Ensemble Modern Orchestra

Sir George Benjamin, conductor
Chin / Ogonek / Filidei / Benjamin / Ammann

A man with raised arm.

Sir George Benjamin conducting © Chris Christodoulou

Sir George Benjamin’s collaboration with the Ensemble Modern now extends for over 30 years and has manifested itself in a series of important world premieres. His programme with the Ensemble Modern Orchestra features utterly contemporary works that use all the colourful and expressive assets of the full-scale orchestra.

The orchestra acts as a catalyst for the energies of the composers: Dieter Ammann’s “Glut” (2014/16) ignites the orchestral fire with its multi-coloured tone clusters, dramatic polyphony and striking rhythms. A similar tonal splendour is displayed in Unsuk Chin’s “SPIRA” (2019), which, starting with bowed vibraphones, sparkles in countless shades of colour. Elizabeth Ogonek’s “Cloudline” (2021) grows out of microtonally iridescent tone surfaces, shifting towards ever more incisive motifs. With “A Mind of Winter” (1981) Benjamin has created a bewitchingly melancholy song for orchestra that recreates the external and internal winters in Wallace Stevens’ poem “A Snow Man” in suggestive colours. And there is also a world premiere to look forward to: Francesco Filidei’s “Cantico delle Creature” (2022/2023), a composition commissioned by the Ensemble Modern, the Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice Genova and the Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.

Concert Programme

Unsuk Chin (*1961)
SPIRA (2019)
Concerto for orchestra

Elizabeth Ogonek (*1989)
Cloudline (2021)
a tone painting for orchestra

Francesco Filidei (*1973)
Cantico delle Creature (2022/2023)
for soprano and orchestra
Commissioned by Ensemble Modern, Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice and Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin
World premiere

George Benjamin (*1960)
A Mind of Winter (1981)
for soprano and orchestra

Dieter Ammann (*1962)
glut (2014 – 2016)
for orchestra

19:10, South Foyer
Work introduction

Unsuk Chin in conversation with Fanny Tanck
Tothe interview

Programmebooklet Ensemble Modern Orchestra 3.9.2023


A project of Ensemble Modern, supported by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten, the Ensemble Modern Patronatsgesellschaft e. V. and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event, kindly funded by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
The concerts with contemporary works are part of the contemporary music month of the field notes initiative.