Founded in 1980 the Ensemble Modern (EM) is one of the world’s leading ensembles for contemporary music. Currently, the Ensemble unites 18 soloists from nine countries, all of whom contribute to the ensemble’s rich cultural background. Resident in Frankfurt am Main, the Ensemble Modern is famous for its special working and organisational structure, unlike any other in the world: there is no artistic director; all its members are responsible for jointly selecting and implementing projects, co-productions and financial matters. Its unique and distinctive programme includes musical theatre, dance and video projects, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral concerts. Ensemble Modern gives approximately 100 concerts each year at renowned festivals, such as the Salzburg Festival, Bregenzer Festspiele, Wien Modern, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Holland Festival, Klangspuren Schwaz, Berliner Festspiele, Ruhrtriennale, musica viva, as well as outstanding venues worldwide, such as Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique, Tokyo Wondersite, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie, Cologne’s Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie Essen, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Oper Frankfurt.
The ensemble strives to achieve the highest possible degree of authenticity by working closely with the composers themselves. The musicians rehearse an average of 70 new works every year, 20 of which are world premieres. [Its work is characterised by extraordinary and often long-term cooperative ventures with renowned artists, such as John Adams, George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös, Heiner Goebbels, Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, György Ligeti, Benedict Mason, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich or Frank Zappa.
In addition to its multi-faceted concert activities, Ensemble Modern presents the results of its work through regular radio and CD recordings. Almost 30 of the more than 150 CD productions have been released by the ensemble’s own label, Ensemble Modern Media. Ensemble Modern was declared a ›Leuchtturm‹ or ›beacon‹ of contemporary culture in Germany in 2003 by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Under the roof of the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), founded the same year, the Ensemble Modern musicians offer a wide range of educational programmes, such as the Master’s Degree Course »Contemporary Music«, master courses, composition seminars and educational projects for students.