The OUTCRY ENSEMBLE was founded in 2013 to showcase the talents of young professional musicians. The ensemble pushes the envelope for what young musicians achieve in performance. Its ambitious programming inspires and develops leading national and international musicians.
The OUTCRY ENSEMBLE is a registered charity.
This spring, Outcry returned to St John’s Smith Square. We were very excited to put on a festival that celebrated the masterpieces that are Brahms’s Symphonies and Concertos.
This Brahms Symphony cycle followed the fantastic success of Outcry’s 2021 Beethoven 251 concerts and the Brahms Requiem performance in October 2022. The cycle was performed over two weeks, and featured soloists from the orchestra. Each concert was preceded by a 30 minute talk which explored the music in detail, talked about its context and hopefully made the concert that followed more enlightening. The pre-concert talks started one hour before each concert.
Friday February 24th – 7.30pm
Symphony no. 1, Piano Concerto No. 1 with Chris Hopkins
Sunday February 26th – 6.30pm
Symphony no. 2, Violin Concerto with Oscar Perks
Wednesday March 1st – 7.30pm
Symphony no.3, Piano Concerto No. 2 with Rick Uttley
Friday March 3rd – 7.30pm
Symphony no. 4, Double Concerto with Oscar Perks and Leo Melvin
Here is what Matthew Parris had to say about the October 2022 concert in the Times:
Brahms and bliss
And then on Monday a thrilling evening at St John’s Smith Square in Westminster. My late father had loved Brahms ever since, an apprentice boy at Battersea power station in south London, he was sent by his parents to violin lessons. Admiring Dad, I wanted to love Brahms too, but there were only two compositions that really got to me: his German Requiem and his Alto Rhapsody. So I thought of Dad as my partner and I joined the audience for an evening with the Outcry Ensemble, and Academy of English Voices and Voce. Both compositions were on the billing.
The ensemble, formed and led by the young conductor James Henshaw, had kept the flame burning among young musicians during lockdown — and he had contacted me. And what an evening it was. Everything somehow in balance yet without losing power, and my first encounter with the lovely voices of the mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, the soprano Anita Watson and the deeply resonant baritone Dominic Sedgwick.
It’s super when something that, for me, started as a minor gesture of encouragement to a well-intentioned musical venture bursts into flower, and song, and beauty. How I wished Dad were there.
In the summer of 2021, Outcry held a summer music festival: Beethoven 251 – A Festival of Symphonies in aid of freelance musicians, performing Beethoven Symphonies 1-8 in a week. We completed that cycle with the 9th Symphony and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Cantata for the Death of Joseph II on November 6th 2021 at St John’s Smith Square.
Outcry is looking to expand and do more in 2023. We are always looking for supporters and to expand our regular audience. If you would like to be involved, or to be in contact in any way, please don’t hesitate to write an email to: