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Cambridge University New Music Group performing in the Zoology Museum, January 2020

The Faculty of Music has a long and distinguished history of supporting new music, not least through the appointment of internationally recognised composers such as Alexander Goehr, Hugh Wood and Robin Holloway to its teaching staff. However, the University of Cambridge New Music Group, formerly called the University of Cambridge New Music Ensemble, was founded relatively recently, in 2007, by composer and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.

The New Music Group is currently directed by Richard Causton and designed to offer some of the best student instrumentalists the opportunity of working on performances of the ‘classics’ of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At the same time, the ensemble is intended to give student composers the chance to have their works performed by musicians experienced in playing new music. In 2014, the ensemble performed in the Harrison Birtwistle Festival ‘Secret Theatres: The Music of Harrison Birtwistle’ and more recently worked with Judith Weir and Mark Antony Turnage, the musicians Donna Bateman, Ligeti Quartet and the conductor, Patrick Bailey.

Following a successful 2018-19 season, with concerts in Kettle's Yard and Stapleford Granary, the New Music Group performed in the Museum of Zoology on 31 January 2020, under the direction of the ensemble's new student president, Darren Bloom. 

Alongside its varied concert programme, the New Music Group organises workshop opportunities; recent guests include Mark-Anthony Turnage, Judith Weir and Valgeir Sigurdsson of Bedroom Community. Composition workshops organised by Richard Causton offer weekly occasions for students to hear and discuss new ideas, whilst fortnightly listening sessions address exciting new music outside the classical canon.

Past repertoire includes music by Schoenberg, Knussen and Goehr; and musicians with whom the ensemble has worked include Claire Booth, Oliver Coates and Alexandra Wood.

If you are interested in joining the New Music Group, please contact the CMP team at giving a brief history of your playing experience.