On Friday, October 9, 2015, Philharmonie de Paris hosts a rare digital arts event that will immerse audiences in the “areas of turbulence” that the Ensemble Intercontemporain has been organising since 2013. A contemporary music ensemble of 31 soloists dedicated to the performance and promotion of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, Ensemble Intercontemporain comprises permanent highly professional musicians that for over 30 years have been performing a demanding repertoire of orchestral music in diverse and often unexplored forms. United by a shared passion for new music under the artistic direction of Matthias Pintscher, the ensemble accompanies composers in the exploration of new musical realms at the intersection of new performance and extended techniques, computer music, and daring encounters with other forms of artistic expression such as dance, theatre, video and visual arts. In residence at the Philharmonie de Paris, the ensemble performs in France and abroad as a regular guest at major international festivals, and organises a range of outreach activities (educational concerts, school music workshops, master classes, etc.) serving a diversified public (conservatory students, professional and amateur musicians, general audience, etc.). In collaboration with the IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique), the Ensemble Intercontemporain is also active in the field of synthetic sound generation.
Coproduced by Arcadi Île de France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Philharmonie de Paris, and part of Némo, Biennale internationale des arts numériques (Paris / Île-de-France), Maelström challenges musical creation and the plenary dimensions of digital arts. Cellist Éric-Maria Couturier, contrabassist Nicolas Crosse and percussionist Victor Hanna will open the evening with an improvised musical performance playfully titled Insecte à [pwal]. This serves as an introduction to George Crumb’s Black Angels (1970), a unique œuvre that Jérémie Szpirglas has rightfully called “OMNI (œuvre musicale non identifiée)” – an unidentified musical œuvre. Mystical and symbolical, Black Angels creates a powerful, discordant yet deeply harmonic dialogue between the voice of God as incarnated by the cello and the voice of the Devil as incarnated by the first violin. A reflection around the divine and balanced number 7 and the accursed number 13, Crumb’s score unravels the sound imagery of a “frantic and satiated fortississimo” as Szpirglas calls it. In The Night of the Electric Insects, an army of terrifying insects evoking the delirious flights of helicopters in Vietnam play with both political symbolism and the gravity of Crumb’s composition, in a moving and captivating musical and poetical expression.
Chicago-based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger and Edmund Campion, composer and researcher at the Berkeley University of California, present Cluster.X, a hybrid immersive performance where the moving image and the instrumental ensemble generate the indefinite choreography of an inform maelstrom. Hentschläger’s audiovisual installations have always defied our sensory experiences and represent a poetic and utterly Romantic artistic expression that the artist pursues amidst his meta-organic clusters of humans whose uncontrollable movements and collisions reference an inescapable void. Campion’s soundscape and harmonic rhythmology accompanies the virulent and recomposing matter of flesh and light that Hentschläger in a fluid and intangible environment that for all its virtuality captures our senses in a tropical, figurative and emotional manner. There is turbulence in Franck Vigroux and Antoine Schmitt’s Tempest as well, who invite the audience to immerse in an original and primordial vortex that returns to the inhuman and governing chaos of the universe only to reveal its power to inform and manifest life. Analogue instruments and visual algorithms recreate the purity of chaos and the internal force generated by millions of nanoparticles in their completely erratic diffusion, that the artists capture in unpredictable and eerie audiovisual forms. To attenuate these virtuous (de)compositions, flutist Sophie Cherrier interprets beyond (a system of passing), a piece Matthias Pintscher composed as inspired by Anselm Kiefer’s installation A.E.I.O.U., a miniature museum that evokes the nomadic character of contemporary existence.
George Crumb (b. 1929) is one of the most frequently performed composers in today’s musical world. Crumb is the winner of Grammy and Pulitzer Prizes, and continues to compose new scores that enrich the lives of all who come in contact with his profoundly humanistic art. Crumb’s music often juxtaposes contrasting musical styles, ranging from music of the western art-music tradition, to hymns and folk music, to non-Western musics. Many of Crumb’s works include programmatic, symbolic, mystical and theatrical elements, which are often reflected in his beautiful and meticulously notated scores. A shy, yet warmly eloquent personality, Crumb retired from his teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania after more than 30 years of service. Honored by numerous institutions with honorary Doctorates, and the recipient of dozens of awards and prizes, Crumb makes his home in Pennsylvania, in the same house where he and his wife of more than 60 years raised their three children. George Crumb’s music is published by C.F. Peters and an ongoing series of “Complete Crumb” recordings, supervised by the composer, is being issued on Bridge Records. (via George Crumb)
Chicago-based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger (b. 1960) creates audiovisual performances and installations. He began to exhibit his work in 1983, creating surreal machine-objects, and since has been working with time-based media, film, video, animation and sound. The immersive nature of his work reflects on the metaphor of the sublime and the human condition. His current work further researches human perception and the impact of new technologies on both individual and collective consciousness. Between 1992 and 2003 he worked collaboratively as one half of “Granular-Synthesis.” Employing large scale projected images and drone like sound-scapes, Granular-Synthesis performances and installations confronted the viewer on both a physical and emotional level, overwhelming the audience with sensory stimulation. Selected presentations include the Venice Biennial, the Venice Theater Biennial, National Art Museum of China Beijing, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, PS1 New York, Creative Time, Inc. New York, MAC – Musée d’Art Contemporain Montreal, MAK – Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, National Museum for Contemporary Art Seoul, ICC Tokyo, Fondation Beyeler Basel, Arte Alameda Mexico City. In 2010 he won a Quartz Electronic Music Award for his most recent work. (via Kurt Hentschläger)
Edmund Campion (b. 1957) creates music that explores relationships between sound and space—creations that often involve the careful mixing of acoustic instruments with emerging computer technologies. Born in Dallas, Texas in 1957, he studied composition at the University of Texas and Columbia University and went on to spend several years in France studying with composer Gérard Grisey. In 1993 he was selected to work at IRCAM where he composed the piece Losing Touch, a mainstay in the repertoire for percussion and electronics. He has been commissioned by major American and French cultural institutions including: IRCAM, Radio France, the French Ministry of Culture, the Fromm Foundation, and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation. His works are heard in concert halls worldwide and a monograph CD by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is available on Albany records. Les Percussion des Strasbourg sextet will release a recording of Wavelike and Diverse on their upcoming CD. In 2012, he was awarded the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and appointed Composer in Residence with the Santa Rosa Symphony. A new work written for the Kronos Quartet and the SRS will be premiered in October of 2012. The French Zelig Ensemble premiered a commission from Radio France at the Festival Presence in 2009 and recently commissioned a new work from Soiciete Generale. The new piece, Auditory Fiction, was premeriered by Cal Performances in 2010 and features a new software tool for control of multiple tempos in live performance. Joshua Kosman wrote, “Campion keeps clarity and even beauty at the fore — the results were remarkable.” The Argento Chamber ensemble premiered Campion’s 25′ minute digital piano concerto with 17 instruments and computer as part of the Moving Sounds Festival in New York City in 2010. In 1996 he was commissioned by IRCAM to write a large-scale piece for interactive electronics and MIDI-grand piano. Natural Selection received its premiere with the composer at the piano. After his return from Paris, Campion joined the composition faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also Co-Director at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Other prizes and honors include: the Rome Prize, the Nadia Boulanger Award, the Paul Fromm Award at Tanglewood, a Charles Ives Award given by the Americah Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fulbright scholarship for study in France. (via Edmund Campion)
Matthias Pintscher (b. 1971) is the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, entering his third season in 2015/16. Beginning in 2016/17 he also takes up post as Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy. He continues his partnerships with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as its Artist-in-Association, and with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra as Artist-in-Residence. Equally accomplished as conductor and composer, Pintscher sees his two main spheres of activity as entirely complementary; he has created significant works for the world’s leading orchestras, and his intrinsic understanding of the score from the composer’s perspective informs his ability to communicate on the podium. In the 2015/16 season, Pintscher makes conducting debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Prague Philharmonia. He embarks on a U.S. tour with the Ensemble Intercontemporain with concerts in Berkeley, Chapel Hill, and Washington, D.C. Further highlights of this season include the premiere of his new cello concerto with the Danish National Symphony and Alisa Weilerstein, and return guest conducting engagements with the Naples Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Helsinki Philharmonic. Last season, Pintscher gave debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Pintscher began his musical training in conducting, studying with Peter Eötvös, but composing took a more prominent role in his life while he was in his early twenties. Soon after, he divided his time equally between the two disciplines of conducting and composing. Naturally noted for his interpretations of contemporary music, he developed an affinity for repertoire of the late 19th and the 20th centuries – Bruckner, the French romantic masters, Beethoven, Berlioz, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky and for the Second Viennese School – along with a rich variety of contemporary scores. “My thinking as a conductor is informed by the process of my own writing,” notes Pintscher, “and vice versa of course.” He may justly be called the most sought-after German composer of his generation, and his music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, orchestras and conductors. His works are frequently performed by orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia London, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. A prolific composer, Matthias Pintscher’s most recent orchestral composition idyll was given its world premiere in October 2014 by the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction ofFranz Welser-Möst, followed by performances by the Bayerische Rundfunk and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In summer 2015, his works Now I for solo piano and Now II for solo cello were respectively premiered at the Lucerne Festival and the Moritzburg Festival, and gemini calls – a fanfare for two trumpets – was commissioned by and premiered at the Grafenegg Festival. Pintscher was the 2012 recipient of the Roche Commission. His work, Chute d’Étoiles: Hommage à Anselm Kiefer for two trumpets and orchestra, premiered at the Luzern Festival in August 2012 by the Cleveland Orchestra, and was subsequently performed at Severance Hall in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Pintscher’s compositions are noted for the delicate sound world they inhabit, the intricacy of their construction and their precision of expression. Among his most celebrated achievements are his first opera, Thomas Chatterton, commissioned by Dresden Semperoper; Fünf Orchesterstücke for the Philharmonia Orchestra and Kent Nagano; Herodiade Fragmente for Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic; his first violin concerto en sourdine for Frank Peter Zimmermann and the Berlin Philharmonic; his second opera l’espace dernier which premiered at Paris National Opera (Bastille) in 2004; and his cello concerto for Truls Mørk, Reflections on Narcissus, which was premiered in Paris in 2006 with Christophe Eschenbach and the Orchestre de Paris. That year also included the premiere of a piece for Emmanuel Pahud (flute) and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performed at the Lucerne Festival, where Pintscher was Composer-in-Residence in 2006. Osiris, a large-scale composition, was co-commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall, and received its premiere conducted by Pierre Boulez in 2008. In spring 2010, his work towards Osiris received its U.S. premiere with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Eschenbach. Also that spring, the New York Philharmonic debuted a piece co-commissioned with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, songs from Solomon’s garden for baritone and chamber orchestra. In April 2013 the Vienna Philharmonic performed Hérodiade-Fragmente at the Musikverein. His first solo piano composition, debuted at London’s Wigmore Hall by Inon Barnatan in September 2013. Earlier in the same year, Uriel for cello and piano, was premiered by Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan at the Frankfurt Alte Oper. Pintscher has also written a violin concerto, mar’eh, premiered in autumn 2011 by Julia Fischer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. And his three-part work, Sonic Eclipse: Celestial Object 1, 2 and 3, has been performed by ensembles around the world. Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble contrechamps, Avanti (Helsinki), remix (Porto) and the Scharoun Ensemble. Since 2011, he has curated the music segment of the Impuls Romantik Festival in Frankfurt. He has also served as the artistic director of the Heidleberg Atelier of the Heidelberg Spring Festival since 2007, which has now transformed into the Heidelberg Young Composer’s Academy. As of September 2014, Pintscher joined the composition faculty at the Juilliard School. Pintscher conducts throughout Europe, U.S. and Australia. Past conducting engagements have included the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Paris Opera Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Torino), Mariinsky Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, and Sydney Symphony, among others. Matthias Pintscher makes his home in New York and Paris. His works are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag. Recordings can be found on Kairos, EMI, ECM, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. (via Matthias Pintscher)
A composer and improviser, Franck Vigroux (b. 1973) lives in a universe where noise, improvisation, electroacoustic, industrial, hörspiel, and contemporary music meet. On stage he can play many different roles: guitar player, turntablist, revox manipulator, electronic performer. He also directed numerous videos, such as Dust (30′) in 2007. Franck Vigroux performs solo or regularly collaborates for live acts with Mika Vainio, Transistor (with Ben Miller), Reinhold Friedl he also collaborated with Kasper Toeplitz, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Joey Baron, Bruno Chevillon, Marc Ducret, Push the triangle, Kenji Siratori, Ars Nova ensemble instrumental, performs with video artists Antoine Schmitt (with Tempest), Kurt d’Haeseleer (with Aucun lieu), Philippe Fontes (with Police). Since 2000 he repeatedly performed in the United States, in Europe and in Japan either in festivals or in clubs. In 2003, he founded his own label D’Autres Cordes records, some albums are also published by others labels such as Signature Radio France and Hypermodern (Japan). In 2008 he founded the Compagny D’autres cordes dedicated to performing arts: 2009 “Septembres” by Philippe Malone directed by Michel Simonot; 2010 “Broken Circles” for ten musicians interpreted by Ars Nova ensemble instrumental, conducted by Philippe Nahon; 2011 Un Sang d’Encre with Marc Ducret texts by F. Kafka; 2010 Nous autres? – for 2 dancer and 1 electronic musician and interactive video installation; 2012 Camera piece for Timpani, Piano, electronics, doublebass, guitar, tape; 2013 Aucun Lieu piece for 1 dancer 1 musician, video installation. In 2011 he composed “D503” inspired from the novel Us by Eugene Zamiatine, a piece for Radio France ACR which runs for Prix Italia 2011. He has been comissioned for electroacoustic composition or live electronics acts by Radio France and GRM (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013). Some of his awards include Villa Médicis hors les murs 2009 (New York); Nominee Best album and best track Qwartz electronic music awards 2011; Nominee best video music Qwartz 2008; Nominee Prix Italia 2011 (2nd in music composition). (via Franck Vigroux)
Installation artist, Antoine Schmitt (b. 1961) creates artworks in the form of objects, installations and situations to address the processes of movement in all of their modalities, and question their intrinsic conceptual problematics, of plastic, philosophical or social nature. Heir of kinetic art and cybernetic art, nourished by metaphysical science-fiction, he endlessly interrogates the dynamic interactions between human nature and the nature of reality. Originally programming engineer in human computer relations and artificial intelligence, he places the program, a contemporary artistic material and unique by its active quality, at the core of most of his artworks, to reveal and literally manipulate the forces at stake. Antoine Schmitt, alone or through collaborations, has undertaken an articulation of this approach with more established artistic fields like music, dance, architecture, literature or cinema. As theoretician, speaker and editor of the gratin.org portal, Antoine Schmitt explores the field of programmed art. His work has received several awards in international festivals : transmediale (Berlin, second prize 2007, honorary 2001), Ars Electronica (Linz, second prize 2009), UNESCO International Festival of Video-Dance (Paris, first prize online 2002), Vida 5.0 (Madrid, honorary 2002), CYNETart (Dresden, honorary 2004), medi@terra (Athens, first prize 1999), Interférences (Belfort, first prize 2000), and has been exhibited among others at the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), at Sonar (Barcelona), at Ars Electronica (Linz), at the CAC of Sienna (Italy), at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (France), in Nuits Blanches (Paris, Amiens, Metz, Bruxelles and Madrid). It is part of the collections of the Espace Gantner (Bourogne, FR), of the Cube (Issy-Mx, FR), of the Paris Municipal Contemporary Art Fund (FMAC), of the Foundation Artphilein (Lugano, IT), and of the Foundation Fraenkel (USA). Antoine Schmitt is represented by Galerie Charlot in Paris. He lives and works in Paris (FR). (via Antoine Schmitt)
Sophie Cherrier studied at the Conservatoire National de Région de Nancy and then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where she graduated with highest honors in flute (under the tutelage of Alain Marion) and chamber music (under the tutelage of Christian Lardé). She joined the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1979. She has performed in the premieres of numerous works, including Mémoriale by Pierre Boulez, Esprit rude/Esprit doux by Elliott Carter (Deutsche Grammophon recording), and Chu Ky V by Ton-Thât Tiêt. Sophie Cherrier has also recorded Sequenza I by Luciano Berio (Deutsche Grammophon), …explosante fixe and Sonatine pour flûte et piano by Pierre Boulez (Erato), Imaginary Sky-lines for flute and harp by Ivan Fedele (Adès), Jupiter and La Partition du ciel et de l’Enfer by Philippe Manoury (for the collection “Compositeurs d’aujourd’hui”). She has performed with the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Sinfonietta. After being awarded the Certificat d’Aptitude, she was appointed Professor at the Conservatoire de Paris in 1998. Her penchant for teaching has led her to conduct various master classes, both in France and abroad. (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Born in 1965, Jeanne-Marie Conquer won the First Prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) at the age of 15 and continued with higher studies in the classes of Pierre Amoyal (violin) and Jean Hubeau (chamber music). She became a member of the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1985. Jeanne-Marie Conquer has developed close artistic relationships with contemporary composers and has in particular worked with György Kurtág, György Ligeti (on the Trio with Horn and Violin Concerto), Peter Eötvös (on his opera Le Balcon) and Ivan Fedele. She has recorded different works on Deutsche Grammophon: Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII for solo violin, and Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Ode to Napoleon, as well as Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes and Anthèmes II for a publication by Jean-Jacques Nattiez on the composer’s work. Jeanne-Marie Conquer was the soloist in Anthèmes II at the Lucerne Festival in 2002 and the first Latin American performance of the work in Buenos Aires in 2006, and in György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto at the Paris Cité de la Musique for his 80th birthday in 2003. Apart from her soloist career, Jeanne-Marie Conquer teaches at the Conservatoire Municipal W. A. Mozart (Paris 1st district) and the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Born in 1972, Éric-Maria Couturier studied cello and chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and graduated with the jury’s unanimous highest honors. He has distinguished himself as prizewinner at several international competitions (Trapani, Trieste, and Florence). He was a member of the Orchestre de Paris and solo cellist at the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, before joining the Ensemble intercontemporain in 2002. He is performing with the dancer Richard Siegal from the Forsythe company, they played in New York in January 2008 for the Danspace Project and in Paris in December 2009 for Glossopoeia, with a music by Alberto Posadas. He also worked with electronic performer Erikm and jazz singer David Linx. In 2009 Eric-Maria Couturier performed with Maurizio Pollini in Paris’ salle Pleyel and in Milan at the Scala. (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Born in 1979, Nicolas Crosse studied at the Paris Conservatory with Jean-Paul Celea. His work in the field of contemporary music has given him a deep understanding of the 20th century repertoire. At the Paris Conservatory as well as at IRCAM, Nicolas has collaborated and premiered the works of living composers such as: ”Torrente” for contrabass and ensemble: Luis Fernando Rizo-Salom; ”Crònica del oprimido” for contrabass and electronics: Lucas Fagin; ”Metathesis” for contrabass and electronics: Tolga Tüzün; ”Maquina Mistica” for contrabass and electronics: Marco Antonio Suarez Cifuentes. In addition to his studies, Nicolas Crosse has played with some of the leading ensembles in France, including the Paris Orchestra, the Paris Opera, and Ensemble InterContemporain, directed by Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, and Jonathan Nott. Since 2006, he has played throughout Europe with the ensemble “Les Jeunes Solistes” (dir. Rachid Safir), premiering Miserere Homnibus, by Klaus Huber. This year Nicolas won first prize in the category of contemporary music at the competition “Haut les Basses”, organized by the Association of Bassists and Contrabassists of France. In October 2007, with the support of the Meyer Foundation and the Paris Conservatory, Nicolas has produced cross(E)road, a DVD of works consisting of: Sequenza 14b by Luciano Berio, Valentine by Jacob Druckman, Ala by Franco Donatoni (duo with the violoncellist Alexis Descharmes), Cronica del Oprimido by Lucas Fagin, as well as improvised music with clarinetist Christian Laborie. As soloist, he has performed in France, Switzerland, and Columbia, performing works of Luciano Berio, Sofia Gubaïdulina, Franco Donatoni, Jacob Druckman, Pascal Dusapin, Vinko Globokar, among others. (via Ensemble Linea)
Born in 1988, Victor Hanna studied percussion under Marc Bollen, Béatrice Faucomprez, Francis Brana and Nicolas Martynciow. At the same time, meetings with several other musicians gave him a chance to turn his hand to Afro-Cuban percussions, today’s music, generative improvisation, music theatre, choreographic accompaniment, and dramatic art. In 2008, he successfully enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) in the class of Michel Cerutti. He honed his orchestra percussion skills in academies such as the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, and by working with leading French orchestras. Passionate about today’s music, he has worked with Ensemble Multilatérale, Ensemble 2e2m and Le Balcon. After graduation from the Paris Conservatoire with first-class honours granted by a unanimous Jury vote, he joined the Ensemble intercontemporain in 2012. (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Hae-Sun Kang was born in South Korea, where she began to play violin at the age of three. Moving to Paris at fifteen to study at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) where she teaches today, she won such prestigious competitions as the Rodolfo Lipizer (Italy), ARD (Munich), Carl Flesch (London) and Yehudi Menuhin (Paris). In 1993, Hae-Sun Kang was named First Violin of the Orchestre de Paris. The following year, she became soloist of the Ensemble intercontemporain. She has given the first performances of many violin concerti (by Pascal Dusapin, Ivan Fedele, Michael Jarrell and Philippe Manoury) with the most distinguished orchestras. She also plays regularly in the violin concerti of Unsuk Chin, Matthias Pintscher and Beat Furrer. In 1997, Hae-Sun Kang gave the first performance of Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes 2 for solo violin and electronics in Donaueschingen. Since then, she has recorded the work for Deutsche Grammophon and has performed both Anthèmes 2 and other works in Salzburg and Helsinki, and at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Paris Cité de la musique and Carnegie Hall in New York. In her solo recitals, Hae-Sun Kang performs works written for her, such as Unsuk Chin’s Double Blind?; a new solo violin score by Beat Furrer; and Georges Aperghis’s The Only Line for solo violin. She has continued to work with composers such as Marco Stroppa (giving the first performance of Hist Whist for violin and electronics at the Monaco Printemps des Arts in 2009), Bruno Mantovani (first performance of All’ungarese for violin and piano in 2009) and Dai Fujikura (first performance of Samsara for solo violin in 2010). (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Born in 1958, Pierre Strauch studied cello with Jean Deplace. He won first prize at the La Rochelle Rostropovitch competition in 1977 and joined the Ensemble intercontemporain the following year. He has performed, premiered and recorded many 20th century works by composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Luciano Berio, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Olivier Messiaen. He gave the Parisian premiere of Time and Motion Study II by Brian Ferneyhough and Ritorno degli Snovidenia by Luciano Berio. Presenting, analyzing and transmitting are the pillars of his work as teacher and conductor. His intensive compositional activity has spawned works for soloists, chamber ensembles (la Folie de Jocelin, Preludio imaginario, Faute d’un royaume for solo violin and seven instruments, Deux Portraits for five violas, Trois Odes Funèbres for five instruments, Quatre miniatures for cello and piano 2003), as well as for voice (Impromptu acrostiche for mezzo and three instruments, la Beauté (Excès) for three female voices and eight instruments). The Ensemble intercontemporain commissioned him to write a work for fifteen instruments, La Escalera del dragón (In memoriam Julio Cortázar), which was premiered in 2004 par Jonathan Nott. He is the co-founder, together with composers Diogène Rivas and Antonio Pileggi, of the Festival A Tempo de Caracas. (via Ensemble intercontemporain)
Violist John Stulz is a passionate promoter of new music. He regularly gives performances by the leading composers of our time both as a soloist and as a member of What’s Next? Ensemble and various other new music groups in Los Angeles, Boston and abroad. Highlights include the west coast premiere of Elliott Carter’s Figment IV for solo viola, the american premiere of Kryzstof Meyer’s Twelfth String Quartet, and a performance of Steven Mackey’s Physical Property for string quartet and electric guitar with the composer. John has worked under Pierre Boulez and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporaine as a fellow of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland as well as George Benjamin and members of the Ensemble Modern with the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie in Schwaz, Austria. In 2011, John studied contemporary European music intensively under Garth Knox, former violist of the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Intercontemporaine. John has served as principal violist of the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, New England Conservatory Philharmonia and the Shleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany. With the later he has toured across Germany and Europe under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach including performances in Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, Grenada, Hamburg, and Weissbaden. In 2008 John made his solo debut playing the Walton Viola Concerto with the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra. In 2010, John graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where he studied viola with Donald McInnes and served as a member of the contemporary music ensemble for four years under the direction of Donald Crockett. Additionally, John played for two years in a string quartet with Professor Midori Goto and studied composition privately with Erica Muhl and Veronika Krausas. He is currently living in Boston where he is pursuing his masters degree at the New England Conservatory of music studying under Kim Kashkashian. Stulz rejoins the Ensemble intercontemporain in October 2015. (via What’s Next? Ensemble)
With mounting success in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Jayce Ogren is building a reputation as one of the finest young conductors to emerge from the United States in recent seasons. He began the 2015/2016 season leading Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Music Academy of the West before heading to Paris to conduct the Ensemble Intercontemporain in a program that includes music of Stockhausen, Jodlowski, Nono, and Andrew Norman. He leads subscription weeks with the Colorado, Edmonton and Victoria Symphony orchestras, and Philadelphia’s Orchestra 2001; Bernstein’s West Side Story with film for the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Dallas Symphony; and the world premiere of Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Highlights of last season included acclaimed performances of the Strauss Burleske with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Emanuel Ax; Basil Twist’s Rite of Spring with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival; the New York Philharmonic in their CONTACT! Series of contemporary music; and the recording Rufus Wainright’s opera Prima Donna with the BBC Symphony for release on Deutsche Grammophon. During recent seasons Jayce Ogren has led new productions of Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto with the New York City Opera, where he was Music Director, as well as the American premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, for which he won extensive critical acclaim. He also made his Canadian Opera debut in Stravinsky’s The Nightingale & Other Short Fables. Notable orchestral highlights include stepping in for James Levine to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a challenging program that included the world premiere of Peter Lieberson’s song cycle Songs of Love and Sorrow with Gerald Finley; his debut with the New York Philharmonic on the CONTACT! Series and leading the Philharmonic in two concerts during the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL; staged performances of Turn of the Screw for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New World Symphony. He has also led all-Stravinsky programs with the New York City Ballet. Jayce Ogren’s extensive work in contemporary music has included collaborations with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in programs at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and at the Wien Modern Festival. He also conducted world premieres in Nico Muhly’s contemporary festival, “A Scream and an Outrage,” with the BBC Symphony at the Barbican. European guest engagements have included the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and Robert Carson’s production of My Fair Lady at the Chatelet in Paris. He led the European premiere of Bernstein’s West Side Story film with live orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, which he repeated with the Detroit Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He also traveled to South Africa to lead the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, appeared with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Asturias Symphony, and led Le Nozze di Figaro at the Verbier Festival Academy. A native of Washington State, Ogren received his Bachelor’s Degree in Composition from St. Olaf College in 2001 and his Master’s Degree in Conducting from the New England Conservatory in 2003. With a Fulbright Grant, he completed a postgraduate diploma in orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he studied with the legendary Jorma Panula and spent two summers at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. He was appointed by Franz Welser-Möst as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra and has led the Cleveland Orchestra in regular season subscription concerts and at The Blossom Festival. As a composer, Ogren’s works have been performed at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, the Brevard Music Center, the American Choral Directors Association Conference and the World Saxophone Congress. His Symphonies of Gaia has been performed by ensembles on three continents and is the title track on a DVD featuring the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. Ogren is an award-winning triathlete, most recently completing the 2015 Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge running the Boston Marathon and the Big Sur Marathon back to back. He also completed the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon and one week later finished fourth in his age group in the 2014 New York City Triathlon. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York. (via Colbert Artists Management)