Aurora Orchestra

Aurora Orchestra

Since its creation in 2005, Aurora Orchestra has rapidly established itself as the most significant new British chamber orchestra in a generation, and one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras, combining electrifying live performance with a uniquely creative approach to programming and presentation. Under the artistic direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, Aurora has developed flourishing series at LSO St Luke’s and Kings Place, and also appears regularly at other major London venues including Southbank Centre, Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall. The orchestra enjoys an increasingly busy touring calendar both in the UK and internationally, and has worked with a roster of world-class artists including Ian Bostridge, Gerald Finley, Angelika Kirchschlager, Anthony Marwood, Kate Royal, Maxim Rysanov and Robin Ticciati.


Recent and future highlights include tours to Bremen, Shanghai, Melbourne, St Petersburg and Brazil; a major new series for the Southbank Centre in 2013 as part of its year-long festival of twentieth-century music The Rest is Noise; televised concerts for the BBC Proms and a Christmas Day special on BBC 2; the launch of three UK regional residencies; and the release of a debut disc for Warner Classics in January 2015. Aurora is the youngest-ever recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Ensemble Award – the UK’s most prestigious award for live classical music.


Based at Kings Place since 2009, Aurora has played a central role in the venue's year-long 'Unwrapped' series devoted to Mozart (2011), Brahms (2012), Bach (2013), Chamber Classics (2014), and Minimalism (2015), and was formally installed as the Kings Place Resident Orchestra in 2013. As the UK’s most creative orchestra, Aurora has developed a particular reputation for innovative programming incorporating a wide variety of musical styles and art forms, focused around its New Moves series at LSO St Luke’s in London. Since its launch in 2010, New Moves has pioneered a new kind of ‘Orchestral Theatre’, infused with eclectic repertoire combinations, innovative presentation, and inspiring artistic partnerships ranging across dance, film, visual art and theatre. Recent highlights have included collaborations with Brazilian capoeira dancers, klezmer musicians, painters, and breakdancers; the Australian film-maker Jon Frank and the US horror novelist Peter Straub. The series has attracted consistent critical acclaim, with one recent review describing “an almost belligerent brilliance” (Geoff Brown, The Times).


Guided by the conviction that orchestral music should be accessible, alive and relevant to the broadest possible audience, Aurora’s activities extend to myriad settings beyond the concert hall, with a varied programme of work in schools, hospitals and other community settings. Recent highlights of its programming for family audiences have included major televised family performances for the BBC Proms in collaboration with Aardman Animation (creators of Wallace and Gromit), and CBBC’s award-winning Horrible Histories series, as well as the launch of a new series of storytelling family concerts at Kings Place entitled Far, Far Away.

Daniel, Nicholas

Nicholas Daniel’s distinguished career began when, at the age of 18,  he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. At his debut at the BBC Proms in 1992 the Sunday Times described him as one of the greatest exponents of the oboe in the world. Today one of the UK's most distinguished soloists as well as an increasingly successful conductor, he has become an important ambassador for music and musicians in many different fields.
Nicholas has been heard on every continent, and has been a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. A champion of contemporary music, he has premiered works by many distinguished composers including Thea Musgrave, John Tavener, Henri Dutilleux and Harrison Birtwistle.    Nicholas is a founder member of the Haffner Wind Ensemble and the Britten Oboe Quartet; he gives regular recitals and plays chamber music with many distinguished instrumentalists and ensembles.

As a conductor, Nicholas has worked with orchestras in the UK and abroad, and is Associate Artistic Director of the Britten Sinfonia.  He is also Artistic Director of the Leicester International Festival and teaches in the UK and in Germany, where he is Professor of Oboe at the Hochschule für Musik,  Trossingen.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Harte

Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, has residencies across the east of England in Norwich, Cambridge (where it is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University) and Saffron Walden, where the orchestra becomes Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall in Autumn 2016. The orchestra also performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including the Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms. The orchestra’s growing international profile includes regular touring to North and South America and Europe. The orchestra made its debut in China in May 2016 with a three-concert residency in Shanghai, as well as performances in Beijing and Wuhan.

Founded in 1992, the orchestra is inspired by the ethos of Benjamin Britten through world-class performances, illuminating and distinctive programmes where old meets new, and a deep commitment to bringing outstanding music to both the world’s finest concert halls and the local community. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega

The Nash Ensemble

The Nash Ensemble

Artistic Director: Amelia Freedman CBE FRAM

The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest chamber groups and, through the dedication of its founder and artistic director Amelia Freedman and the virtuosity of its players, has gained a similar reputation all over the world. The repertoire is vast and the imaginative, innovative and unusual programmes are as finely architectured as the beautiful Nash terraces in London from which the group takes its name. Not that the Nash Ensemble is classically restricted; it performs with equal sensitivity and musicality works from Mozart to the avant-garde, having given first performances of over 255 new works to date. These include 150 commissions especially written for the Group, providing a legacy for generations to come. An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works.

The Nash makes many foreign tours: concerts have been given throughout Europe and the USA, and in South America, Australia and Japan. The group is a regular visitor to many British music festivals and can be heard on radio, television, at their renowned annual series at Wigmore Hall as well as at the Southbank Centre and the BBC Proms, and at music clubs throughout the country. The ensemble has won the Edinburgh Festival Critics' music award 'for general artistic excellence', and two Royal Philharmonic Society awards in the small ensemble category 'for the breadth of its taste and its immaculate performance of a wide range of music'.

Image Credit: 
Hanya Chlala/ PAL

Brabbins, Martyn

Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.
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Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Daniel oboe
Britten Sinfonia
Nash Ensemble
Martyn Brabbins conductor


Three influential and varied British composers across three generations have been paired with three leading British ensembles on this album of new chamber works, commissioned as part of The Radcliffe Trust's Tercentenary and recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London.

Composer Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music. Her sound is frequently described as ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre-defying’ and her music has been performed everywhere from the BBC Last Night of the Proms to rock and pop festivals. Tripotage Miniatures is, as the title suggests, about messing about with things (Anna says ‘jiggery pokery’ is her favourite translation of the French term). Sounds change and stutter and tonal colours drain and become murky. Instruments interrupt and sound like they are trying to trip one another up.

Postludes by Colin Matthews is dedicated to his good friend, the composer Oliver Knussen, who died whilst the piece was being written in 2018. Matthews’ says he had Knussen’s Cantata for oboe quartet in his mind from the start, and this piece – written for oboe quartet plus string quartet - has a poignant, elegiac feel and the atmosphere of after-event with which the title accords.

Alexander Goehr’s after 'The Waking' is named after a poem by Theodore Roethke, which the composer has previously set to music for two voices. This quintet, performed by the Nash Ensemble, is a fantasia in five movements on material that Goehr explains ‘wouldn’t let me go’ from the earlier work.


'Anna Meredith's Tripotage Miniatures are wittily vivacious' The Sunday Times

'[Colin Matthews’ Postludes] has an expressively elegiac nature. There is some virtuoso writing here, especially a dazzling part for oboist Nicholas Daniel, and members of the Britten Sinfonia shine.' Financial Times ★★★★

'an ultimate chamber music event … [Alexander Goehr’s after ‘The Waking’] is beautifully realised by the Nash Ensemble' BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★

'Nicholas Daniel gives his all in [Postludes] and there can be no doubting the commitment or insight of each group, heard to advantage in the fabled Wigmore acoustic.' Gramophone

Official Charts


NMC is grateful to The Radcliffe Trust for making this album possible.

NMC would like to thank John Gilhooly and all at Wigmore Hall for their assistance in the making of this recording.


Tripotage Miniatures was co-commissioned by The Radcliffe Trust, NMC Recordings and Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffman, president of the Fondation Hoffman, a Swiss grant-making foundation.

after 'The Waking' was commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffman, the Radcliffe Trust and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Postludes was commissioned by the Radcliffe Trust and Wigmore Hall for the Britten Sinfonia.


Tripotage Miniatures was recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London on 24 September 2016. after 'The Waking' was recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London on 20 September 2017. Postludes was recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London on 6 February 2019.


Faber Music
Schott Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D239
Release Date:
13 March 2020