HAFfNER wind ensemble
The Haffner Wind Ensemble is one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles and one of the most established wind quintets in Britain. Each member of the ensemble is a chamber musician and a soloist as well as a principal of the Britten Sinfonia; in addition, all are experienced teachers in the UK and abroad. The breadth of their musical experience as individuals and their extensive work together in the Britten Sinfonia combine to create a secure and fluent ensemble, one which plays with freshness and vivacity and which excels not only in the classics of the wind repertoire but also in contemporary music.
In addition to playing wind quintets, the ensemble brings together colleagues and guests to play larger scale chamber music, including quintet with piano, octet and nonet as well as works such as Mozart’s Gran Partita for thirteen winds and double-bass and the new arrangement by Maurice Hodge of Mozart’s Piano Duet Sonata K497 for the same forces with flute. Pianists with whom they have worked include Imogen Cooper, Paul Lewis, Angela Hewitt, Kathryn Stott and Julius Drake.
The Haffner Wind Ensemble’s repertoire includes many standard classics as well as contemporary works, old and new arrangements and music for education programmes and workshops. The ensemble can boast an impressive list of new commissions from such leading composers as Michael Berkeley, Martin Butler, Gary Carpenter, Philip Cashian, Colin Matthews, Anthony Powers and John Woolrich.
The ensemble is regularly heard on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and other broadcasting organisations and has toured extensively throughout the UK and overseas including appearances at major festivals such as Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Stockholm and the Proms. It has taken part in major educational projects in the UK and has been the resident ensemble for South East Arts and the University of Southampton.
Recordings include the complete wind chamber music of William Alwyn, the highly successful Haffner Collection featuring regular recital classics, the critically acclaimed CD of Sonatina No.2 for Sixteen Wind by Richard Strauss and a recording of both wind quintets by Françaix. They have also released a best-selling CD of Mozart wind concertos, including the Sinfonia Concertante, for the Classic FM label; this recording is broadcast regularly.
The Haffner Wind Ensemble enjoys an enviable reputation for imaginative programming, juxtaposing the classic and the contemporary, for championing contemporary music, for outstanding musicianship and, above all, for its warm and engaging performances.