NEW EUROPEAN ENSEMBLE
The New European Ensemble, based in The Hague, the Netherlands was founded in 2008 by a group of young musicians from across Europe and conductor Christian Karlsen. The ensemble, noted for its imaginative programming and exciting performing style, has received accolades for its ‘contagious enthusiasm’ (Nutida Musik) and ‘exemplary performances’ (de Volkskrant). The ensemble regularly tours internationally and prominent composers, such as Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg (in 2013/14 the ensemble’s composer in residence), enjoy working with the group.
The ensemble is made up of multi-talented musicians of who are active as soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral leaders. The musicians’ aim is to present contemporary music in an innovative way such as by combining music with other art forms such as film, literature, theatre, dance and visual arts. They often address societal issues in their programming and perform at alternative locations outside the concert hall. The objective for the musicians is to attract a broad audience, while at the same challenging themselves artistically.
The ensemble has organised numerous large-scale projects. In 2010 and 2012 New European Ensemble successfully staged Voices by Hans Werner Henze, a work with a strong focus on human rights together with Amnesty International. In 2012 the ensemble presented Strange News, in cooperation with the International Criminal Court, a multi-media production that confronts the audience with the fate of African child soldiers (the project will be repeated during the 2014/15 season). In 2010 the ensemble and New Opera Amsterdam co-created the opera production Moonstruck Intoxication, a double bill with Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Peter Maxwell Davies' Miss Donnithorn's Maggot. The New European Ensemble has also organised a string of festivals around prominent composers focusing on Arnold Schoenberg in 2009, Kaija Saariaho in 2011 and Magnus Lindberg in 2013/14.
New European Ensemble believes that new music cannot be separated from tradition and strives to program concerts where new music and older music are imaginatively combined. In 2014/15 the ensemble will present the Stabat Maters by Pergolesi and Arvo Pärt in one program.
The ensemble regularly commissions new works from veteran composers such as Klas Torstensson and Peter-Jan Wagemans as well as from numerous younger composers such as Silvia Colasanti, Mirjam Tally and Ezequiel Menalled. Justin Christensen, Djuro Zivkovic and Benjamin Staern were all awarded prestigious composition prizes for pieces commissioned by the ensemble.
The New European Ensemble has performed in all the major concert halls in the Netherlands, including Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam, Musis Sacrum in Arnhem and the Dr Anton Philipszaal in The Hague. It has also played a prominent role at numerous Dutch festivals such as the Chamber Opera Festival in Zwolle, the White Crow Music Festival in Leiden, the NJO Muziekzomer and Dag in de Branding.
The ensemble toured East-Anglia in 2011 and has visited Sweden on several occasions. In 2010 they made a tour of the country’s major concert halls. In 2012 NEuE was ensemble in residence at the Sounds of Stockholm festival. In 2013 the musicians gave several concerts during the Connect Festival in Malmö. In 2014 they presented three concerts at the Made Festival in Umeå, as part of the cultural events that the city organized as the European Capital of Culture.
The ensemble organizes educational programs for primary schools, secondary schools and composition students. Many of the ensemble’s concerts have been broadcast on radio and television across Europe. Outside Time, a programme with works by Klas Torstensson, Benjamin Staern and Schoenberg, was broadcast live on the Dutch Radio 4 and on the Swedish radio channel P2.
Click here for the New European Ensemble's website