Afro-Modernism in Contemporary Music

Concert and Symposium as Livestreams

Conscious of the current absence of composers of colour from European concert programmes, Ensemble Modern explores ›Afro-Modernism in Contemporary Music‹ and has invited the composer and trombonist George E. Lewis, a professor at New York’s Columbia University and an acclaimed expert on the multi-faceted oeuvre of composers of colour, as a curator. The composers selected for this event include Alvin Singleton (USA), Tania León (Cuba/USA), Daniel Kidane (UK), Andile Khumalo (South Africa), Hannah Kendall (UK) and Jessie Cox (Switzerland).

Ensemble Modern will present six world or German premieres by these composers under the baton of Vimbayi Kaziboni on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 8 pm at the Philharmonie in Essen, as part of the Festival NOW! Due to current government restrictions, the concert will take place without an audience, but will be offered as an exclusive livestream. The video recording will also be available for streaming on Friday, November 13, 2020 from 6 pm to midnight – i.e. on the day of the concert at the Alte Oper Frankfurt which unfortunately has had to be cancelled. Furthermore, the concert in Essen will be recorded by Deutschlandfunk; its broadcast date is yet to be announced.

An accompanying symposium including the composers, the curator George E. Lewis, additional experts and members of Ensemble Modern will take place on November 12, 2020 from 12 to 8:30 pm in Frankfurt. This will also be streamed live in its entirety and will be available afterwards on demand for the next 6 month (until May 12, 2021).

7 November 2020, 8 pm
Concert – Live-Stream from the Philharmonie Essen
Alvin Singleton:
Again for ensemble (1979) (DEA)
Jessie Cox: Existence lies In-Between for chamber ensemble (2017) (UA)
Daniel Kidane: Foreign Tongues for string quartet (2015) (DEA)
Hannah Kendall: Verdala for ensemble (2018) (DEA)
Andile Khumalo: Invisible Self for piano and large ensemble (2020) (UA)
Tania León: Indígena for ensemble (1991) (DEA)
Ensemble Modern
Vimbayi Kaziboni Conductor
Ueli Wiget Piano

12 November 2020, 12 pm to 8 pm
Symposium – Live-Stream from the attic of Ensemble Modern’s headquarter, Frankfurt
with Naomi Andre, Jessie Cox, Björn Gottstein, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Hannah Kendall, Andile Khumalo, Daniel Kidane, Harald Kisiedu, Tania León, Bonaventure Soy Bejeng Ndikung, Alvin Singleton as well as complementary concerts with Jessie Cox (Percussion), George E. Lewis (Trombone/Live-electronics) and members of the Ensemble Modern
George E. Lewis Curator
Martina Taubenberger Moderation

A detailed schedule is located on Downloads.

All streams at

As part of 1 2 3 4 ty Years Ensemble Modern – Anniversary Cycle 2020. Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.