31 January 2020
La Folle Journée, Nantes
Rebel Rebel; Beethoven the Revolutionary
Beethoven's string quartet in F minor was an experiment; never designed to be played in public, this was music written by a revolutionary to test the boundaries of what was possible, what was deemed acceptable.
This captivating programme inventively explored Beethoven's brilliance alongside his undeniable influence on the music of today, with Pulitzer prize winning composer Carloine Shaw's work 'Blueprint'.
Album Launch Party
The 12 ensemble launched their 2nd album 'Death and the Maiden' by throwing a party at Shoreditch Town Hall. The event featured a performance of music by Beethoven, Caroline Shaw and Oliver Leith.
Ex:Re + 12 ensemble
Kings Place Nov 2019
The 12 ensemble joined Elena Tonra (vocalist/guitarist of Daughter) for a unique, re-imagined performance of her solo record, Ex:Re. To celebrate the one year anniversary of its release, the ensemble brought a renewed perspective to this acclaimed album with brand new arrangements from Tonra’s close collaborator and Ex:Re band member Josephine Stephenson.
Inspired by the ensemble’s time spent on a residency in the remote fjords of Eastern Iceland, and drawing on the group’s contemporary influences, 12 ensemble take Icelandic band Sigur Rós' poignant love song Fljótavík and revel in its beauty with this heart-felt arrangement for solo violin and strings.
This single is taken from the ensemble’s latest album 'Death and the Maiden', released January 2020.
Prom 36: Late-Night Mixtape
13 August 2019
12 ensemble shared the stage with acclaimed choir Tenebrae and guest artists Soumik Datta and Martin James Bartlett for a spell-binding late-night performance.
Barbican Sound Unbound Festival 2019
The 12 ensemble brought new perspectives to some of their major contemporary influences from across the musical spectrum. A suite from the score to There Will be Blood by Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) sits alongside some haunting Tavener and futuristic Prokofiev, plus the world premiere of new commission Honey Siren from young British composer Oliver Leith. The ensemble also welcomed Elena Tonra (Daughter/Ex:Re) for a special collaboration.
Barbican Sound Unbound Festival 2019
Mendelssohn wrote his passionately romantic Octet when he was just 16; a teenager experiencing the ecstasy, elation and anguish of a first love, resulting in one of the greatest works ever written for strings.
12 ensemble followed this with an arrangement of Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós’s Fljótavík.
12 ensemble have commissioned a new work from British composer Oliver Leith. 'Honey Siren' was kindly supported by the Marchus Trust and the Golsoncott Foundation. Premiered May 2019 at the Barbican's Sound Unbound Festival.
12 ensemble joined US alt-rock band The National for a performance of their new album 'I am Easy to Find' in London's Royal Festival Hall.
BBC Radio 6
Members of 12 ensemble joined The National at BBC Maida Vale Studios for a live radio appearance.
REBORN UK TOUR
In September 2018, 12 ensemble toured their 'Reborn' programme across the UK, with performances in The Stoller Hall Manchester, the Barbican London, St George's Bristol and The Good Life Experience in Chester. The ensemble were joined by guest viola soloists Jennifer Stumm and Maxim Rysanov, and culminated in a BBC Radio 3 live concert broadcast. The tour was kindly supported by Imogen & Haakon Overli, and the PRS Foundation's Resonate initiative.
FESTIVAL DE MÚSICA VISUAL
12 ensemble performed works from their debut album 'Resurrection' in Jameos del Agua, a spectacular auditorium in the depths of a volcanic cave.
The ensemble regularly works with acclaimed British composer Max Richter and have performed alongside Max at Philharmonie de Paris (2016), Montreux Jazz Festival (2017), Hamburg Elbphilharmonie & Berlin Philharmonie (2018). The ensemble has also broadcast live with Max on BBC Radio 6 and Trojka Polskie Radio.
Cambridge Music Festival
The ensemble performed a programme featuring octets by Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.
BBC Radio 3
In 2019, 12 ensemble recorded two live broadcasts from Budleigh Music Festival for BBC Radio 3's lunchtime concert series.
AW DANCE COMPANY / BRYCE DESSNER
In November 2017, the 12 ensemble performed a run of shows alongside the Alexander Whitley Dance Company at the Royal Opera House. Alexander Whitley, a former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet, created a new work in response to Ashton’s ballet "Sylvia", set to Bryce Dessner's 2014 composition Réponse Lutosławski.
Barbican Sounds & Visions Festival 2018
BBC Radio 3 live concert broadcast of Max Richter's Infra performed alongside the composer.
ALDEBURGH RESIDENCY AT SNAPE MALTINGS
During an Aldeburgh Residency in May 2017, the 12 ensemble spent a week working intensively on a new collaboration with acclaimed contemporary dance choreographer Alexander Whitley (Royal Ballet, Rambert) and dancer Luke Crook. The ensemble commissioned a new work for solo male dancer to accompany John Woolrich's Ulysses Awakes and gave the first performance at Snape Malting's Britten Studio on 20th May.
In a bold international project for the 2015/16 season, 12 ensemble's principal players visited the beautiful remote town of Seyðisfjörður, Iceland to rehearse and perform intimate chamber music and record a series of live site-specific recordings. The project was partnered with HEIMA, an artistic residency programme in Iceland.
Explore the residency
YELLOW LOUNGE - HAMBURG
In September 2017, members of the 12 ensemble joined Albrecht Mayer, principal oboist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, to perform two baroque works for oboe and strings at Deutsche Grammophon's 'Yellow Lounge' night at the Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg.
CHANGWON INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL
In August 2017, the ensemble travelled to Changwon, South Korea to perform at the 1st Changwon International Chamber Music Festival. The programme included Bartok's Divertimento for strings, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis, Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No.1 with Korean pianist Jenna Sung and the world premiere of Stephen Montague's Ode to Changwon.
12 ensemble joined composer Max Richter to open Montreux Jazz Festival 2017 with a performance of The Blue Notebooks and Vivaldi Recomposed with guest soloist Mari Samuelsen.
In 2017, 12 ensemble gave the UK premiere of Bryce Dessner's Réponse Lutosławski at Kings Place, London.
Budleigh Festival 2019
Members of the 12 ensemble performed Schubert's Cello Quintet and Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence for a live Radio 3 Broadcast.
THE GREEN ROOMS
Housed in a handsome re-purposed art-deco block, The Green Rooms is the UK’s first arts hotel that doubles as a gallery and performance space. With interiors by architecture practice SODA, furniture by fashion label Folk and a wonderful original wood-clad concert space, it was a unique environment in which to catch 12 ensemble perform works from their upcoming album.
THE BRAMALL , BIRMINGHAM
In November 2016, the ensemble gave their Birmingham debut at the Elgar Concert Hall with a stunning programme based around the best of British music for strings. In this programme they performed Walton's Sonata for Strings, John Woolrich's Ulysses Awakes, and their 2014 new music commission from Kate Whitley called Autumn Songs for 12 solo strings.
In 2017 members of the ensemble travelled to Bulgaria for a short residency and concert tour. The ensemble gave the Bulgarian premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova's septet Such Different Paths at the March Music Days festival in Russe and performed Richard Strauss's iconic Metamorphosen in the Bulgaria Chamber Hall, Sofia. The ensemble also gave two days of children's concerts performing in bookstores and museums.
In November 2016, members of the 12 ensemble gave the world premiere of 'OutsideIn', a new violin concerto by composer Alex Hills for violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, at London's new music series Kammer Klang. The ensemble also played the rarely performed work 'Andante' for string quartet by modernist composer Ruth Crawford Seeger.
In June 2017, 12 ensemble joined forces with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich at Kings Place as part of their Cello Unwrapped series. The programme featured works for cello and strings by Vivaldi, Stravinsky, and James MacMillan.
BARBICAN SOUND UNBOUND FESTIVAL 2017
12 ensemble joined Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen in the Barbican's Milton Court to perform two sets of scandinavian contemporary music off her latest No.1 album Nordic Noir. Later in 2017, the 12 ensemble travelled to Oslo to perform with Mari at the spectacular Kulturkirken Jakob as part of Deutsche Grammophon's Yellow Lounge series. They also joined Mari in Germany to perform in Yellow Lounge events in Hamburg and Berlin.
During 2014, the ensemble commissioned it's first new work 'Autumn Songs' for 12 solo strings from young British composer Kate Whitley, with support from the Britten-Pears Foundation and Help Musicians UK. The work was premiered in November 2014 as part of the final concert of the ensemble's Forge residency.
PARIS FASHION WEEK
Members of the 12 ensemble joined the Vionnet catwalk in 2017 for a special show.
FORGE RESIDENCY 2014
During 2014, the 12 were 'Ensemble in Residence' at The Forge, Camden. During the year the ensemble curated six concerts and worked with celebrated artists Nicky Spence, Mei Yi Foo and Simon Rowland-Jones.