Ensemble Renard

Ellie Blamires, flute
Imogen Davies, oboe
Holly Isherwood, clarinet
George Strivens, horn
Patrick Bolton, bassoon

Founded in 2018 by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School, Ensemble Renard are an exciting young chamber ensemble looking to push the boundaries of wind chamber music. Since first meeting as a group, they have been passionate about championing repertoire that is rarely given the light of day. They have been selected to undertake a Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for 2020/21 where they will continue to explore more diverse repertoire, commission new works, and to expand the boundaries of their ensemble beyond the wind quintet format to include repertoire with strings, piano, and voices. They were the winners of the Nicholas Blake Woodwind Ensemble Prize at the Academy after just 6 months together where they gave a performance of Thea Musgrave’s seldom heard Wind Quintet. This led to an invite to perform in Hans Abrahamsen’s inaugural residency at RAM in which they played his Wind Quintet No. 2, “Walden”, as well as John Woolrich’s Book of Studies Set. 2. During this project they received coaching from both composers and were later invited to give a recital at Folkstone New Music of quintets by Abrahamsen, Woolrich, and Phil Cashian as part of a Q&A with Hans Abrahamsen. In January 2020, they performed a programme including the Abrahamsen and Musgrave alongside music by Oliver Knussen and Ruth Crawford-Seeger as part of the Academy Lunchtime Recital Series.


Ensemble Renard have recently established relationships with St Matthias Church, Stoke Newington, and the OSO Arts Centre in Barnes where they are planning to put on concerts for local communities in which they can continue to showcase lesser- known works to a more diverse audience. Ensemble Renard were offered a reserve spot on the Britten Pears Chamber Music in Residence scheme 2020/21 and took part in the Tunnell Trust’s Music Coll 2021 on the Isle of Coll in June where they were coached by the Horn players Tim Brown and Caroline Tunnell. The ensemble has performed throughout London and the home counties, taking programmes of quintet classics interspersed with more challenging repertoire to music clubs and lunchtime recital regulars at the Godalming Conservatoire Concerts Series and St-Giles-in-the-Fields among others. Ensemble Renard have been coached by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, and the London Mozart Players.

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