Innovation Chamber Ensemble

 Strings from the

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra


 'Amazingly rich and well-articulated sound quality is a significant feature of the Innovation Chamber Ensemble...The superb interaction between the Ice players in general is admirable making it possible for them to capture and convey every mood they might choose...' (Birmingham Post) 

The Innovation Chamber Ensemble was formed in 2002 by the principal string players of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to make a unique ensemble who strive for performances of the highest calibre. This 'conductor less' group ranges in size to a maximum of sixteen string players and incorporates both enthusiasm and many years of experience from working with 'worldclass' musicians such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo and indeed the CBSO's exciting new music director Andris Nelsons. Due to its versatility I.C.E. is able to perform in venues that would be impossible for the ensemble's bigger cousin. 

I.C.E. was launched to the world in September 2002 with concerts firstly in its orchestral home of the West Midlands and then at the Wigmore Hall in London. The Independent newspaper commented at the time that this was one of the top events to happen nationally in the U.K (second only to a new production of Siegfried). The concert in Birmingham also created major press and radio coverage and prompted Blue Rhythm Records to approach the group about recording the event live. This recording, titled 'ICE ON FIRE' is available with distribution to all major outlets and shops through Nova via Pinnacle, through the Britannia Music magazine and at and

The profile of the Ensemble has also been subsequently raised by significant coverage by both of the nation's classical radio channels. Classic F.M. featured 'ICE on Fire' as CD of the week and also previewed many of the group's concerts with interviews and features. The Innovation Chamber Ensemble has played 'Live' on B.B.C. Radio 3 and ICE on Fire' has also received air time on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 2, Saga and many regional radio stations. The group has also appeared on BBC 4 and the Creative Channel Network television. Articles about I.C.E. have appeared in the Strad, Musical Opinion and Classical Music magazines and Independent, Daily Mirror, Birmingham Post, Evening Mail and many local newspapers.

The group's repertoire is hugely diverse and includes standards by Bach and Vivaldi and encapsulates the great Romantic masters as well as the 20th Century giants of Bartok, Britten, Stravinsky and Schönberg. I.C.E. is also firmly committed to the works of living composers. The two launch concerts featured works by Paul da Vinci alongside that giant of the light music field Robert Farnon (who after hearing the ICE recording of Song of Scandia penned Richard a lovely arrangement of Pictures in the Fire). Further premieres have included Colin Twig's Echoes of Eternity (for cello & strings premiered in Birmingham and subsequently performed in Suffolk and 2007 Deal Festival) and Ivor McGregor's Septet. 

The groups concerts have included several performances at Wigmore Hall and performances at CBSO Centre, Birmingham, St Davids, Fishgaurd and Deal festivals (both 2007 & 2008), concerts in various parts of the country and a special relationship with the county of Shropshire where the group has appeared no less than five times in the last twelve months.

 'i.c.e... on fire' C.D.

(Classic F.M. - Henry Kelly's CD of the week)

(performed live at the C.B.S.O. Centre with the Innovation Chamber Ensemble)


Elgar Serenade