 by Myra Hess and two veterans of the world-famous Viennese Rosé Quartet.

Arnold Rosé (r) with his brother-in-law Gustav Mahler © Lebrecht Music Arts / Bridgeman Images
Myra Hess - chalk drawing by AM Burton © Libbie Foster
Rosé Quartet

March 12, Wigmore Hall
A Celebration of Myra Hess and her National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts in WWII
with Marcus Farnsworth (baritone), Alasdair Beatson (piano), Stephanie Gonley (violin), Adrian Brendel (cello)  
Beethoven: Piano Trio in E flat major Op.70 No.2
Songs with piano:
George Dyson: A Poet's Hymn; Arnold Bax: The White Peace; Henry Balfour Gardiner: Winter; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Sons of the sea; Frederick Keel: Trade winds; Peter Warlock: Captain Stratton's Fancy
Ireland: Phantasie-Trio in A minor
Performed at the National Gallery on 30 October 1939 by William Parsons (baritone) and the Grinke Trio: Kendall Taylor (piano), Frederick Grinke (violin) and Florence Hooton (cello)  
Mozart: Fantasia in C minor for piano K475
Mozart: Serenade in B flat major (Gran Partita) for wind and double bass K361
Performed at the National Gallery on 19 August 1942 by Myra Hess (piano) and the London Wind Players, conducted by Harry Blech  
A well-varied evening includes piano trios by Beethoven and John Ireland and a group of English songs, as performed in one of the earliest of the National Gallery’s wartime concerts, together with a Mozart programme from the height of the War consisting of the dramatic piano Fantasia in C minor and a Mozart’s masterwork- his sublime Serenade for 12 wind instruments and double bass.

Programme for National Gallery Lunchtime Concerts, 1940. Photo © The National Gallery, London
Alasdair Beatson, Stephanie Gonley & Adrian Brendel
Harry Blech

March 22, Wigmore Hall
Nash Inventions
To include a celebration of Alexander Goehr's 90th birthday
Programme to be confirmed