Founded in 1991 the group is dedicated to commissioning, performing and promoting new music – particularly by living composers and emerging musicians.
Psappha is the North West’s only stand-alone professional contemporary classical music ensemble. Founded in 1991 the group is dedicated to commissioning, performing and promoting new music – particularly by living composers and emerging musicians.
Throughout its 30-year career, Psappha has commissioned and premiered music by more than 500 composers and has performed across the UK and worldwide on five continents. In the process, it has worked with the likes of Aldeburgh Music, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Proms, BBC Radio 3, Glyndebourne Festival, NMC, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the Royal Northern College of Music, University of Manchester and the Royal Opera House in the UK; Guggenheim New York, the New York Philharmonic and Princeton University in the USA; and Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Jerusalem Festival and Muziektheater Transparant worldwide.
Psappha supports composers at all stages of their careers, inviting them to work with its core musicians to create, develop and present new work. Through its pioneering ‘Composing For…’ scheme, which launched in 2014, the group has worked directly with more than 140 emerging composers on brand new compositions. All these works are premiered via high-quality films on the group’s extensive YouTube channel, which contains more than 230 free-to-view films of live performances and has received more than 120,000 views in the last 12 months alone. The group also launched its own record label in 1997, and its catalogue of recordings are set for re-release in 2021 through its new relationship with NMC Recordings.
Composer Mark-Anthony Turnage was appointed as Psappha’s Patron in 2018 – succeeding Peter Maxwell-Davies, former Master of the Queen’s Music, who served as Patron for 20 years and was an enthusiastic supporter of the group’s work until his death in 2016. An Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner, Psappha is based at Hallé St Michael’s, the former Italian Chapel in the central Manchester neighbourhood of Ancoats.