In a remarkable event that opened the 2023 Lake District Summer Festival, the New London Chamber Ensemble collaborated with the iconic Dame Evelyn Glennie for an extraordinary concert experience at The Coro, Ulverston. The ensemble, celebrated for their innovative approach to classical music, joined forces with Dame Evelyn Glennie to present a captivating program at the intersection of musical brilliance and social awareness. The performance showcased two world premieres by composers Ailís Ní Ríain (Revelling and Reckoning) and Julian Philips (Strange Encounters), emphasizing themes related to hearing impairment. Filled with rich compositions and profound messages, the concert highlighted the power of inclusivity in the arts. The festival partnered with the amazing team at Cumbria Deaf Association to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation, ensuring that the musical celebrations were accessible to everyone.
2020 is a year of celebration! The NLCE is going to be 20, and Beethoven is going to be 250!
To mark our 20th anniversary in 2020, which is also the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we are producing a new commissioning and research project where we will look at what Beethoven’s deafness meant to him in his life and work, and explore the experiences of current artists and composers working with hearing loss.
We are working with partners such as Dame Evelyn Glennie and Music and the Deaf in researching the stories of people with hearing loss today, and developing a concert and workshop experience that allows the project to be toured in a way that allows as many people as possible to enjoy and engage with the performances (including people with hearing loss). We are exploring techniques for concerts such as live captioning, BSL-based interpretation of the music, and visual effects, and will be offering bespoke pre-concert workshops by the NLCE and Music and the Deaf; we are applying for funding to provide this enhanced, accessible concert experience. The result will be uplifting, explorative, and engaging; bringing the music of Beethoven and his contemporaries to people who might not otherwise have been able to enjoy it, and bringing Beethoven’s story into the context of the present day through interviews and new commissions.
Get in touch if you would like us to bring this exciting new project to you!
The NLCE brought an exciting world of musical stories to Hull’s Big Malarkey Festival in June 2019! Enthusiastic children of all ages were taken along a very special musical journey: the first programme opened with Opus Number Zoo, brought to life with the narration and acting of the performers; this was followed by a fun (but slightly scary!) performance of Peter and the Wolf, wonderfully narrated by the talented Victoria Newlyn, and closing with a breathtaking Flight of the Bumble Bee. For the second performance, the NLCE were joined by pianist Martin Butler in an engaging rendition of Dirty Beasts, performed alongside a BSL interpreter. The ensemble brought music, fun and creativity to the festival, and the performances were well attended, as well as very much enjoyed—and not only by the little ones!
We were delighted to return to Hull Chamber Music 2018, following our sell-out concerts during Hull City of Culture 2017, with a riveting theatrical take on chamber music – a majestic procession to Byrd’s Pavane & Galliard, a thrilling staged performance of Berio’s Opus No Zoo which takes the performers around the stage and beyond and a unique performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous Flight of the Bumble Bee.
From Byrd to the Bees
7.30pm, Thursday 8 November 2018
Middleton Hall, University of Hull
In July 2018, we were delighted to work with the Moriarty Wind Quintet who are currently Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellows at the RAM, on a professional recording of the dectet the NLCE commissioned from Philip Cashian: Settala’s Machine, as well as a film about the project. Manfredo Settala (1600-1680) was an Italian nobleman and collector of oddities as well as a skilled maker of automata. His most famous invention was a mechanical devil which can still be seen on display at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. In seventeenth century Italy automata were theologically and culturally familiar things and mechanical devils were rife. Poised in sacristies, they were grotesque and bawdy, made horrible faces, howled and stuck out their tongues to instil fear in the hearts of sinners. The Satan- machines rolled their eyes and flailed their arms and wings, some even had moveable horns and crowns and breathed smoke through their nostrils.
Having premiered the dectet at the RWCMD, we have since performed it at the Cheltenham Festival, Trinity College, Junior College and Academy and with members of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra.
The film has been made in the beautiful new Angela Burgess Recital Room at the Royal Academy, and you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/352064378/78d0f118b5
or listen to the audo version here: https://soundcloud.com/nlce-1/philip-cashian-settalas-machine-for-wind-dectet-new-london-chamber-ensemble-and-moriarty-winds
The NLCE were joined by acclaimed actor Simon Callow and composer and pianist Martin Butler for a sell-out performance of their ‘Telling Tales: Stories with Musical Narration’ programme as part of Hull City of Culture 2017.
Performing at the newly refurbished Middleton Hall at the University of Hull, Simon, Martin and the NLCE enjoyed a rapturous welcome from an audience of children of all ages, along with their grown-ups, and regular chamber music enthusiasts. The University of Hull said “We are delighted that this concert brought in such a wide audience, many of whom were new to concerts at the University. This was one of the highlights of our City of Culture programme.”
We were delighted to perform a bespoke programme commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I, on Monday 25 June 2018, as part of the inaugural Summer Music in City Churches Festival. We received a warm welcome from the audience and it was a pleasure to perform in the beautiful St Stephen Walbrook.
We were really pleased to be included in Paul Driver’s review of some of the Cheltenham Festival events – here’s what he had to say about our concert:
“The other new works I caught were…Philip Cashian’s engaging Settala’s Machine, for 10 wind instruments, given there by the New London Chamber Ensemble. This followed three arrangements by him, Sally Beamish and Martin Butler of mechanistic Mozart pieces respectively for musical clock, glass harmonica and mechanical organ, and offered itself as an original “musical machine”. In the way it intercuts sputtering, ticking ostinati with sinuous melody, it evokes the approach of Harrison Birtwistle, but a Birtwistle better behaved than usual. Afterwards came wind music’s glory, the Gran Partita, K361, by Mozart.”
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 13th July 2014