About 12 ensemble
The 12 ensemble is rapidly developing a reputation as London’s foremost un-conducted string orchestra. A bold, versatile and virtuosic ensemble, the group is built around a core of twelve of London’s finest and most exciting chamber musicians. Committed to always performing without a conductor, the 12 ensemble breathes new life into the concept of the chamber orchestra. Having adopted the smallest possible formation at its heart, the ensemble creates performances that are as intimate, dedicated and dynamic as that of a string quartet but with the breathtaking sound afforded by twelve world-class string players. Founded in 2012 by Artistic Directors Eloisa-Fleur Thom (Leader) and Max Ruisi (Principal Cello), the group’s youthful energy and passion for chamber music is at the heart of their music-making. Fearlessly programming bold new works alongside the greats of the string orchestral repertoire, the ensemble strives to bring exceptional music to as diverse an audience as possible. Equally at home performing on a warehouse rooftop as an international concert hall, the group seamlessly cross musical genres and create experiences relevant to both existing and new audiences of classical music. Winners of the Help Musicians Emerging Excellence Award in 2014, the group were ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at The Forge for 2014/15, collaborating with international artists including tenor Nicky Spence, pianist Mei Yi Foo and violist Simon Rowland-Jones, as well as giving performances at ‘La Mortella’ Festival (Italy), Dalston Roof Park (London), and the North Norfolk Music Festival. 2015 has seen the ensemble record their debut album, featuring works by Walton, Woolrich and young British composer Kate Whitley; “a generation tainted by nothing except enthusiasm, daring, virtuosity and idealism is blazing onto the scene. Kate Whitley is typical of this bold new breed”- The Times, 2011. The group have also enjoyed a diverse series of performances, including a sell-out concert at the King’s Place Festival and performing live for a show at Paris Fashion Week. For 2016 the group will be travelling to Iceland, where they will hold a HEIMA Artistic residency; rehearsing, performing and living together for a number of trips throughout the year.