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. By the end of the 2012/13 season the group will have premiered around 270 new works, of which 170 have been specially commissioned.
An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. Recent releases receiving critical acclaim include all the Mozart String Quintets, Russian chamber music by Arensky, Glazunov and Borodin, and chamber works by Schumann and Joaquin Turina. In 2011 a CD of chamber music by David Matthews entitled 'Winter Passions' was shortlisted in the contemporary category of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards. Future releases include chamber works by Frank Bridge, Alexander Goehr, and Czech composers incarcerated in the Theresienstadt concentration camp between 1941 and 1945 - Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas and Hans Krasa. In January 2013 the Nash and the BBC Singers will make a premiere recording of Harrison Birtwistle's 'Moth Requiem'.
The Ensemble's 2012/13 series at Wigmore Hall, entitled "Dreamers of Dreams", focuses on the works of British composers from the first half of the 20th century. They bring together many highlights - Elgar's String Quartet and Piano Quintet, Peter Warlock's The Curlew, Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock Edge and Five Mystical Songs, Delius's Second Violin Sonata, Finzi's By Footpath and Style and Butterworth's Love Blows as the Wind Blows. An all-Britten evening presents Les Illuminations and the Serenade for tenor, horn and strings with the Lachrimae for viola and strings. Susan Gritton sings Finzi's Dies Natalis while Sally Matthews presents Bliss's songs with ensemble (Rout, Madam Noy and The Women of Yueh). The series ends with Britten and Walton film and incidental music recited by Eleanor Bron and Samuel West including Night Mail, The Way to the Sea, The Sword in the Stone and Walton's Henry V.
The Nash tours throughout Europe and the USA: highlights 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. Other forthcoming highlights include a weekend of concerts, masterclasses and films at the Prague Conservatoire, featuring the music of composers incarcerated in the Terezin concentration camp between 1941-45; and concerts in Vevey, Brussels and Bologna.
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."