"Polished readings... with rapt expressiveness"



The 12 Ensemble is a pioneering un-conducted string ensemble. Modern, dynamic and virtuosic, the group has rapidly developed a reputation as one of Europe's most exhilarating collectives, moving audiences worldwide with powerful musical experiences.

Formed in 2012 by Artistic Directors Eloisa-Fleur Thom & Max Ruisi, the 12 Ensemble’s unique approach to rehearsing, performing & programming sets them apart as a revolutionary ensemble relevant in the 21st century. Exploring great music of the past alongside ground-breaking new commissions and collaborations with outstanding contemporary artists, the ensemble sets itself no boundaries and reaches diverse audiences with exceptional musical experiences.

Always playing without conductor, the core formation brings together twelve of London’s leading chamber musicians. Without a conductor, every member of the group develops an intense engagement with the music they play, combining the thrilling energy, commitment and spontaneous creativity of a small ensemble with the breathtaking sound and power afforded by a larger string orchestra.


The 12 Ensemble are in demand internationally, recently performing at leading venues including the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. The group have also made appearances at leading festivals worldwide, including the BBC Proms in 2019 + 2020, plus performances in the U.S, South Korea and Iceland, as well as multiple broadcasts on BBC TV, Radio 3 + Radio 6 Music. The ensemble have collaborated with contemporary artists such as Max Richter, Jonny Greenwood, Nick Cave, Laura Marling, The National, Elena Tonra and choreographer Alexander Whitley. The group also recorded Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack to the film 'Spencer' (set for release late 2021) and will feature in a new TV programme for Sky Arts (set to air November 2021).


The 12 ensemble have released two highly critically-acclaimed albums, Resurrection (2018) and Death and the Maiden (2020). With their own arrangement of Schubert’s iconic string quartet at its heart, Death and the Maiden is a highly-charged personal journey through an evolving musical landscape, featuring accompanying works by Tavener and Icelandic band Sigur Rós plus a new commission from the ROH Composer-in-Residence Oliver Leith.

"Spunk, originality and class"