New London Chamber Ensemble: Wind Quintet

Robert Manasse flute | Melanie Ragge oboe | Neyire Ashworth clarinet | Stephen Stirling horn | Fraser Gordon bassoon

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You can read and hear more from the NLCE on their website:

Listen to their performance on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

Watch their recent video release for Classic FM.

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a wind quintet with a difference!

“Winning charm and a strong sense of coherence” – BBC Music Magazine

“Individually captivating and collectively brilliant throughout” – Musician Magazine

“Brimful of character… each instrumental part is given a dramatic role and personality” – BBC Radio 3

For almost two decades, the New London Chamber Ensemble has challenged traditional ideas of chamber music with its innovative programmes, combining classic repertoire with semi-staged works incorporating drama, speech and action.

Concert appearances have taken NLCE all over the world. Highlights include:

  • King’s Place, London
  • Premieres at the Cheltenham Festival, 2011 and 2014
  • Courthouse Music, Sweden
  • Banff Festival, Canada
  • Collaborating with pianist Angela Hewitt at the Trasimeno Festival, Perugia and Wigmore Hall, London
  • Two Moors Festival, performing Walton’s Façade with Prunella Scales and Timothy West
  • Collaborating with the Dante String Quartet at the Swaledale Festival and Wigmore Hall
  • The Forge, London with pianist Michael Dussek
  • Leeds International Concert Season
  • Hull City of Culture with Simon Callow

NLCE is passionately dedicated to new music, and regularly commissions new works: composers include Edward Longstaff, John Woolrich, Philip Cashian, Martin Butler, Julian Philips and Sally Beamish. Their critically acclaimed recording of the chamber music of John Woolrich includes a new commission to celebrate the composer’s 50th birthday.

NLCE is committed to outreach and education. They are Ensemble in Residence to the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and give masterclasses and coaching for music colleges, schools and youth music groups. In 2012 they commissioned a new dectet Settala’s Machine by Philip Cashian, as a side-by-side project to be performed with young musicians.

Since its premier at the Royal Welsh Academy of Music and Drama, they have performed the dectet with students from the Purcell School of Music, the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Music (Cheltenham Festival, July 2014), the Junior department at the Royal Academy of Music, and recently made a film of the project with the RAM’s 2018 Leverhulme Fellows in the new Angela Burgess Recital Hall.

NLCE performing Dirty Beasts with Martin Butler and Simon Callow at Hull City of Culture 2017

nlce at 20 / Beethoven at 250

2020 is a year of celebration! The NLCE is going to be 20, and Beethoven is going to be 250!

To mark our 20th anniversary in 2020, which is also the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we are producing a new commissioning and research project where we will look at what Beethoven’s deafness meant to him in his life and work, and explore the experiences of current artists and composers working with hearing loss. 

We are working with partners such as Dame Evelyn Glennie and Music and the Deaf in researching the stories of people with hearing loss today, and developing a concert and workshop experience that allows the project to be toured in a way that allows as many people as possible to enjoy and engage with the performances (including people with hearing loss).

We are exploring techniques for concerts such as live captioning, BSL-based interpretation of the music, and visual effects, and will be offering bespoke pre-concert workshops by the NLCE and Music and the Deaf; we are applying for funding to provide this enhanced, accessible concert experience. The result will be uplifting, explorative, and engaging; bringing the music of Beethoven and his contemporaries to people who might not otherwise have been able to enjoy it, and bringing Beethoven’s story into the context of the present day through interviews and new commissions. 

We are offering new Beethoven-inspired programmes from 2020 onwards, which can include one or more of our newly-commissioned responses to Beethoven’s sketches by various composers including Rachel Stott and Karen Wimhurst. Our new commissions will include works for wind quintet and wind quintet with percussion, to be premiered by the NLCE with Dame Evelyn Glennie. We hope these programme suggestions will give a flavour of what we will be offering; as always, we will be happy to work with you to produce the best programme for your audience. 

Beethoven-inspired repertoire for wind quintet and piano

Beethoven – Quintet in E Flat op 16 for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon & piano. 25’ 

Mozart – Quintet in E Flat K 452 for oboe, clarinet, horn. bassoon & piano 25’

Spohr – Quintet for piano and winds (flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon, piano)

Beethoven-inspired repertoire for wind quintet and smaller groupings without piano

George Onslow – Wind Quintet in F major, Op 81 (1850) 23’

Francesco Antonio Rosetti – Wind quintet in E Flat B6. (1750-1792) 15’

Anton Reicha – Wind Quintet: (flute, cor anglais, clarinet, horn,bassoon) (1770-1836)

Stamitz – Wind Quartet (oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon)

Beethoven – Duo for clarinet & bassoon in C major 10’

Beethoven repertoire for smaller wind groupings with piano

Beethoven Sonata in F major op 17 for horn and piano. 14’

Beethoven Trio in G major, WOo 37 for flute, basson and piano (1786). 25’ 

New commissions based on Beethoven’s sketches from Rachel Stott, Karen Wimhurst and others, for wind quintet and wind quintet and percussion (c5’ each).

sample programme

Basically Beethoven

A programme of works by Beethoven and his contemporaries, with the option of including one or more of our newly commissioned works inspired by Beethoven’s sketches. This is one example; programmes can be compiled from the ideas on the previous page, and can be for wind quintet only, wind quintet with piano, or wind quintet with percussion (to be premiered by Dame Evelyn Glennie).

George Onslow – Wind Quintet in F major, Op 81 (1850)

New Commission (optional)

W. A. Mozart – Quintet in E Flat K 452  for ob, cl, hn. bn & pno


New Commission (optional)

Beethoven – Sonata in F major op 17 for horn and piano

Beethoven – Quintet in E Flat op 16 for ob, cl, hn, bn & pno


For bookings or further information, please contact us here.