Psappha, Manchester's pre-eminent new music ensemble and one of the UK's leading contemporary music groups, was formed in 1991 by its Artistic Director Tim Williams and specialises in the performance of music by living composers and that of the 20th and 21st centuries. The group has an extensive and varied repertoire of hundreds of works and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair. Attracting attention from audiences and from the music press internationally, Psappha won the Manchester Evening News Award for Opera in 2000 and has been shortlisted three times for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society award. Psappha has commissioned and premiered many works by a wide range of composers including the award-winning music-theatre work, Mr Emmet Takes a Walk, by its Patron, Peter Maxwell Davies, also recorded by the original performers.
Psappha has appeared throughout the UK, featuring regularly at most of the country's major music festival including the BBC Proms, special Henze, Maxwell Davies and Bernstein portrait series at London's Southbank Centre, and in residencies at the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney.
Psappha has made highly successful tours to North and South America, Australia, and throughout Europe, and has also appeared in the United States and Hong Kong through residencies at Princeton University and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Having made a number of recordings on various labels, Psappha launched its own CD label in 2004 with Maxwell Davies's Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot. The most recent release, Theatre of Attractions, features music by Kenneth Hesketh.
In its role as Contemporary Ensemble in Residence at The University of Manchester Psappha encourages the breaking down of barriers between artistic and educational experiences, inspiring creativity and the exchange of ideas with students through interactive and collaborative projects. Through its student composer scheme Psappha works with talented composition students to support the composition, workshopping, rehearsal and public performance of new works from the next generation of talented composers. Autumn 2010 saw the launch of Composition Lab, Psappha's online resource to support the composition element of GCSE and A-level music.
A new strand for Psappha is its season of performances at Salford arts/club venue Islington Mill. Following a successful pilot in March 2013 Psappha will perform three further concerts at the Mill between October 2013 and February 2014.
In August 2011 Psappha became the University of Salford
MediaCityUK Ensemble in a unique partnership which uses the latest
in media and digital technology to create exciting new ways of
performing. Tireless in its championing of the music of today,
Psappha is continually seeking to develop new audiences and break
fresh ground through its innovative development of the digital
dissemination of its work through free-to-view films of live
performances which can be viewed online via all devices. Psappha
performances have been viewed online in over 72 different countries
with its website viewed by more than 11,000 unique browsers in the
past year. Psappha welcomes people of all ages to try something new
and become involved with the ensemble and its composers through its
online resources, in performances and projects and at its pre- and
Facebook: /psappha.ensemble Twitter: @psapphaensemble