Sussie Ahlburg

Hebrides Ensemble

Hebrides Ensemble, based in Scotland, is an ensemble of chamber music, performing a broad repertoire from Brahms and Schubert and all the way up to contemporary music. The ensemble varies in size and instrumentation, matching the right players for the right programme.

Co-founded and led by its artistic director, the cellist and conductor William Conway, the Ensemble has an impressive list of commissioned works (over 70 since its inception in 1991), emphasizing its commitment to new music and supporting contemporary composers. Particularly the ensemble has focus on Scottish or Scottish-based composers, including Peter Maxwell-Davies and several others.

Concerts of the Hebrides Ensemble takes place in a variety of venues, as getting out of the concert hall and into more cool places is one way to reach out for a broader audience. Also the Hebrides concerts often have a strong theatrical focus, the performance freuently being dramatized in cooperation with lightening designers, actors, dancers and other artists.

The concerts by the Hebrides Ensemble resulted in the following resource:

The concert hall vs. alternative venues

The Hebrides Ensemble held two concerts aiming to take their work beyond the major venues, comparing the audience's experience at a concert hall and at an alternative venue. The ensemble held a third concert marking the start of a new collaboration with young musicians from the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland. They made an extensive audience survey at the three concerts. The survey indicates that when programming new music as part of a concert, the ensemble should make sure that the whole experience matches the concert. It also shows that including modern work in classical programmes can help redefine the perception of what your ensemble represents amongst audiences. This evaluation report shows the findings of the survey.

Hebrides Ensemble

United Kingdom
Founding Year: 
Artistic Director: 
William Conway
Contact Person: 
Jennifer Martin
Box 141, 44 – 46, St. Georges West Church, 58 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, EH2 4RT

This ensemble is participating in the following Working Communities: