Since its first concert in January 1983 the Schubert Ensemble has become widely recognised as one of the world’s leading exponents of music for piano and strings. The ensemble has performed in over 40 different countries, has over 80 commissions to its name, has recorded over 30 critically acclaimed CDs and is familiar to British audiences through regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. In 1998 the Ensemble’s contribution to British musical life was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society when it presented the group with the Best Chamber Ensemble Award, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010.
In the past few years the Ensemble has enjoyed a busy international schedule, with performances in Bermuda, Canada, the Czech Republic, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. The Ensemble has also released recordings for the Chandos label of works by Martinů, Fauré, Enescu and Dvořák, all of which have been widely praised. The Dvořák disc and the most recent of two Enescu discs were each chosen as CD of the month by the BBC Music Magazine. It has recently released a new recording of piano quartets by Chausson and Saint-Saëns which received a double 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine. Engagements in 2015-16 included tours to Bermuda, the USA, Holland and Italy, and performances at the Cambridge, Petworth, Spitalfields, Buxton, Gower, Tetbury and Bath/Mozart Festivals as well as a two-concert Fauré/Schumann series at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Plans for the coming months include the premiere of a piano quartet, Zustände, by Charlotte Bray at the Wiltshire Music Centre, the recording for Champs Hill Records of another recent commission, Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Whole Earth Dances and several visits to Birmingham Conservatoire, where the Ensemble is enjoying the ninth year of a Residency.
The Ensemble has decided to bring its 35-year career to a close at the end of June 2018. It will see out its final season in celebratory style, with around fifty concerts planned in the UK and abroad, including return visits to Romania and Luxembourg and two tours of the USA. The final two concerts of the Ensemble’s piano quintet series Quintessentials at Kings Place will take place on October 12th and November 9th 2017, and its final concert at Wigmore Hall will be on March 21st 2018.