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. At the heart of the ensemble, is a desire to engage with audiences and offer an immersive concert experience that shows through connective programming how chamber music can be experienced in innovative ways.Ensemble Perpetuo is building numerous partnerships with composers, theatres, dance companies, chefs, artists, photographers, film makers, and digital studios, as it seeks new pathways in which to experiment with and augment the concert experience. Perpetuo has also embarked on a number of exciting mini-residences throughout the UK; taking music to new venues and offering a number of different kinds of concert experience. These include concerts in schools, theatres, museums, cafes, found spaces, and other unexpected venues.

Social responsibility and outreach projects are an integral aspect of the work Ensemble Perpetuo undertakes within the community. With each concert, Perpetuo engages in a rich variety of local community performances, workshops and activities. In particular, the musicians’ commitment to bringing live music into schools and working closely with areas of music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients are a core part of our work before and after every performance.

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.

James Turnbull is an accomplished oboist highly sought after for solo and chamber music concerts. Gramophone Magazine described his first recital disc, Fierce Tears, as “a notable debut” and Classical Music Magazine selected it as their Editor’s Choice Recording. As a featured artist of the Concert Promoters Network and the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, James has performed frequently throughout the UK and Europe. He has appeared as a soloist in live radio broadcasts and at festivals including the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Swaledale, King’s Lynn and Cambridge Summer Music. In 2010, he performed his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall as a Maisie Lewis award winner from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

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. Composers including Patrick Hawes, Thomas Hewitt Jones and Norbert Froehlich have written for him. He has also worked closely with Michael Berkeley, John Casken, John Woolrich, Thea Musgrave and Tansy Davies on their compositions for oboe. James has a keen interest in researching lost repertoire and bringing to new audiences works which have been rarely performed.

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 a project called ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Oboe’ with an accompanying website LearnToPlayTheOboe.com. James is frequently invited to give masterclasses, workshops, and lectures about the oboe.

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


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

  • Christmas is fast approaching and Perpetuo are busy preparing for @OrpheusShow. Then onto #Cityscapes!!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 3 days ago
  • 10th January 2015. We are appearing as part of @orpheusshow @4749TannerSt. Come see an amazing new spin on the story of Orpheus!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 20 days ago
  • *** CALLOUT! Perpetuo are looking for potential collaborators. We'd love to hear from you! ***

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 21 days ago
  • website update complete! Now on to more programming for our busy 2015 schedule!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 25 days ago
  • nearly done with our latest website refresh… Quite a busy weekend!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 26 days ago
  • Coming soon.... Perpetuo and some lovely Orpheus!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 27 days ago
  • Another day.... Another round of amazing meetings. Exciting event coming soon to @4749TannerSt!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 34 days ago
  • @Robin_Browning glad you like it. Will PM you details!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 35 days ago
  • Just had a really exciting set of meetings to plan 2015 for Perpetuo. So many really interesting events in the pipeline!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 35 days ago
  • that was so much fun! @Ryearts had the most lovely audience and atmosphere. Hope people enjoyed hearing some rare gems!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 93 days ago
  • We're off to @Ryearts for a lunchtime concert. Sounds like it's already been the most amazing festival with @PiattiQuartet in residence.

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 93 days ago
  • RT @Ryearts: We've got wind!. @EnsemblPerpetuo wind quintet play @Ryearts today. 1pm at Methodist Church. Tix on door! @ryesussex @more_Rye

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 93 days ago
  • more lovely quintet rehearsals today for our performance at the lovely @Ryearts. It will be so good to play John Tavener's music again...

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 95 days ago
  • just a few more days before we play at @Ryearts. More rehearsals headed our way this weekend!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 96 days ago
  • coming soon to @OSOArtsBarnes! 5 July: an evening of wonderful wind quintets followed by a family afternoon concert on 6th July!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 214 days ago
  • our 2 month Twitter silence hasn't been without purpose. We are ever closer to announcing our inaugural season for 2015. Thanks for waiting!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 256 days ago
  • Hello February! 2014 is already beginning to fly by. We hope to soon be announcing an exciting concert and family event for the summer!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 327 days ago
  • 2014 is looking like an exciting year. Several very exciting projects in the pipeline for our inaugural season!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 356 days ago
  • a belated Merry Christmas from Ensemble Perpetuo. We are excited to be announcing more of our events for 2014 in the coming weeks!

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 363 days ago
  • Our new website has gone live today! Our Twitter presence is starting in earnest now...

    Ensemble Perpetuo about 417 days ago


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

Debut recording coming soon!

Little Missenden Calm Recording

We've just finished recording John Tavener's Little Missenden Calm and Judith Weir's Mountain Airs for Champs Hill Records (www.champshillrecords.co.uk). This recording is due to be released in Spring 2015. We'll keep you posted with more information but in the meantime below are some photos from the sessions! (photos by

Read More

Rye Festival appearance

Rye Arts Festival

Over the past week, we've been preparing a very special Wind Quintet recital for our performance in the Rye Arts Festival. We will be performance Neilsen's amazing Wind Quintet as well as the little known but beautiful quartet by Sir John Tavener, Little Missenden Calm. Written for the Little Missenden

Read More

Forthcoming Residency @ OSO Arts Centre, Barnes

arts center white

It's been rather too long since our last blog update but we are pleased to announce that on 5/6 July we will be performing 2 wind quintet concerts at the OSO Arts Centre in Barnes. The first will be feature the rare but wonderful wind quartet by John Tavener titled

Read More




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

[wysija_form id=”1″]


Find out more about our learning and participation initiatives.

At the heart of Ensemble Perpetuo, is a firm belief that we should bring live music to as many people as possible. We believe that our music should not just belong in concert halls but in a wide variety of venues that would normally not host concerts.

When constructing our concert programmes, we are always devising learning and participation projects that bring the music we play into local schools and communities.

We believe that with our music, we can stimulate and empower people of all ages and backgrounds. No matter how much experience our workshop participants have had with music, we always aim to create engaging schemes of work with clear learning outcomes that enable all participants to leave having engaged with a wide variety of musical genres and styles.

All members of Ensemble Perpetuo have been CRB checked and have extensive experience of teaching and workshop leading. If you are interested in having a workshops by Ensemble Perpetuo in your school or organisation, please telephone us on 020 8123 1675 or email us from our contact page.


Get in touch with Ensemble Perpetuo