” They are one of the great glories of Scotland.”
Hebrides Ensemble, based in Scotland, is a collective of world-class musicians from Scotland, the UK and Europe, renowned for its quality of performance and diversity of repertoire presented in highly imaginative programmes. Flexibility is key with repertoire encompassing a wide range of styles in chamber music, music theatre and chamber opera.
Co-founded and led by its artistic director, the cellist and conductor William Conway, the Ensemble has an impressive list of specially commissioned works (over 70 since its inception in 1991), highlighting its commitment to new music and supporting contemporary composers. Most of the commissions have come from Scottish or Scottish-based composers, including Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, Sally Beamish, Lyell Cresswell, Haflidi Halgrimsson, David Horne, Stuart MacRae, Helen Grime, Martin Suckling and most recently, James MacMillan, whose ‘Since is was the day of preparation…’ was premièred at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012 and received it’s European première in the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam early in 2013.
The Ensemble tours frequently to venues and festivals throughout the UK and recent appearances include Edinburgh International Festival; St Magnus Festival, Orkney; Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk; Kings Place and Wigmore Hall, London; Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Perth and Aberdeen.
The group was chosen alongside London Sinfonietta to represent the UK as a member of New:Aud (New Music:New Audiences), a network of European contemporary music ensembles focused on bringing the best of new music to as wide an audience as possible. With the promotion and exchange of contemporary composition at its heart, this international research project will look to develop concert formats alongside a range of opportunities to engage more fully with audiences across the Continent.
Hebrides Ensemble has been nominated in recent years within the Chamber Music Category of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.