“Winning charm and a strong sense of coherence.” BBC Music Magazine
“Individually captivating and collectively brilliant throughout.” Musician Magazine
“Brimful of character…each instrumental part is given a dramatic role and personality” BBC Radio 3
The New London Chamber Ensemble is a wind quintet with a difference. For over a decade the NLCE has challenged traditional ideas of chamber music with their innovative programmes combining classic repertoire with semi-staged works incorporating drama, speech and action.
Concert appearances have taken the NLCE all over the world. Highlights have included performances in northern Sweden, for Courthouse Music, the Banff Festival in Canada, collaborating with pianist Angela Hewitt at the Trasimeno Festival (Perugia) and Wigmore Hall, the Two Moors Festival performing Walton’s Façade with Prunella Scales and Timothy West, collaborating with the Dante Quartet at the Swaledale Festival and Wigmore Hall, The Forge in London with pianist Michael Dussek, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals at the Leeds International Concert Season, King’s Place, with composer/pianist Martin Butler, and premieres at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011 and 2014.
The NLCE is passionately dedicated to new music, and regularly commissions new works; composers have included Edward Longstaff, John Woolrich, Philip Cashian and Martin Butler, as well as arrangements from Julian Philips and Sally Beamish. Their discography includes the wind chamber music John Woolrich, Cabinet of Curiosities (Meridian, 2007) including a new commission written in celebration of John’s 50th birthday; Music for Wind and Piano by Carl Nielsen (Meridian, 2009), voted CD of the year by MusicWeb International, and chamber works by Lennox Berkeley (Naxos, 2010).
The NLCE is also committed to musical outreach and education. They are ‘Ensemble in Residence’ to the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and give masterclasses and coaching for music colleges, schools and youth music groups. In 2012 they commissioned a new dectet ‘Settala’s Machine’ by Philip Cashian, as a side-by-side project to be performed with young musicians; since its premier at the RWCMD in Cardiff, they have performed the dectet with students from the Purcell School of Music, the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Music (Cheltenham Festival, July 2014) and most recently with students from the Junior dept at the Royal Academy.
2015 brings the production of a CD of Martin Butler’s chamber music, including a new nonet Rondes d’Automne, recorded with the Navarra Quartet and bassist Leon Bosch for the NMC label, and further collaborative dectet performances with students from conservatoires and music schools. The NLCE is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of Carl Nielsen through performances of Nielsen’s wind music, in particular his Wind Quintet Op. 43, of which the NLCE made the first recording using the new Carl Nielsen Edition in 2009. (Click here for more information about the album).