We are an exciting, new chamber ensemble based in London, UK. We believe in bringing a wide variety of chamber music to new audiences using exciting new cross-art collaborations to offer immersive concert experiences.

Ensemble Perpetuo is a dynamic and versatile collective of musicians who perform a wide variety of traditional and contemporary chamber music in new settings. Founded in 2013 by English oboist, James Turnbull, Ensemble Perpetuo aims to bring chamber music to new audiences through exciting collaborations and innovative repertoire choices.

Ensemble Perpetuo is building numerous partnerships with composers, theatres, dance companies, chefs, artists, photographers, film makers and digital studios. It seeks new pathways in which to experiment and augment the concert experience through multi-art form collaborations. Perpetuo has also embarked on a number of exciting mini-residences throughout the UK and is taking music to new venues including concerts in theatres, museums, cafes, found spaces and other unexpected locations.

Perpetuo have recently appeared in the Rye Festival and recorded their debut recording due for release in June 2015 by Champs Hill Records. An exciting season of events lies ahead for the group in 2015 as they begin a series of site specific performances of chamber music in found locations throughout London.

Ensemble Perpetuo is made up of active soloists and orchestral musicians who can be found performing in numerous orchestras and prestigious venues throughout the UK.


Ensemble Perpetuo was formed in 2013 by the English oboist, James Turnbull.

Described by The Independent as “a worthy champion” of contemporary oboe music, James has dedicated much of his performing life to promoting and extending the oboe repertoire. James has performed frequently throughout the UK and Europe including a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall in 2010. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and appeared as a soloist  in numerous UK festivals including Oxford, Leicester, Cambridge, Thaxted, Ryedale, Machynlleth, Swaledale and, King’s Lynn. James has released solo recordings for Champs Hill Records, Quartz Music and the ABRSM as well as featuring on a disc of Thea Musgrave’s works for Harmonia Mundi USA. Gramophone Magazine described his debut recital disc, Fierce Tears, as a “notable debut” and it was selected as the Editor’s Choice Recording by Classical Music Magazine.

James was seven when he began his oboe studies, learning with Irene Pragnell, Melanie Ragge, Celia Nicklin, Tess Miller and Chris Cowie. After gaining a First Class degree in music from Christ Church, Oxford University, James continued his oboe studies at the Royal Academy of Music and under Nicholas Daniel at Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany, where he was awarded First Class for both his Artist and Soloist Diplomas.

James is deeply committed to expanding the oboe repertoire. He worked closely with Michael Berkeley, John Casken, Jonathan Dove, John Woolrich, Thea Musgrave and Tansy Davies on their compositions for oboe. Composers including Patrick Hawes, Thomas Hewitt Jones and Norbert Froehlich have also written for him. James has a keen interest in researching lost repertoire and bringing to new audiences works which have been rarely performed. In 2011 he worked closely with Christopher Hogwood on preparation for a new edition of Thomas Attwood Walmisley’s Sonatinas for oboe and piano.

James is an active chamber musician and is Artistic Director of Ensemble Perpetuo. Founded in 2013, Perpetuo is a chamber music collective that specialises in multi-art form collaborations and innovative ways of performing chamber music in new contexts. James has also performed with other chamber music ensembles including the Berkeley Ensemble and the Allegri String Quartet.

Aside from his performing interests, James is dedicated to broadening the appeal of the oboe and encouraging young people to learn the instrument. To this end, he has launched the website LearnToPlayTheOboe.com which now receives over a thousand new visitors every month from across the world. James also teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and gives masterclasses across the UK.

James plays a Lorée Royal Oboe and Cor Anglais supplied by Crowthers of Canterbury. For more information about James and his playing, visit www.james-turnbull.com.


Ensemble Perpetuo is made up of active soloists and orchestral musicians who can be found performing in numerous orchestras and prestigious venues throughout the UK.

Below is a selection of musicians who have appeared with Ensemble Perpetuo:

James Barralet | Cello
Elizabeth Brown | Clarinet
Nicky Crowe | Flute
Simon Desbruslais | Trumpet
Lindsey Ellis | Flute
Jessie Grimes | Clarinet
Fenella Humphreys | Violin
David Horwich | French Horn
Joe Ichinose | Viola
Holly Melia | Flute
Éanna Monaghan | Bassoon
Deborah Pritchard | Double Bass
Christopher Rutland | Violin
Sara Sarvamaa | Clarinet
Joanna Stark | Bassoon
Gabriella Swallow | Cello
James Turnbull | Oboe
Emma Whitney | French Horn


Keep informed of all our forthcoming projects by completing the subscription form below.


Here are a selection of the projects we've been working on....


Below are a selection of people and groups that Ensemble Perpetuo have recently collaborated with.

Caroline Mackenzie
Lucia Schweigert
Tom Pearce
London Photo Festival


Watch live recordings of our recent performances


Find out more about what we are up to and what projects we have in production!

Perpetuo seeking collaborators for Heavenly Sights

heavenly sights

Perpetuo presents… Heavenly Sights Collaborators sought for event in November 2015 with Ensemble Perpetuo Ensemble Perpetuo are seeking collaborators for a special event being planned for November 2015. We are inviting theatre companies, poets, artists, photographers, writers, sculptors or digital artists to collaborate with us for a special event to

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CITYSCAPES – Sold out and celebrating 4 star reviews!

JT LPF Cityscapes 250415-4798

Our launch event for Perpetuo's new innovative evenings of chamber music took place on 25th April at 47/49 Tanner Street. CITYSCAPES was completely sold out and saw a great start to our evenings of immersive chamber music concerts. We received a 4 star review from LDN Card: http://www.ldncard.com/blog/cityscapes-ensemble-perpetuo/0224 Photos from

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