Winners of the Royal Overseas League Mixed Ensemble Competition 2019, Tunnell Trust Awards 2017, Park Lane Group Young Artists 2015/16 and winners of Nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands 2014, The Hermes Experiment is a contemporary quartet made up of harp, clarinet, voice and double bass. Capitalising on their deliberately idiosyncratic combination of instruments, the ensemble regularly commissions new works, as well as creating their own innovative arrangements and venturing into live free improvisation. The ensemble has commissioned over 50 composers at various stages of their careers. Recent highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, BBC Radio 3 Open Ear at LSO St Luke’s, Tallinn Music Week, St Petersburg’s Sound Ways Festival, Southbank Centre, Kings Place and Spitalfields Festival.
The Hermes Experiment are one of this year’s showcase artists the Classical Next Conference 2019. In January 2019, they celebrated their fifth birthday with a concert supported by Arts Council England and RVW Trust, and recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The ensemble also strives to create a platform for cross-disciplinary collaboration. In June 2015, they created a ‘musical exhibition’ with photographer Thurstan Redding, and in September 2016 during an Aldeburgh Music Residency, they developed a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
The ensemble is also dedicated to the value of contemporary music in education and community contexts. In 2014-15, they took part in Wigmore Hall Learning’s schemes, and they are ensemble in residence for the Young Music Makers of Dyfed 2018-19. In 2017-18, they worked with composition students from both The Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban. They are running similar projects in 2018-19 at both institutions.
The quartet has received funding from Arts Council England, Aldeburgh Music, the RVW Trust, Hinrichsen Foundation, Britten-Pears Foundation, Future of Russia Foundation, Oleg Prokofiev Trust, Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, PRS for Music Foundation and Help Musicians UK.