Ensemble Modern concludes its anniversary year by celebrating its 40th birthday on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, by performing the world premieres of 40 miniatures in a ceremony held at the main hall of the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Entitled ›Beschenkt‹ (Gifted), the new compositions will be released simultaneously as a double album by the ensemble’s own label Ensemble Modern Media. Due to the regulations against the coronavirus this concert takes place without audience, exclusively as livestream on www.ensemble-modern.com/on-air
40 short compositions have been written for the 40th anniversary, musical birthday presents for Ensemble Modern composed by long-standing friends and partners as well as young composers, all centred on the theme ›Winter – Christmas – Ceremony.‹ They include “old masters” such as Peter Eötvös, Brian Ferneyhough and Heinz Holliger, as well as creators of the younger generation, such as Martón Illés and Chikage Imai – together, these composers embody the ensemble’s history and point towards the future of New Music. These 40 miniatures, lasting two to three minutes each, will be given their world premieres by Ensemble Modern under the baton of Ingo Metzmacher during the ceremony: a multi-faceted, entertaining kaleidoscope of 21st-century music. The evening will be moderated by the writer Ilija Trojanow. The patron of the evening is Prof. Monika Grütters, Member of the Bundestag, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
The miniatures were recorded in advance in cooperation with hr2-kultur. The resulting double album ›Beschenkt‹ will be released in time for the ceremony by the ensemble’s own label, Ensemble Modern Media, which in turn is celebrating its 20-year anniversary.