Ellie Blamires, flute
Imogen Davies, oboe
Holly Isherwood, clarinet
George Strivens, horn
Patrick Bolton, bassoon
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 backgrounds. After less than six months of 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.
Ensemble Renard 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. From Gershwin to Knussen, each piece they play demonstrates the kaleidoscopic versatility of the ensemble, and most Ensemble Renard concerts feature works especially written or arranged for the ensemble.
Ensemble Renard have quickly emerged onto the scene as one of the UK’s most promising young chamber ensembles. In 2022, while completing a Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music, the ensemble won a Tunnell Trust award, and were made Britten-Pears Young Artists. Performance Highlights of the ensemble’s 2021/22 season include their European debut at the Dinard Opening Festival in Brittany, performances at the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival in collaboration with Guy Johnston and students from the Purcell School, and an appearance on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ with Sean Rafferty.
Ensemble Renard champion new music, and so far in 2022 have premiered over ten new commissions. They have given a number of recitals at the Royal Academy of Music, where they have worked with and learned from esteemed composers including Hans Abrahamsen and John Woolrich in preparation for performances of their repertoire. In 2023, Ensemble Renard will give a recital at Folkestone New Music, celebrating wind chamber music from across the span of the 20th Century.
The Ensemble’s members are some of the most promising young classical musicians of the moment, who have performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Riot Ensemble, Manchester Camerata, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Touring Opera, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, and the English National Opera, to name but a few.
Ensemble Renard’s concert diary has something for everyone. They can be found performing traditional recitals at music clubs up and down the country, putting on family concerts with narrator and school-based workshops, recitals in collaboration with organisations including Wigmore Hall and Spitalfields Music, in addition to performances at new music festivals in collaboration with a host of different composers.
The 2022/23 season will see Ensemble Renard continue to take their work across the UK, with the second of two Scottish tours sponsored by the Tunnell Trust; performances at Snape Maltings as Britten-Pears Young Artists; recitals with the Iffley Music Society, Marlborough’s Brilliant International Young Musicians series, and a return to the Llanfyllin Music Festival in Wales.