Ensemble Modern

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Ensemble Modern is a chamber ensemble dedicated to the music of modern composers. Formed in 1980, the group is based in Frankfurt, Germany and made up variously of about twenty members from numerous countries.

Ensemble Modern tours widely and has released many recordings, performing works by such composers as Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, Kurt Weill, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Conlon Nancarrow, Steve Reich, George Benjamin, Friedrich Goldmann, Elliott Sharp, Roberto Carnevale, Frank Zappa, Anthony Braxton, Heiner Goebbels, Harrison Birtwistle, Arnold Schoenberg, Hanspeter Kyburz, Pierre Boulez, Hans Werner Henze and many others. The group is highly regarded for its ability to play difficult music with complex rhythms and tempi. In 2003 the group received an ECHO.

Recordings with/of Frank Zappa music:


  • 1990: Wolfgang Rihm, Peter Ruzicka: "umsungen" /"...der die Gesänge zerschlug" (Ars Musici 0825-2)
  • 1993: Heiner Goebbels: La Jalousie/Red Run/Herakles 2/Befreiung (ECM Records 1483 4377997-2); Heinz Holliger: Scardanelli-Zyklus (ECM Records 1472/73 437 441-2); Mauricio Kagel: Exotica (MusiKado AUL 66099); Conlon Nancarrow: Studies (RCA/BMG 09026 61180 2); Frank Zappa: The Yellow Shark (Barking Pumpkin Records 21160572)
  • 1994: Isang Yun: Mugung-Dong/Teile dich Nacht/Oktett/Impression (Ars Musici AM 0855-2)
  • 1995: Hans Zender: Schuberts Winterreise (RCA/BMG 09026 68067 2)
  • 1996: Mark-Anthony Turnage: Blood on the Floor (DVD) (Arthaus Musik 100 430)
  • 1997: John Cage: The Piano Concerts (mode 57)
  • 1998: Hanns Eisler: Roaring Eisler (RCA/BMG 74321 56882 2)
  • 1999: Charles Ives: Fourth Symphony (EM Medien EMCD-001); Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht: Die Dreigroschenoper (RCA/BMG 74321 6464 2)
  • 2000: George Benjamin: Sudden Time/Three Inventions/Viola, Viola (Nimbus Records NI 5732); Fred Frith: Traffic continues (Winter & Winter 910 044-2)
  • 2001: Ludwig van Beethoven: Sinfonie Nr. 5 (BMC Records BMC CD 063); Emmanuel Nunes: Quodlibet (Montaigne 782055)
  • 2002: Heiner Goebbels: Eislermaterial (ECM Records 1779 461 648-2); Helmut Lachenmann: Schwankungen am Rand (ECM Records 1798 461949-2); Steve Reich: City Life/New York Counterpoint/Eight Lines/Violin Phase (RCA/BMG 74321 66459 2)
  • 2003: Frank Zappa: Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions (RCA Records 82876 56061 2 RCA Red Seal)
  • 2006: Morton Feldman: For Samuel Beckett (HatHutRecords hat[now]ART 142); György Kurtág: Complete Choral Works (Hänssler Klassik CD 93.174)
  • 2007: Helmut Lachenmann: NUN (EM Medien EMCD-004); Helmut Lachenmann: Concertini/Kontrakadenz (EM Medien EMSACD-001); Helmut Lachenmann, Richard Strauss: Ausklang/Eine Alpensinfonie (EM Medien EMCD-003); Steve Reich: City Life (DVD) (WMG B000O17184)
  • 2008: Heiner Goebbels: Schwarz auf Weiß (DVD) (WERGO NZ71); George Benjamin: Into the Little Hill (Nimbus Records NI5828); Portrait CDs von Michael M. Kasper, Hermann Kretzschmar und Johannes Schwarz (EM Medien EMCD-006, EMCD-005, EMSACD-002)
  • 2009: Portrait CDs von Valentín Garvie, Sava Stoianov, Ueli Wiget (EM Medien EMCD-009, EMCD-008, EMCD-007); Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto: utp_ (DVD) (Raster Noton r-n096)
  • 2010: Portrait CDs von Dietmar Wiesner (EM Medien EMCD-011), Rainer Römer (EM Medien EMCD-012), Jagdish Mistry (EM Medien EMCD-013), Uwe Dierksen (EM Medien EMCD-014 und EMSACD-004), Eva Böcker (EM Medien EMSACD-003), Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne (EM Medien EMCD-015)
  • 2011: Ensemble Modern - Ernest Bour (EM Medien EMCD-017)
  • 2012: Arnulf Herrmann: Wasser - Musiktheater in 13 Szenen (EM Medien EMCD-019)
  • 2013: Hans Zender: 33 Veränderungen über 33 Veränderungen (EM Medien EMCD-020)

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