Formed in 2005 to take up residency at Sheffield’s Crucible Studio Theatre, Ensemble 360 quickly gained an enviable national reputation. The group takes its name from the intimacy and immediacy of the Crucible’s in-the-round space, which influenced their performance and ethos to give audiences a ‘360 degree experience’ that goes beyond the traditions of classical concerts. Their spontaneous and energetic performances, lively spoken word introductions and talks, adaptability and engagement thrill audiences in venues ranging from prestigious concert halls to major festivals to more intimate spaces.
The group enriches the experience of classical chamber concerts through the addition of pre-concert talks, conversations with their audiences and performances for children. Their thoughtfully curated artistic programmes often take a theme such as a particular composer, city or musical style as their starting point, and can be presented as a standalone concert or extended into a full weekend programme of music and activities.
An impressive collection of recordings, commissions and new collaborations reflects the group’s versatility, and has received widespread critical acclaim.
Performances include the Aldeburgh, Bath, Buxton, Guiting, Leamington, North Norfolk and Three Choirs Festivals; Barber Institute, Crucible Theatre Sheffield, Kings Place, Paines Plough pop-up theatre, National Centre for Early Music, The Sage Gateshead, Wiltshire Music Centre and Wigmore Hall. Ensemble 360 has established its own concert series in Barnsley and Doncaster. The group appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.
Learning and education form a key part of Ensemble 360’s desire to reach as many different people as possible, and to allow audiences to experience classical music in a way that is accessible to them. A combination of virtuosic musicianship and relaxed communication has naturally led to the development of learning and education projects for all ages. With Music in the Round, the group has premiered and toured a number of commissions from award-winning Children’s Composer in Residence Paul Rissmann. Ensemble 360 tours children’s concerts to schools across the UK.
Ensemble 360 remains rooted in its hometown of Sheffield, through a flourishing partnership as ensemble in residence with Music in the Round. Their residency includes the critically acclaimed annual Sheffield Chamber Music Festival, autumn and spring weekends, each occasion showcasing the ensemble’s adventurous programming of diverse chamber music and pioneering new collaborations with invited international guest artists from the worlds of classical, contemporary, jazz, film, theatre and other artforms.
In addition to their work with Ensemble 360, the eleven members all have highly successful international careers as orchestral, chamber and solo musicians.
Eleven international musicians, brimming with body and soul with passion, vitality and virtuosity, whose performances never cease to amaze