Ensemble 360 has quickly gained an enviable reputation across the UK not only for the quality and integrity of the members’ playing, but also for their ability to communicate the music to a range of different audiences. Formed in 2005, eleven musicians of international standing came together to take up residency in Sheffield with Music in the Round, establishing a versatile group comprising five string players, five wind players and a pianist. The members believe in concerts being informal, friendly and relaxed occasions, and perform ‘in the round’ wherever possible. Having an audience on all four sides brings with it an intimacy and immediacy between musician and audience that other layouts cannot match.
Critical acclaim has greeted all of the group’s CDs to date: Mozart and Spohr (ASV Gold), Beethoven (Nimbus Alliance) and their latest disc, Poulenc (Nimbus Alliance), which contains all his great works for piano and wind: “A lovely disc” (BBC Radio 3 CD Review); BBC Music Magazine wrote of the recording of Mozart’s clarinet quintet that “This is a performance that can stand as a benchmark for this much recorded work”.
Ensemble 360 appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and at some of the largest festivals and venues in England including Wigmore Hall, the National Centre for Early Music, Bath International Festival, Buxton Festival, Leamington Music Festival and Manchester Chamber Concert Series. It tours nationally every year with Music in the Round, and has established its own concert series in Barnsley and Doncaster. The group invites other international artists to Sheffield to perform in Music in the Round’s’ nine-day May Festival and Autumn and Spring series.
Ensemble 360 has established its own brand of children’s concerts which play to sell-out audiences. Recently commissioning two scores from award winning composer Paul Rissmann, these unique musical stories combine participation and narration. The ensemble regularly runs schools’ workshops, as well as performance and composition classes with a variety of age groups, and is the Ensemble-in-Residence at both the University of Nottingham and the University of Huddersfield.
Outside Ensemble 360, the musicians all have careers of great success. Some are members of orchestras, including the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Camerata Bern and the Manchester Camerata. They have performed as chamber musicians and soloists across the UK at festivals including the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, IMS Prussia Cove and Plush, as well as across Europe, America and Japan in venues including the Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Musikverein, Carnegie and Suntory Halls.