top of page
the lindow ensemble

We are blessed with a wealth of repertoire for string ensembles, and our programmes contain well-known as well as less familiar works from this treasure trove of existing music.

The adventure of creating, performing a new piece of sonic art, and sharing it with our audience, is a vital part of our work, giving voice to contemporary creatives and refreshing our approach to existing works.


Our commissions help RNCM composition students and locally based composers take the next step on their composing journey. The selected composers work closely with our Artistic Director and Lindow Ensemble musicians to create new works for performance, developing their skills in a holistic way.

Our student players experience bringing a new work to life, and engaging an audience at a world premiere performance.

the lindow ensemble
Current Commissions
past commissions

Christopher Newton

Hit'lahavut for String Orchestra

Christopher Newton.jpeg

A passionate and innovative violinist and composer, Chris is currently studying for his Masters degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. A student of Steven Wilkie and Yuri Torchinsky, Chris has worked with the region’s top orchestras and ensembles, such as the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Concert Orchestra and Lindow Ensemble, alongside world class soloists such as Sir Stephen Hough and Ray Chen.


During his studies at the RNCM, Chris has worked closely with members of the Hallé, Manchester Camerata, Chamber Orchestra of Europe & NEW Sinfonia, conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Alpesh Chauhan OBE, and has appeared in masterclasses with violin virtuoso Ning Feng and recently appointed leader of the Hallé, Roberto Ruisi.

Orchestral appearances include co-leading Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht with Katie Stillman and Henk Guittart, as well as co-leading the recent performance of Bernstein's Mass at the Bridgewater Hall with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra.  Most recently, Chris performed with the Johnny Marr Orchestra to celebrate the opening of the Aviva Studios in Manchester.


As a self-taught composer and arranger, Chris won the Anthony Ridley Prize for composition during his studies at Junior RNCM, and recently had his arrangement of Debussy's Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune performed by the Kagura Piano Trio. 

Hit'lahavut, meaning "inner fire," or "ardor", describes the feeling of ecstasy when in an awe-inspiring experience.  The word comes from the Hasidic Jewish tradition, where improvisatory music was used to heighten the experience of worship and prayer. Inspired by the music of Ernest Bloch, the opening passages use musical structures such as crescendos, an unexpected harmony change and the entry of a solo violin to create an awe-inspiring introduction to the piece. 


Contrasting with the introduction, the central section of the work explores the "dies irae" motif, and was written after I had a dream about an apocalyptic war, contrasting the emotion of awe with fear and dread.


After these two sections are presented, the lone violin solo slowly reaches towards an unsettled conclusion.


the lindow ensemble
Past Commissions

Daniel Lik-chi Lau

bramble's way, zither waits

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Daniel Lik-chi Lau (b. 1998) is a composer and baritone currently based in Manchester, United Kingdom. He is a member of the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).


As a composer, Daniel is inspired by everything from miscellaneous events to current affairs. He aims to integrate theological beliefs and thoughts, to address social phenomena and issues, and to merge Cantonese language characteristics in his compositions. He hopes to engage people through his compositions, which combine reflective and dramatic elements. This is because he believes that music reflects the times and confirms the age of mankind.

lindow ensemble

Daniel is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) under the supervision of Professor Adam Gorb and Professor David Horne. He has collaborated with the BBC Singers, RNCM Brand New Orchestra, Hong Kong Youth Choir, Kantos Chamber Choir, Hong Kong Wind Kamerata, Piatti String Quartet, Cong Quartet and Aqua Voice.

bramble's way, zither waits  is a composition for 12 solo strings inspired by Meng Hao-ran’s poem, "孤琴候蘿徑" (Waiting all evening at the teacher’s mountain lodge for my friend Ding who hasn’t arrived).


The piece takes the listener on a journey through the emotional and mental states of the poem’s protagonist, who waits for his friend Ding to arrive. Each section of the music represent an emotional state of the protagonist as he waits. The piece starts with a sense of calm waiting, but then gradually becomes more agitated and desperate. After an introspective and lyrical passage, the music finally returns to a state of calm, reflecting the protagonist's acceptance of the situation.


Throughout the piece, atmospheric textures such as clock-ticking, wind, and woods are employed to immerse the listener in the world of the poem. The use of cello and double bass pizzicato imitates the sound of the zither, the protagonist's instrument of choice.

The melodic motifs throughout the piece are derived from the Cantonese tones of the poem's title, "孤琴候蘿徑," reflecting the concept of tone-melody matching. This technique lends the piece a distinct melodic flavour while paying tribute to the source of inspiration.


Poem (English translation by William P. Coleman)











At dusk, the sun sets over the mountain to the west;

it swiftly fills each valley and then there’s darkness.

The moon through the pines makes the night cold.

I listen as the wind blows across the clear spring.

The wood gatherers have returned, finished,

and in mist the birds have settled on their perches.

As for me, I hope my friend will come;

alone with my zither, I wait among the brambles on the path.


Philip Rousiamanis

warp obsess remember

the lindow ensemble

Philip Rousiamanis is a composer of instrumental and electronic music, a songwriter and a violinist/performer. 


They usually compose around themes of folklore, queerness, nostalgia and magic and they are interested in creating music that always has beauty, no matter how dark, violent or uncomfortable it might be.

Adrienne Spilsbury


the lindow ensemble

Written for 12 solo strings, the starting point for this work was visits that Adrienne made to wildflower meadows being created and conserved in Cheshire, and reflections on our inter-connections with the natural world.

'This picture shows part of a 5-panel piece by Val Hudson, which I commissioned from her. Val often takes music as an inspiration for her pictures, and for this painting she listened to some of my works as she worked, particularly Eyebright and my 1st String Quartet Bodnant.'


Adrienne Spilsbury

bottom of page