The Continuum Ensemble

Philip Headlam

‘inspired, stylish performances…a bold imaginative project, wonderfully well realized‘


Philip Headlam is the conductor and artistic director of The Continuum Ensemble, dedicated to performing new and neglected music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Founded with co-artistic director Douglas Finch, pianist/composer, it is based in London, U.K.
He has conducted the ensemble in all of their concert and opera performances as well as programmed their subscription concert series and festivals They have commissioned many new pieces, given numerous world and UK. premieres, performed on many radio and television broadcasts and released four CDs.
Performances have featured music by many of the best U.K. composers of our time and established close working relationships with composers Judith Weir, Julian Grant and Kenneth Hesketh. The ensemble also performs music by renowned composers from across Europe and North America and introduced a new generation of talented composers including Errollyn Wallen, Richard Causton, Julian Anderson, Tom Armstrong, Luke Bedford, Alastair Stout and Peter Knell.
He has established the ensemble’s distinguished reputation and critical acclaim and expanded their artistic work into performance collaborations with the English National Opera, Almeida Opera Festival and Genesis Opera Project (at the Royal Opera House), performances at established music festivals, broadcasts for television and radio and on CD recordings. Their concerts and events have been featured regularly in interviews on BBC Radio 3 and articles in U.K. broadsheet newspapers and magazines.
He is noted for his highly successful and innovative programming for individual concerts, subscription series and music festivals, among them:


Recitations and Conversations: Georges Aperghis and his Contemporaries

East/West: Gamelan Music on Western Instruments

Henri Dutilleux: A 90th Birthday Celebration

Swept Away: Music of a Lost Generation [Ernst Toch, Kurt Weill and others]

Multi-concert season subscription series include: 20th Century Views; Music of Our Time, Elementary Secrets; Natural Stories; Crossing the Divide


‘Critically acclaimed opera productions include Udo Zimmerman’s Weisse Rose, Hans Werner Henze’s El Cimarron performed with El Rey de Harlem, Georges Aperghis’ Le Petit Chaperon Rouge and other music-theatre works as well as semi-staged performances of Nenia: Death of Orpheus by Harrison Birtwistle, Egon and Emilie by Ernst Toch and There and Back by Paul Hindemith.

He has conducted The Continuum Ensemble in venues including the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre, The Warehouse, The Coliseum, Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House, Kings Place concert hall, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, St. Gile’s Cripplegate, Union Chapel, Christchurch (Spitalfields), Old Royal Naval College, Hinde St. Church, Blackheath Concert Hall and Wilton’s Music Hall.

‘the series showed what an enterprising ensemble Continuum has become‘

Sunday Times