Since its founding in 1980, the Ensemble Modern (EM) has been one of the leading ensembles for New Music. It brings together some 20 soloists from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, the USA and Switzerland, whose origins form the cultural background of the formation. Based in Frankfurt am Main, the ensemble is known for its unique way of working and grassroots organisation. Artistic projects, partnerships and financial matters are decided and supported jointly. Its distinctive programmatic range includes music theater, dance and video projects, chamber music, ensemble and orchestra concerts. Tours and guest performances take the Ensemble Modern to renowned festivals and outstanding venues around the world.
In close collaboration with the composers, the Ensemble Modern performs an average of 70 new works each year, including around 20 world premieres, with the aim of achieving the greatest possible authenticity. Over the years, this has resulted in extraordinary and often long-standing collaborations with composers such as John Adams, Mark Andre, George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös, Brian Ferneyhough, Heiner Goebbels, Hans Werner Henze, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, György Ligeti, Olga Neuwirth, Enno Poppe, Rebecca Saunders, Simon Steen-Andersen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Frank Zappa or Vito Žuraj as well as outstanding artists from other artistic fields.
In addition to its diverse activities on the podium, the Ensemble Modern also presents the results of its work on recordings. Almost 50 of the more than 150 productions have been released on the Ensemble Modern Medien label, which was initiated in 1999. In 2003, the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) was founded as an educational institution of the Ensemble Modern with the aim of carrying on the musical heritage and promoting new ways of contemporary artistic creation.
As of June 2021