BBC Radio 3, the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) and the Royal College of Music (RCM), today announce Ensemble Molièreas the first New Generation Baroque Ensemble from October 2021 for two years.

The new scheme aims to showcase and nurture exceptional UK-based ensembles in the early years of their professional careers working in the baroque sphere. It will support them to new heights of professionalism and artistry over a two-year period using the range of expertise, performance and recording opportunities available through each of the partner organisations. A new group will join the scheme in 2023 to begin a new two-year programme, helping to encourage UK Baroque ensembles of the future, supporting artists at a critical stage in their careers.

Ensemble Molière, comprising five musicians performing on historic instruments, has established a strong reputation across the UK and Europe. Known for its distinctive combination of instruments – flute, violin, bassoon, viola da gamba/cello and harpsichord – as well as memorable and creative programmes from the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Ensemble has already performed at many of the leading Baroque and Early Music festivals and has won significant acclaim. 

Chosen through a non-competitive process to become the first New Generation Baroque Ensemble, the Ensemble can now build on its early success. Through a two-year programme centred on residencies at the RCM and NCEM and a regular presence on BBC Radio 3 they can now further develop their professional skills, reputation, profile and artistry.

BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show will feature the group on Sunday 19th  September (2pm) in the first of a series of regular updates, performances and features about the Ensemble.

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3, said:
“For some time we have been keen to see if we can offer help and support to UK-based period-instrument ensembles in the early stages of their careers to allow them to develop and thrive with the same kind of  spirit of innovation and adventure we see in the best ensembles across the world.  With this new scheme – as with our hugely successful New Generation Artists and New Generation Thinkers programmes – we want to support the best new talent and by working in partnership with the chosen Baroque ensembles and with the NCEM and RCM, we hope to build an even richer world of  ambitious, innovative  and thrillingly excellent music-making for the future. We are delighted to welcome Ensemble Molière and look forward to working with them over the coming years to bring their extraordinary music to wider audiences.”

Delma Tomlin MBE, NCEM Director, said:

 “We are thrilled to be part of this UK-based venture which takes place over the next two years and we look forward to welcoming Ensemble Molière who will be performing in our festivals in Beverley and York.  It’s wonderful to be working with the Royal College of Music and BBC Radio 3 once again and this is a fabulous opportunity for Ensemble Molière who have an amazing future ahead of them.”

Professor Ashley Solomon, Head of Historical Performance at the Royal College of Music (RCM) said:

“I am absolutely delighted that together with our colleagues at the NCEM and BBC Radio 3 we have appointed Ensemble Moliere as the first ensemble in the New Generation Baroque Ensemble scheme that we are now launching. Nurturing and inspiring the new generation of historical performers is part of our ethos at the Royal College of Music and I look forward to working with and mentoring the players in this exceptional ensemble. We hope that this unique opportunity will help support and enable them to thrive.”

Ensemble Molière said:

We are thrilled and honoured to be appointed the first ever BBC New Generation Baroque Ensemble, and to become part of the New Generation family. We are looking forward to collaborating with the wonderful team from three organisations – BBC, RCM and NCEM – as well as to the opportunities and experiences we will enjoy on the scheme, including live performances and broadcasts. It will be a fantastic springboard for Ensemble Molière, and will help us reach the next step as a group. We are very grateful to the New Generation Baroque Ensemble team for their support!