The Frankfurt-based Ensemble Modern, established in 1980, has become one of the world’s leading ensembles of New Music. With 18 soloists from nine different countries, the Ensemble Modern performs around 100 concerts and rehearses 70 new pieces each year, more than 20 of which are world premieres. The Ensemble Modern has guest-performed at concert halls throughout Europe, in Africa, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, South America, Taiwan, Russia and the US and regularly performs at renowned festivals and outstanding venues.
The Ensemble Modern is known for its democratically-based organisational form and a working method that influences its programme planning. There is no artistic director; the ensemble decides which pieces it wishes to perform each season. The musical versatility of the ensemble is the result of each member’s personal experience and ideas. In addition to the ensemble, orchestra and chamber concerts, the Ensemble Modern’s repertoire also includes music theatre, dance and video projects.
In recent years, the Ensemble Modern has developed two additional projects, which have since made a name for themselves in the contemporary music scene:
The International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) was founded in summer 2003 to introduce young musicians to New Music and allow the ensemble to pass its unique knowledge of contemporary compositions to the next generation. The IEMA, which has sparked impulses and set standards the world over, comprises a master’s degree programme, international master courses, school projects and the International Composition Seminar. The Ensemble Modern Orchestra (EMO) was founded in 1998 as the world’s first orchestra exclusively devoted to New Music. The orchestra’s core complement is comprised of soloists from the Ensemble Modern, supported by musicians from around the world.
From 2014 to 2018, the Federal Cultural Foundation supported several projects, developed by musicians from the Ensemble Modern Orchestra together with graduates of the master’s degree programme offered by the International Ensemble Modern Academy. The projects included a tour with four world premieres, the performance of commissioned works and other joint productions by the EMO and IEMA.