|The Ensemble Modern (EM) was founded in 1980 and belongs to the world's leading ensembles for contemporary music. Since 1985 it is located in Frankfurt/Main. The EM consists of 19 soloists from different nations: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan and Switzerland make up the cultural background of this formation.
The EM's programs and concert activities are just as international and versatile as its structure. They include music theatre, dance and video projects, chamber music, ensemble and also orchestra concerts. Tours brought the EM already to Russia, South America, the USA, Japan, Australia, India and in 2003 for the first time to Korea and Taiwan. It regularly performs at renowned festivals such as the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Festival d'Automne à Paris, the Festival Ars Musica in Brussels, the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the Lucerne Festival or the Berliner Festspiele.
The EM also does guest performances in outstanding German locations. A subscription series exists since 1985 at the Alte Oper Frankfurt and in co-operation with the Oper Frankfurt not only opera productions take place regularly but also workshop concerts under the title of "Happy New Ears". In these concerts central works of Contemporary Music are introduced and annotated. A close co-operation links the EM with several German organizers, among them especially the Cologne Philharmonic, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Berlin Hebbel-Theater and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
In 1998 the Ensemble Modern Orchestra (EMO) was founded especially for performing works with a larger instrumentation. The EMO is the world's first orchestra to deal exclusively with the music of the 20th and 21st century. It works project based; i.e. around the central formation of the EM's soloists further specialists for Contemporary Music and musicians from all over the world group up once or twice a year to build the EMO.
In collaboration with the GNM the EM organizes the Young Talent's Forum for composers, instrumentalists and musicologists since 1996. The work with young instrumentalists and composers is of special importance to the EM. Young talents like Enno Poppe, Vadim Karassikov, Sebastian Stier or Johannes Maria Staud received their first substantial support by means of this forum. At the moment the "International Ensemble Modern Academy" is being build as the most important project for the time being and the future. It is to be a place where Contemporary Music can be created in all its diverse forms, commented and reflected by research. The musical experience and competence of the EM shall be made available to a younger generation. First courses will take place in Autumn 2003.
The foundation of the democratically organized EM goes back to the initiative of students from the Bundesstudentenorchester to support and perform Contemporary Music in an appropriate way. Soon the "Ensemble modern of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (Young German Philharmonic)" advanced to the independent Ensemble Modern (of the Society for Contemporary Music - "GNM") and in 1987 it became a civil law association with the musicians as shareholders. This legal status corresponds to the EM's claim to bear not only the artistic but also the financial responsibility. Each member introduces his own personal experiences and likes into the program, resulting in a unique and unmistakable spectrum, which includes such different composers as Arnold Schönberg, Heiner Goebbels, George Benjamin and Fred Frith.
The EM does about 100 concerts a year. In close collaboration with the composers, trying to achieve the best possible results, the musicians work each year on about 70 new works, among them more then 20 premieres. A focus is also on performing German composers.