"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 2019/20 season the group will have premièred over 300 new works by 225 different composers of which 215 have been especially commissioned.
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. Releases have also included a CD of Hollywood composers for Hyperion, Harrison Birtwistle's The Moth Requiem for Signum Classics and a CD of chamber works by Max Bruch for Hyperion, which was nominated for a Gramophone award. Last June the Nash recorded works by Ernst von Dohnányi and this year it has recorded chamber works by Julian Anderson for NMC and those of Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann for Hyperion.
In the 2019/20 season the Nash places the music of Schubert at the centre of its annual series. The programmes feature some of the greatest chamber works ever written. There is also music by his contemporaries, including Weber, Spohr, Rossini, Beethoven and Beethoven's pupil Ferdinand Ries, and by his forerunners and successors, ranging from Haydn to the Mendelssohns, brother and sister, and Schumann. The programmes are enhanced by a strand of songs by Schubert and other significant figures of the time, featuring renowned guest artists Stéphanie d'Oustrac, Roderick Williams, James Gilchrist and Elizabeth Watts. The Nash Ensemble's annual Nash Inventions concert will celebrate the 60th birthday of Mark-Anthony Turnage, one of the most admired and widely performed British composers of his generation. There are three works by Turnage, including the jazz-inspired Slide Stride, and a specially written commission (with the radiant soprano Claire Booth), which is dedicated to the memory of his mentor Oliver Knussen. The programme, devised in collaboration with the composer, also includes 20th-century classics by Stravinsky and Ravel, and pieces by Knussen and George Benjamin.
Recent highlights have included concerts in Turkey, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The Ensemble broadcasts regularly for the BBC including Radio 3 and 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."