| Conrad Marshall, Tim Williams|
Philip Grange, Peter Maxwell Davies, Gordon McPherson, John Casken, London Sinfonietta
Psappha New Music Ensemble is an ensemble of contemporary classical musicians based in the North West of England, specialised in the performance of works by living composers. Founded in 1991 by Artistic Director Tim Williams, the ensemble moved into a new home in 2015, St Michael's, Ancoats, Manchester.
Psappha takes its name from the composition of the same name (Psappha) by Greek modernist composer Iannis Xenakis. The ensemble has a core instrumentation of flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola and cello and have released seven CDs of music by British composers, including John Casken, Piers Hellawell and Gordon McPherson.
Psappha New Music Ensemble Wikipedia
Their Patron until his death in March 2016 was Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Davies was earlier associated with the Fires of London, a group which disbanded in 1987. The "Fires" formed in the 1960s to play Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (1912) and new works with a similar scoring. Psappha has performed Davies' works for Pierrot ensemble, such as Missa super l'homme armé (1968, rev. 1971) and Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969), which were premiered by the "Fires". Psappha has also premiered more recent compositions by Davies, such as Mr Emmet Takes a Walk (2000).
A CD of Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot was described in the Guardian as possessing "wonderful clarity and dramatic immediacy".