"The Nash are chamber music royalty." The Sunday Times
The Nash Ensemble, Resident Chamber Ensemble at Wigmore Hall since 2010, is regarded as a standard-bearer of British music-making, and has been acclaimed by The Independent as a 'chamber music group beyond compare'.
The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest ensembles 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.
The Nash Ensemble is not classically restricted; it performs with equal sensitivity and musicality works from Mozart to the avant-garde. Indeed, it is one of the major contributors towards the recognition and promotion of many leading composers through first performances to date of over 316 new works from 225 different composers, including 215 commissions especially written for the ensemble, providing a legacy for generations to come.
An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works. Contemporary recordings receiving much acclaim include chamber works by Harrison Birtwistle and Julian Anderson. Notable recordings for Hyperion include a series of works by British composers of the first half of the 20th century, including those by Benjamin Britten, Arnold Bax, Frank Bridge and Vaughan Williams. Other recordings include Mozart and Beethoven string quintets; chamber works by Schumann and Saint-Saens; works by Czech composers incarcerated in the Theresienstadt concentration camp between 1941 and 1945 and a CD of Bruch's string quintets and octet which was nominated for a Gramophone award.
The Nash has made many foreign tours; concerts have been given throughout Europe, the USA and Canada. The group is a regular visitor to many European and British music festivals and can be heard on radio, television, at the BBC Proms, and at music clubs throughout the country.
Since 1979 it has presented an acclaimed series every season at Wigmore Hall exploring the many facets of the chamber music and vocal repertoire. In the 2021-2022 season the group will celebrate the extraordinary legacy of the renowned pianist Dame Myra Hess and her famous National Gallery lunchtime concerts in WWII. The annual Nash Inventions concert on March 22nd 2022 will focus on the 90th birthday year of the eminent composer Alexander Goehr including a new work commissioned by Wigmore Hall especially for the occasion.
The ensemble has won The Edinburgh Festival Critics' music award 'for general artistic excellence', and in 1989 and 2002 The Royal Philharmonic Society's small ensemble award '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 Merite 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 and the Royal Philhamonic societies. In June 2006 she was awarded the CBE in the Queen's birthday honours, for her services to music. In 2010 she was appointed 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' In February 2018 she was awarded the Honorary title of Doctor of Letters by Bath Spa University in recognition of a distinguished contribution to music.
Amelia Freedman was Head of Classical Music at the South Bank Centre from 1995 to 2006. She has been Artistic Director of the Bath Mozartfest since 1995 and the Bath Bachfest since 2011.