"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, 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 2015/16 season the group will have premiered over 300 new works, of which 197 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. 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 chamber works by Frank Bridge and Alexander Goehr, a CD of Hollywood composers for Hyperion, connected to the Ensemble's highly praised 2013/14 American series at Wigmore Hall, and Harrison Birtwistle's The Moth Requiem for Signum Classics. Future releases include an NMC CD recorded live at the 50th Anniversary 'Nash Inventions' concert in March 2015 and a Bruch chamber CD for Hyperion.
The Ensemble's 2015/16 season at Wigmore Hall featured works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Italian composers, exploring the Italian strand with repertoire from Rossini and Donizetti to Verdi and Puccini and bringing their musical journey into the 20th century with hauntingly beautiful vocal pieces by Respighi. The Series also featured performances of music by the great Italian composer Luciano Berio: his imaginative arrangements of Folk Songs; another folksong-inspired work Naturale; and four of the virtuoso Sequenzas for solo instruments featuring Nash soloists; and performances by two traditional folk groups - Tenores de Bitti from Sardinia and the Kurdish Shaho Andelibi Trio. In collaboration with Wigmore Hall, the Ensemble also presented a concert featuring the music of Julian Anderson including the world premiere of Van Gogh/Blue.
The Ensemble's 2016/17 season at Wigmore Hall, entitled Vienna and its Empire, combines 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 including works by Dvorak, Janacek, Bartók, Dohnanyi and Liszt. The Nash Inventions concert in March 2017 will include premières by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Simon Holt and Colin Matthews, as well as recent premières by Julian Anderson and Huw Watkins. There will also be collaborations with students at the Royal Academy of Music and the Wigmore Learning department.
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 has received many accolades including 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".
The Nash Ensemble's artistic director Amelia Freedman has received many honours including an FRAM and the MBE, which was conferred upon her in 1989. In 1996 she was appointed Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite by the President of France for her services to French music. She has also been awarded the prestigious Leslie Boosey Award by the Performing Right Society and the Royal Philharmonic Society. In June 2006 she was awarded the CBE in the Queen's birthday honours, for her services to music. In 2010 she was awarded the Officier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, for her services to classical music. In 2011 she received the IAMA award "as a sign of great respect for her work from the artist management profession". Amelia Freedman was Head of Classical Music at the Southbank Centre from 1995 to 2006. She has been the Artistic Director of the Bath Mozartfest since 1995 and the Bath Bachfest since 2011.