Gemini celebrated its thirtieth season in 2004-05. The ensemble has performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad (Australia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Oman, Taiwan); given frequent radio and television broadcasts; has recorded music by Nicola LeFanu (Chandos), David Lumsdaine, Peter Maxwell Davies, Philip Grange and Geoffrey Poole (Metier), John White – Fashion Music (our tribute toTchaikovsky Year ’93) – on the Austrian label LondonHall, nominated by BBC Music Magazine as a Top Forty CD of the Year, Geoffrey Poole (Metier), Philip Grange (Black Box) chosen as a CD of the Year by Gramophone magazine, Lindsay Cooper (Impetus), Howard Skempton (Unknown Public), Stephen Goss (Cadenza), Camden Reeves (Cadenza); and recorded Douglas Young’s music for the video of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester (Vision Venture), which has been shown worldwide on television.
The ensemble is a prizewinner in the music category of the Prudential Awards for the Arts, and has been the recipient of an Arts Council Incentive Award.
Festival appearances have included Aldeburgh, Bath, Brighton, Chester, Guildford, Huddersfield, King’s Lynn, St Magnus, Spitalfields, Warwick & Leamington and other festivals, plus concerts and workshops abroad for the British Council and others.
Since its formation in 1974 Gemini has presented a richly varied repertoire, incorporating standard eighteenth and nineteenth century chamber music, twentieth century music, new music, music theatre, music and dance and improvisation, plus much music by women and other neglected composers, and works inspired by, or influenced by, music outside the Western European tradition. Community and school concerts feature music from the eleventh to the twenty-first century; folk music from around the world, music by children and young people as well as more standard fare. An ongoing series of commissions is developing the use of the bass clarinet in small chamber ensembles.
Gemini was one of the instigators of the festival Hidden Sounds – a celebration of women’s music – in London, out of which grew the influential organization Women in Music.
A pioneer in the field of professional performers in education, with the twin activities of performance and education having developed hand in hand, the ensemble is regularly engaged for residencies combining the two. During these the ensemble helps students and pupils to compose their own music for performance by them and/or Gemini as part of a public concert.
Gemini is Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Surrey and at the University of Bristol; has been Ensemble-in-Association with the Department of Music at the University of Exeter (1996-2007), and was Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of London, Goldsmiths College 1998-2000. The ensemble also has a close association with the departments of music at Southampton and Aberdeen universities.
The ensemble under Ian Mitchell plays chamber music by Peter Maxwell Davies on Metier MSV28503 and is directed by Martyn Brabbins on Metier MSV28519