In 2021, the Dionysus Ensemble received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was selected by The British Council to represent the UK in their Australia Season in 2022. Additionally, in 2018, TDE became the first-ever professional musical ensemble to be officially attached to the Commonwealth.
As part of TDE’s Commonwealth work, the ensemble has delivered a Music for Social Change outreach project in The Solomon Islands and delivered an instrumental project bringing school children together as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival.
TDE was honoured to play at the Commonwealth Day service in 2019, which was broadcast live internationally from Westminster Abbey by the BBC. After the service, founder and Artistic Director Léonie Adams was presented to HM The Queen and senior members of the Royal Family and Government at the request of The Palace.
Since then, TDE has been invited to perform at private events for the Royal Commonwealth Society and at Marlborough House for Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, including for the inaugural Commonwealth Day Heads of State Banquet in 2020.
In 2020, The Commonwealth Secretariat commissioned TDE to create an online Commonwealth musical video with performers from each member nation coming together during the pandemic – the United Commonwealth Covid Music Project, which was followed in 2022 by a pan-Commonwealth music video for the Platinum Jubilee – New Every Morning.
The Dionysus Ensemble was commissioned by the Mayor of London in 2021 as part of his “Let’s Do London” campaign to provide a series of interactive Pop-Up performances in central London mainline train stations.
From 2013 to 2020, the string team from The Dionysus Ensemble ran three not-for-profit interactive children’s concert series. TDE has delivered many outreach projects, including poetry and music with vulnerable teenagers in Slough, a climate change music project for Jesuit Missions in three of their UK schools, and a workshop and performance project with children and community groups for HOMESlough as part of the COP26 climate change summit.
TDE has also released a world premiere recording of newly discovered music by William Herschel to critical acclaim as part of the bicentenary celebrations in 2022 for William Herschel.
The Dionysus team are all experienced educators, instrumental teachers, coaches, and outreach providers, and have taken musical projects into a wide range of communities. They explore music and communication through composition, improvisation, and performance with instruments, songs, and sounds, bringing a project to life through music in schools, nurseries, hospitals, prisons, and care homes.
One of The Dionysus Ensemble’s founding ethos is to bring live music into situations where none might be present.
The Commonwealth Secretariat once again commissioned our ensemble in association, The Dionysus Ensemble, to produce a special project to mark HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The project brought together musicians and artists from across the Commonwealth to celebrate the incredible wild and scenic locations in the region.
The video features a brand-new piece of music that was co-created by Commonwealth musicians, composers, and creatives. It includes illustratrations by Commonwealth artists and photographers to showcase the variety and wide array of environmental riches that can be found throughout the region. The aim of the project was to celebrate and share the diverse beauty of the Commonwealth.
What makes this project truly unique is that the piece of music was created through a collaborative process that involved ideas and influences from all over the Commonwealth. Traditional and folk tunes were incorporated alongside sounds from nature, and musical compositions created by individuals composing in their home countries. This resulted in a beautiful and diverse musical composition that represents the unity and diversity of the Commonwealth.
This project is a beautiful tribute to the Commonwealth and a celebration of its natural riches. We are grateful to the Dionysus ensemble for producing this as part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations and hope that the project will inspire others to appreciate and protect the natural wonders of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Resounds ensemble in association, The Dionysus Ensemble, are creating a Commonwealth-wide video celebrating the natural wonders of the Commonwealth through music & art. Musicians, artists, photographers, creatives & composers – every age, ability, instrument & art form are very welcome!
This video will feature a new piece of music created by Commonwealth musicians, composers & creatives and illustrated by Commonwealth artists & photographers, to demonstrate the variety & wide array of incredible wild & scenic locations around the Commonwealth, celebrating & sharing the diverse environmental riches in the Commonwealth.
A contributor doesn’t have to be a performer – you could be an artist or creative illustrating the video, you could be involved in composing & creating the music, you could be a performer on the video. Your music could be recorded natural sounds, traditional music from your country or practised performance from notated music provided by The Dionysus Ensemble
The Dionysus Ensemble, along with musicians from all over the Commonwealth, created a musical project that aimed to celebrate unity and resilience during the pandemic. The project centered around a performance of Simple Gifts, a beautiful and uplifting piece of music that speaks to the power of community.
The project brought together musicians from all over the world, who recorded their parts individually and were brought together virtually to create the final performance. The result was a beautiful and inspiring rendition of Simple Gifts that showcased the power of music to bring people together, even in the midst of a global crisis.
The Dionysus Ensemble’s leadership and vision for this project was instrumental in its success. They provided the inspiration and guidance that allowed the project to come to fruition, and they brought together a diverse group of musicians who represented the best of the Commonwealth’s musical traditions.
The performance of Simple Gifts was a beautiful tribute to the power of music to uplift and inspire, even in the darkest of times. It was a reminder that we are all connected, and that by working together and supporting each other, we can overcome even the greatest challenges.
Dionysus Ensemble in the Solomon Islands
The Commonwealth Resounds Ensemble-in-Residence, the Dionysus Ensemble, recently traveled to the Solomon Islands to lead a musical project for young people. The project was aimed at empowering young people to express themselves through music and to develop their musical skills.
The project involved a series of workshops and performances that were held in different parts of the Solomon Islands. The workshops were designed to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about music theory, composition, and performance. The Dionysus Ensemble worked closely with the young people, providing them with guidance and support as they developed their skills.
The project was a huge success, with young people participating in the workshops and performances. The young people were excited to learn about music and to work with the Dionysus Ensemble. They were also inspired by the Ensemble’s commitment to music and their passion for teaching and mentoring young musicians.
One of the highlights of the project was a performance that was held at St Barnabas Cathedral in Honiara in Honiara. The performance featured the young people who had participated in the workshops, as well as members of the Dionysus Ensemble. The performance was a celebration of the young people’s musical talents and their hard work throughout the project.
The project was a great example of how music can bring people together and create positive change. It provided young people with the opportunity to learn about music and to develop their skills, while also empowering them to express themselves creatively.
You can find a report of the project here, written by Ensemble Leader Léonie Adams.
The Dionysus Ensemble in the Solomon Islands
The Commonwealth Resounds Ensemble-in-Association, the Dionysus Ensemble recently travelled to the Solomon Islands to lead a musical project for young people. This project provided expert instrumental teaching for existing students in piano and violin as well as giving some children their first ever instrumental lessons, including the first ever cello lesson on the Islands!
The Dionysus Ensemble ran a “Go Compose Solomon Islands” day, which for the first time, introduced composition and trained the students not only how to create their own music, but to write it down. The day was focussed on music theory and notation practices as well as the importance of music being documented for posterity so that their music can be shared, performed by others and last into the future. Our students returned over the following few days with pages of newly created music, which they’d worked on at home after class, to ask advice, seek out new ideas and direction and to check their work with us. We performed and recorded all of their pieces for them so that each student now has a professionally performed record of their first piece.
I couldn’t sleep last night because I wanted to practise!
You taught me to be brave and to play the piano
Great teachers and musicians. Loved learning from them and listening to them playing their instruments. Such great inspirations.
Beyond this Project
We would love to be able to continue the work that we started – to put in place regular teaching, a regular concert itinerary in which they could perform, to develop their composition skills, to increase the number of students able to have access to PASI and to take desperately needed resources such as instruments, spare strings, manuscript paper and music stands over for them.
This project would not have been possible without the kind and generous support of our sponsors and supporters.
- The British High Commission, Honiara
- Solomon Airlines
- Universal Edition
- The Mercers’ Company
- The Royal Society of St George
- Imperial Travel, Solomon Islands
Find out more! A full account of the Dionysus ensemble’s time in the Solomon Islands can be found here