Okeanos ensemble was brought together in 2001 with the aim of creating opportunities for young composers, initiating pioneering performance events, and often collaborating with other art forms.
Following their debut successful debut at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Okeanos was resident at the 2005 Vale of Glamorgan Festival and performed at the BMIC Cutting Edge Series 2005.
Building on the artistic initiatives for Japan 2001, the ensemble was invited by Rolf Hind, Artistic Director of Spnm, to participate in his 2005/2006 Spnm Series Hindsight. In collaboration with the Asian Music circuit and soloists Etsuko Takezawa and Clive Bell, the ensemble worked with 4 young Spnm selected composers to generate innovative compositions, which integrated western and Japanese techniques and traditions. The programme, curated by Rolf Hind, also included works by Toshio Hosokawa, Dai Fujikura as well as traditional works and improvisations. Throughout June 2006, Okeanos Plus toured to Spitalfields Festival, York Late Festival and the RNCM to considerable acclaim.
In July 2006, Okeanos was invited to the City of London Festival to give a concert as part of the Japanese Star Festival. The concert included new work by Dai Fujikura, Judith Bingham and Mai Fukasawa and was recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio3.
The group has received worldwide notice for its recent Dai Fujikura CD, and other rexcent and planned work includes new commissions from Michael Finnissy, Phillip Neil Martin and Lynne Plowman. As well as their Metier CD of the music of Elizabeth Maconchy and Nicola Lefanu the ensemble has also recorded works for oboe & harp by Philip Grange, Lynne Plowman, Judith Bingham and Howard Skempton.
On MSV 92064, the Okeanos players (not the current group pictured) are: Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); Sally Bradshaw (mezzo-soprano; Bridget Carey (viola); Neil Heyde (cello); Kate Romano (clarinet); Jinny Shaw (oboes, cor anglais); Lucy Wakeford (harp); John Turner (recorder).