Chamber Music 2000 is a project set up by the Schubert Ensemble in 1998 to provide challenging but technically accessible repertoire for young musicians and amateurs and to broaden awareness and performance of the work of Britain’s most successful and distinctive living composers. To date, over 40 composers have contributed around 55 pieces to the project, all for various combinations of piano and strings, ranging in difficulty from Grade 2 or 3 to Diploma level. Composers are invited to write short pieces pitched at the easiest technical level for which they feel able to write, while still preserving the integrity and individuality of their own musical language.
In the first years of the project the Schubert Ensemble coached around 2,500 young players on Chamber Music 2000 pieces, and performed the works to a further 10,000 in 65 schools. Showcase concerts took place all over the UK, including at the South Bank and Wigmore Hall. In 2006 the Lawson Trio joined CM2000 as an Associate Ensemble, and have continued since then to give workshops, organise showcase concerts and commission new works.
“all the pieces here sustain a high standard of captivating invention that would surely thrill any young players” The Strad
“the Chamber Music 2000 works fill a major gap” Times Education Supplement
“The HBS musicians…. palpably experienced the journey from first finding their piece rather elusive to finally ‘getting it’ and enjoying it being lodged in their brains after the performance! It was a wonderful vision William and the Schubert Ensemble had 10 years ago, and last night showed how CM2K is really going from strength to strength and is coming of age. We look forward to ongoing involvement with the project.” Kathy Bamber, Head of Music, Henrietta Barnett School
“Thank you so much for all your wonderful work with our students. I think the concert was a great success and brought so many different strands of music creation/making together in such a fruitful way. I very much hope that we continue with further collaborations over the years to come, and that we can continue to build on such a great and exciting idea.” Charles Sewart, Head of Strings, Purcell School
“You gave the girls an experience of a life time and I am very grateful to have been a part of it. The welcoming atmosphere that everyone gave them has given them such a positive first experience of professional music making.” Sarah-Jane Gibson, Music Teacher, Garden Suburb Junior School
“The kids had a fabulous time and were really buzzing with the whole excitement of it all – a great experience for them so huge thank you for inviting them and getting Cheryl on board. It was really interesting watching the progression in them all from “yeuk modern music”! to “actually I really enjoyed that”… but it was a very good learning process for them all.” Penny Stirling, Director, Yorkshire Young Musicians
Founded in 1983, the Schubert Ensemble is firmly established as one of the world’s leading exponents of chamber music for piano and strings. Giving more than fifty concerts a year, the Ensemble has visited more than forty different countries, most recently having performed in Bermuda, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA and also made its first tour of China. In 1998, in recognition of its contribution to British musical life, it received the Best Chamber Ensemble Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society, being short-listed again in 2010. It has curated two recent festivals at Kings Place in London, Finding Fauré in 2009 and Saint-Saëns’s Paris in 2010, as well as an Enescu/Dvořák series at the Wigmore Hall, all widely praised. It also programmed the 2010/11 International Chamber Series for Leeds City Council, devising a Viennese season with the title Transfigured Night. Always active in the field of education and audience development, the Schubert Ensemble has carried out performing and educational Residencies at the University of Bristol, Cardiff University, Hall for Cornwall in Truro, Wiltshire Music Centre, and Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as giving workshops and master classes around the country. The Ensemble has built up strong relationships with many of the UK’s leading composers, and has an impressive list of over 80 commissions. It has produced around thirty critically acclaimed CDs of works by composers ranging from Hummel, Mendelssohn, and Brahms to Martin Butler, Judith Weir, and John Woolrich. It has appeared on TV and radio in many countries and is heard regularly on BBC Radio 3.
“To say they play with seasoned eloquence, a unanimity of feeling born of deep communal consideration, is an understatement, for they demand superlatives.”Sunday Times February 2011