New Music Players


New Music Players was founded by Ed Hughes in 1990. Early projects included commissions from Michael Finnissy and Howard Skempton, and the first UK performance of John Cage’s Europera 5. The ensemble appeared at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Brighton Festival, ICA, Purcell Room and in many other festivals and venues during the 1990s. In the 2000s NMP held residencies at York, Bristol and Nottingham Universities and broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3.

The ensemble features some of the UK’s finest musicians, and draws inspiration from the range and versatility of their collective experience. Core players are also members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, Manchester Camerata, the English Chamber Orchestra, Psappha, notes inégales and others extending to period instrument performance, jazz and improvisation. The ensemble developed major touring projects in 2005 and 2007, the latter funded by Arts Council England. These featured Ed Hughes’s scores for Eisenstein’s silent films “Battleship Potemkin” and “Strike”, which were taken to venues ranging from the Hove Engineerium to the Atrium of the British Library. In 2010 a concert for the Out Hear series at Kings Place explored music and photography with several film and musical premieres. New Music Players recorded five of its commissions (Ed Hughes, James Wood, Gordon McPherson, Rowland Sutherland, Rolf Hind) for the London Independent Records label in 2003. A CD of works by Japanese composer Jo Kondo appeared in 1996 on the Japanese ALM records label.

NMP recorded Ed Hughes’s scores for Eisenstein’s films “Battleship Potemkin” and “Strike” on a DVD box set released by Tartan Video in 2007. Ozu’s 1932 film “I was born but…” with a score by Ed Hughes was released by the BFI in a new recording by NMP in January 2011. Most recently their concert performance of Ed Hughe’s opera “When the Flame Dies” has been released on DVD and CD by Metier.