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Mondrian Ensemble


There is a growing gap between the New Music industry with its compulsive devotion to world premières on the one hand, and the established Classical scene that primarily embraces music from Bach to Stravinsky on the other hand. It is this gap repertoire to which the Mondrian Ensemble has been committed since 2000 and, above and beyond, it endeavours to link up different historical eras, regardless of whatever chasms might have to be crossed to achieve it. The Mondrian Ensemble’s commitment to both new and newest music is thus just as important as its engagement to the Classical-Romantic repertoire. It takes particular pleasure in experiments that illuminate cross-connections that one would not notice at first glance – such as those that exist between Liszt’s late oeuvre and drone improvisation, or between Franz Schubert’s sense of temporal organisation and that of Morton Feldman. Shortly after its foundation in 2000, the Mondrian Ensemble won the Nicati Competition for the interpretation of contemporary music, and in 2003 the third prize in a chamber music competition organized by the Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund. There followed debuts at the Zurich Tonhalle (2003), at the Lucerne Festival (2005), at the Musikverein in Vienna (2006) and the Wigmore Hall in London (2007) as well as participation in many festivals and tours. Most recently, the Mondrian Ensemble was awarded a Working Year Scholarship by the City of Zurich. Numerous composers have written works for the Mondrian Ensemble, which it has endeavoured to keep in its repertoire beyond their first performances. These include Dieter Ammann’s Gehörte Form – Hommages (performed around forty times) and works by Wanja Aloe, Jürg Frey, Rudolf Kelterborn, Detlev Müller-Siemens, Roland Moser, Felix Profos, Michel Roth, Martin Jaggi (long-time cellist of the Ensemble) and many others. In 2004 the Ensemble was featured in a CD by Grammont Portrait; in 2007 the Ensemble made recordings for a Grammont Portrait CD of Felix Profos and in 2010 for a portrait CD of Dieter Ammann. All the pieces on the portrait CD of Detlev Müller-Siemens, recorded by WERGO in 2013, are played by the Mondrian Ensemble. On the portrait CD of Jürg Frey that was also released in 2014 the Mondrian Ensemble is present with several pieces. In 2015 the Ensemble presents music by Rudolf Kelterborn, Roland Moser and Michel Roth (NEOS) and will also contribute to a portrait CD of Martin Jaggi. The Mondrian Ensemble has been admitted to the partnership program of the Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art in 2015.