CoDI Mentors 2019/20
Formed in 1991 by Artistic Director Tim Williams, Psappha specialises in the performance of work by living composers and in music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Psappha has an extensive and varied repertoire of hundreds of works and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair.
Psappha is unique in its artistic offering as the North of England’s only stand-alone, professional contemporary classical music ensemble. A National Portfolio Organisation for Arts Council England and a Talent Development Partner for PRS Foundation, Psappha is based at St Michael’s, the former Italian Chapel in Ancoats, an inner-city area of Manchester that was once the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.
Sir Peter Maxell Davies was Psappha’s Patron for 20 years until his death in March 2016 and was the ensemble’s inspiration. Psappha gave a special 80th birthday concert for Max in Manchester in 2014 and has performed much of his chamber repertoire including the award-winning music-theatre work Mr Emmet Takes a Walk which he wrote for Psappha in 2000. The group is proud to welcome Mark-Anthony Turnage CBE, one of the most significant creative figures to have emerged in British music in the last three decades, as Psappha’s Patron from summer 2018 and looks forward to working with him over the coming months and years.
Psappha has appeared throughout the UK, featuring regularly at most of the country’s major music festivals and has made highly successful tours to North and South America, Australia, and throughout Europe, also appearing in the United States and Hong Kong through residencies at Princeton University and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Most recently Psappha toured to the Jerusalem Festival in June 2017.
Psappha launched its own CD label in 2004 and has released seven recordings, most recently a unique, limited edition vinyl recording supervised by Peter Maxwell Davies of his iconic Eight Songs for a Mad King.
Psappha supports composers at all stages of their careers, offering a range of opportunities to work with its expert musicians as well as a number of online film-based resources; Composition Lab supports GCSE and A-level music and Psappha Kids supports the music curriculum for 7 to 11 year-olds.
Psappha continually seeks to develop new audiences and break fresh ground. Through its websites Psappha provides more than 160 free-to-view films of live performances. The ensemble’s YouTube Channel had over 70,000 views in the last 12 months making Psappha one of Europe’s leading providers of new music online.