Berkeley Ensemble

Hailed as ‘an instinctive collective’ (The Strad) the Berkeley Ensemble was formed with the aim of exploring little-known twentieth- and twenty-first-century British chamber music alongside more established repertoire. It now enjoys a busy concert schedule performing throughout the UK and abroad, and is also much in demand for its inspiring work in education. The ensemble’s flexible configuration and collaborative spirit have led to performances with leading musicians including Sir Thomas Allen, Gabriel Prokofiev and Nicholas Daniel. Its recordings have attracted critical acclaim, with the second, Lennox Berkeley: Chamber Works, selected by BBC Music Magazine as Chamber Choice (September 2015) and featured in Gramophone’s Critics’ Choice 2015. The group’s innovative and thought-provoking programming has received official recognition with a Help Musicians UK Emerging Excellence award and support from the PRS for Music Foundation. It is an enthusiastic champion of new music, premiering its first commission, Michael Berkeley’s Clarion Call and Gallop, in 2013 and launching the New Cobbett Prize for composers the following year. Equally at home on the summer festival circuit and in the concert hall, the group has performed at the Latitude and Greenbelt festivals, and curates the Little Venice Music Festival in London. Engaging new audiences, most importantly through education, is central to the ensemble’s activities. These have included self-directed projects alongside collaborations with Southbank Sinfonia, Merton Music Foundation and Pan Concerts for Children. The ensemble regularly coaches chamber performance at the University of York, is Associate Artist at the University of Hull, Ensemble in Residence at Ibstock Place School and runs an annual chamber music course in Somerset.