Biography of Gemini:
Gemini has performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad (Australia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Oman, Taiwan); given frequent radio and television broadcasts; has recorded music by Peter Maxwell Davies (Divine Art/Metier, released in 2008 – Sunday Times Contemporary CD of the Year); John White – Fashion Music (our tribute to Tchaikovsky Year ‘93) – on the Austrian label LondonHall, nominated by BBC Music Magazine as a Top Forty CD of the Year; Philip Grange (2 CDs: Black Box and Metier; both chosen as a Critic’s Choice of the Year by Gramophone magazine); Nicola LeFanu (Chandos); David Lumsdaine (2 CDs: NMC and Metier); Geoffrey Poole (Metier); Lindsay Cooper (Impetus); Howard Skempton (Unknown Public); Stephen Goss (Cadenza); Camden Reeves (Cadenza); Giles Easterbrook (Prima Facie), and recorded Douglas Young’s music for the video of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester (Vision Venture), which has been shown worldwide on television.
Festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Bath, Brighton, Chester, Guildford, Huddersfield, King’s Lynn, St Magnus, Spitalfields, Warwick & Leamington; and there have been concerts and workshops abroad for the British Council and others.
The ensemble is a prizewinner in the music category of the Prudential Awards for the Arts, and has been the recipient of an Arts Council Incentive Award. Gemini celebrated its thirtieth season in 2004-05 and since its formation has presented a richly varied repertoire, incorporating standard eighteenth and nineteenth century chamber music, twentieth century music, new music, music theatre, music and dance and improvisation, plus much music by neglected composers.
Community and school concerts feature music from the eleventh to the twenty-first century; folk music from around the world, music by children and young people as well as more standard fare. An ongoing series of commissions is developing the use of the bass clarinet in small chamber ensembles.
Gemini was one of the instigators of the festival Hidden Sounds – a celebration of women’s music – in London, out of which grew the influential organization Women in Music. A pioneer in the field of professional performers in education, with the twin activities of performance and education having developed hand in hand, the ensemble is regularly engaged for residencies combining the two. During these the ensemble helps students and pupils to compose their own music for performance by them and/or Gemini as part of a public concert.
Gemini is Ensemble-in-Residence at Bristol University; was Ensemble-in-Residence at Surrey University from 2003-10; at the University of London, Goldsmiths College 1998-2000, and was Ensemble-in-Association with the Department of Music at the University of Exeter from 1996-2007.