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Ensemble Modern

Ensemble Modern is a curious loudspeaker for music of our times. Courageous, uncompromising and energetic, it is an essential, aesthetically polyglot amplifier for trend-setting sound concepts. It is one of the leading contemporary music formations in the world today. Founded in 1980 and based in Frankfurt am Main, eighteen soloists currently determine the activities of this democratically organised ensemble. The musicians from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and the USA jointly decide on artistic projects, partnerships with other artists and all financial matters. Its aesthetic spectrum includes music theatre works, dance and multimedia projects, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral concerts. Tours and guest appearances regularly take Ensemble Modern to renowned festivals throughout the world and major national and international performance venues.

Ensemble Modern rehearses an average of 70 new works every year, 20 of which are world premieres, some of them commissioned by the ensemble itself. The works are mostly rehearsed in close contact with their composers. Ensemble Modern’s concept and goal is to achieve the highest possible precision in implementing the composer’s ideas. Its work is characterised by extraordinary and often long-term cooperative ventures with artists such as John Adams, Mark Andre, George Benjamin, Unsuk Chin, Peter Eötvös, Brian Ferneyhough, Heiner Goebbels, Hans Werner Henze, Heinz Holliger, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, György Ligeti, Cathy Milliken, Brigitta Muntendorf, Olga Neuwirth, Enno Poppe, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Iris ter Schiphorst, Simon Steen-Andersen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Frank Zappa, Hans Zender and Vito Žuraj, as well as outstanding personalities from other artistic genres.

Ensemble Modern has run its own label, Ensemble Modern Media, since 2000. Further audio media, approximately 150 to date, have been released by other established labels. In 2003, the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) was founded to bring together Ensemble Modern’s education activities. Its goal is to convey the numerous artistic movements of our times and to provide an open, creative manner of dealing with artistic processes.

Ensemble Modern is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the City of Frankfurt, the German Ensemble Academy, The Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts. hr2-kultur is Ensemble Modern’s cultural affairs partner.

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