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Happy New Ears

Workshop Concerts with the Ensemble Modern

John Cage once wished his audiences »Happy New Ears«, encouraging people to welcome the challenge, and unique experience, of hearing something new. This series of events by the Ensemble Modern at Oper Frankfurt began in 1993. Every season four composers present their works, talk about how they came into being, composition technique and how they are to be performed in these special workshop concerts.

This first event this season is a portrait of the Greek composer Georges Aperghis (*1945). This is followed by an evening dedicated to an outstanding personality, long associated with music life in Hessen and the Ensemble Modern, to celebrate his 80th birthday: Hans Zender – who promoted the Happy New Ears series to come into being. The Ensemble Modern have performed many world premieres of his works. Then comes a portrait (in the Holzfoyer) of the British composer Rebecca Saunders (*1967), which is followed by an evening devoted to a composer who quickly rose to fame in the 1920s, but whose works have only relatively recently become performed more often again : Ernst Křenek (1900-1991) – to link in with the first performances in Frankfurt of his three one act operas.

The Ensemble Modern was formed in 1980 and is established worldwide as one of the leading ensembles specialising in new music. The unique way in which they are organised and work and their distinctive range of methods in performing chamber music, orchestral concerts and opera, distinguish this ensemble from all others. They work closely with composers and perform, on average, 70 new works a year, including c. 20 world premieres. The ensemble performs around 100 concerts a year at important festivals and concert halls from Oslo to Rome, in Japan and the USA.

June 5 2018 : Carola Bauckholt (main auditorium, Oper Frankfurt)