"The brilliant Endymion" (Sunday Times) was formed in 1979 from a group of outstanding National Youth Orchestra students; since then it has built a secure reputation across a broad and adventurous repertoire, and won a strong following among audiences throughout the UK and abroad. Unusually for a chamber group so well established, Endymion retains most of its original players; these performers now number among the best soloists and chamber musicians in Europe, and Endymion has been described as one of the few chamber groups as at home with Mozart as with Birtwistle.
Education occupies a central place in Endymion's activities. In addition to the 2009 Sound Census workshops with secondary and primary school children in central London, in 2003-04 it organised the Rising Generation festival at the Southbank Centre, featuring music by thirty young composers. For five years Endymion played a central part in the BBC Proms Guardian Young Composer of the Year competition, and it has also taken part in several projects with SPNM.
Through training as a chorister at King's College Cambridge under Sir David Willcocks, membership of the National Youth Orchestra, undergraduate study at Corpus Christi College Cambridge and two post graduate years as a pupil of Janet Craxton at the Royal Academy of Music, Quentin Poole prepared for a career as a professional musician. He was a founder member of Endymion Ensemble as well as principal oboe for several London orchestras and chamber groups, including the City of London Sinfonia. After joining The Purcell School, Quentin returned to Endymion as a conductor, participating in many of the ensemble's ground-breaking 'Composer Portrait' series of concerts during the 1990s. In 2001 Quentin became Director of Music of the school, and in 2004 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
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Endymion celebrates its 30th anniversary with a survey of new commissions from composers who have worked with the ensemble, from senior figures in British music – such as Anthony Payne, Simon Bainbridge and Simon Holt - to younger composers including Morgan Hayes, Dai Fujikura and Joanna Bailie.
Five new works by student composers, recorded by Endymion as part of its educational Sound Census project are available now as a free download sampler from our download site:
The student composers are:
Harp Helen Tunstall (solo, Cowie), Lucy Wakeford
Flute Helen Keen
Oboe Melinda Maxwell (solo, Holt)
Clarinet Mark van de Wiel, Antony Pay
Bass clarinet Duncan Prescott
Bassoon John Orford
Horn Stephen Stirling (solo, Butler)
Trumpet Bruce Nockles (solo, Fujikura)
Trombone Simon Wills (solo, Maxwell Davies)
Violin Krysia Osostowicz, Clara Biss
Viola Asdis Valdimarsdottir, Krysia Osostowicz
Cello Jane Salmon, Adrian Bradbury
Bass Chi-chi Nwanoku, Corrado Canonici
Percussion Chris Brannick
Piano Michael Dussek
Conductors Quentin Poole, Simon Wills (Wills only)
"It is typical of Endymion, that marvellous champion of new (and old) chamber music, that the ensmeble's 30th birthday prompted no retrospective but a look to the future. ...
Several of these miniatures suspend notions of passing time, not least Melinda Maxwell's hauntingly beautiful Singla Rock, and the mesmirising timbral transformations of A Study in Daylight by Christopher Fox. ...
It almost goes without saying that the Endymion players are first-rate advocates for these works. Like The NMC Songbook, there is a diversity of approach from composers young and not so young here, suggesting British music is in a state of vibrant health."
BBC Music Magazine
"One piece that stands out is Joanna Bailie’s Axis, music with a Feldmanesque combination of faintness and resolution. ... Also exceptional, and altogether different, is Simon Holt’s Disparate, a title to be understood in two languages, English and Spanish ... Yet another treat is Morgan Hayes’s Shatner’s Bassoon. ... The playing is lively and beautiful throughout."
Sound Census was made possible by the generosity of the following funders:
Kings Place Music Foundation
The Foyle Foundation
The PRS Foundation
The Golsoncott Foundation
The Worshipful Company of Mercers
The Radcliffe Trust
The Marina Kleinwort Trust
The Golden Bottle Trust
Colin Matthews is published by Faber Music.
Christopher Fox is published by Fox Editions.
Simon Bainbridge, Brian Elias, Simon Holt and Peter Maxwell Davies are published by Music Sales Ltd.
Martin Butler is published by Oxford University Press.
Dai Fujikura is published by Ricordi (London).
Joe Duddell is published by Schott Music.
Morgan Hayes and Bayan Northcott are published by Stainer and Bell.
Joanna Bailie, Philip Cashian and James Weeks are published by Sound And Music.
Edward Cowie is published by United Music Publishers.
Anthony Gilbert, Vic Hoyland and Philip Venables are published by University of York Music Press.
For publication details of works by Melinda Maxwell, Anthony Payne, Naomi Pinnock and Simon Wills please contact Endymion.
The works in this disc were recorded live in Hall One, Kings Place, London on 4–6 June 2009.
Recording Engineer/Producer/Digital editing: DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Design: FRANCOIS HALL
Cover Photo: MAGNUS JOHANSSON
(P) 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd