A Breeze Through the 20th Century

Ensemble Renard, Saturday 26th October 2024

Ellie Blamires – flute
Francesca Cox – oboe
Patrick Boulton – bassoon
George Strivens – french horn
Holly Isherwood - clarinet


Valerie Coleman Umoja
Barber Summer Music, Op. 31
Amy Beach Pastorale, Op. 151
Taffanel Wind Quintet in G minor.
Ligeti Six Bagatelles
Nielsen Wind Quintet, Op. 43

Supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust

We explore the wind repertoire for chamber music in our second concert of the season with Ensemble Renard

At an Ensemble Renard performance you will hear music that is both familiar and foreign to you, and this is no exception! They will be performing a wealth of repertoire from the late 19th- and 20th-centuries, from the festive music of Valerie Coleman’s Umoja to the hazy summer rhapsody of Samuel Barber’s Summer Music and Amy Beach’s Pastorale. Ensemble Renard will also be performing György Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles, derived from his Musica Ricercata, these character pieces offer glimpse into the fascinating Hungarian musical tradition of the latter part of the 20th-century. 

Two greats of the wind quintet genre end each half of the concert. Paul Taffanel’s Wind Quintet beautifully encapsulates the turn-of-the-century French repertoire, with echoes of his contemporary Camille Saint-Saëns’s music. They will close their concert with one of the most important works in the genre, Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet, a work which reveals more and more characters as it develops, culminating in the most exquisite and life-affirming chorale.

“..such talent and accomplishment, it was a great concert and a pleasure to meet you all”

Ensemble Renard was founded in 2018 by musicians and friends from the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School. A wind quintet at its core, Ensemble Renard puts on exciting and varied performances for audiences of all types and backgrounds. In their first six months playing together, Ensemble Renard won the Royal Academy of Music’s Nicholas Blake Prize for wind chamber music, and from there have gone on to give regular recitals and workshops across the country, to much acclaim. 

The group carefully curate compelling and contrasting programmes tailored to each audience, aiming to take repertoire rarely given the light of day to audiences from London to the Hebrides and beyond.

Ensemble Renard have quickly emerged onto the scene as one of the UK's most promising young chamber ensembles. To date, they have been made Tunnell Trust awardees, Britten-Pears Young Artists, Stoller Hall Young Artists, and awardees of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust's Recital Scheme. Performance highlights of the ensemble's career so far include their European debut at the Dinard Opening Festival in Brittany, a recital at the Aldeburgh Festival, and an appearance on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' with Sean Rafferty.

The 2023/34 season sees Ensemble Renard continue to take their work across the UK, with performances at Snape Maltings as Britten-Pears Young Artists for the second year running; recitals at venues including St John's Smith Square and the Stoller Hall, and a return for the third year running to the Llanfyllin Music Festival in Wales.