The New Music Players was founded by its Artistic Director Ed Hughes in 1990. Early projects included commissions by Michael Finnissy and Howard Skempton, and, in 1992, the first UK performance of John Cage's Europera 5. The ensemble has played many times at major London venues, and has presented concerts in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Brighton Festival and many other prestigious concert series.
The ensemble features some of the UK's finest musicians; core members are also members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden; Manchester Camerata; the English Chamber Orchestra; Psappha; and a wide variety of early music ensembles and jazz bands.
Major projects have included UK tours of Ed Hughes's new scores for Eisenstein's classic 1925 films Battleship Potemkin and Strike, followed by a DVD release on Tartan Video, and a recording of Ed Hughes's score to Ozu's 1932 silent film I was born but... for DVD release by the BFI. Their ‘Cutting Edge' series performance in 2007 was recorded by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Hear and Now.
New Music Players performed an all-Xenakis programme at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with New London Chamber Choir on 27 November 2011, and gave concerts and postgraduate student workshops at Oxford and Cardiff universities in March 2012.
New Music Players feature on several recordings including a world première recording of five New Music Players commissions on the London Independent Records label and a disc of works by Japanese composer Jo Kondo. NMP also feature on the BMIC's CD/MP3 release ‘Critical Notice'. Future plans include several works on an Ed Hughes double portrait CD on Divine / Metier for release in autumn 2012.