Ensemble Adapter

Ensemble Adapter © Simon Detel

Ensemble Adapter

Ensemble Adapter is an experimental music group based in Berlin that has been active internationally since 2004. Driven by its founders, Matthias Engler (percussion) and Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir (harp), the ensemble concentrates on collaborating with partners from a variety of artistic backgrounds worldwide. Ensemble Adapter treats music as a contemporary art form. It creates, curates, produces and devises workshops and performances – both on stage and online. 

Alongside extended concert tours and festival engagements, Ensemble Adapter has completed numerous large-scale projects in Berlin. For several years the ensemble organised regular series of concerts in Iceland (Frum) and Finland (Seitsemän) and continues to carry out the “Rotation” series at its home base in Berlin-Wedding. The ensemble has also developed its own workshop formats “Open Mic” and “Adoptions” in Berlin.

Since it was founded in 2004, Matthias Engler has been the ensemble’s Artistic Director and Manager. Its early years were notable for the close collaboration with the Berlin composers’ collective Klangnetz e.V. The group initially performed in flexible sizes, with various combinations of instruments around percussion and harp. In the years that followed the group increasingly settled into a quintet with Kristjana Helgadóttir (flute), Ingólfur Vilhjálmsson (clarinet), Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir (harp), Marc Tritschler (piano) and Matthias Engler (percussion) – a homage to Toru Takemitsu’s ensemble Sound Space Ark and its forgotten repertoire from 1970s and 80s Japan. From 2012 to 2022 Helgadóttir, Vilhjálmsson, Einarsdóttir and Engler carried on as a quartet, with a selection of guest instrumentalists occasionally expanding the ensemble to as many as ten players. Since 2022, Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir and Matthias Engler have led the group as an Artistic Team, without being bound to a specific line-up. Along with partners who change from project to project, their focus lies on creating original artistic content – in music and across other artistic disciplines. 


As of: January 2024

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