© Barbara Fahle


Composition Seminar

Ensemble Modern as a mentor for young composers: the International Composition Seminar is designed for composers at the outset of their professional careers. Every two years, it offers four to six composers the opportunity to work intensively with Ensemble Modern. The seminar concludes with the public performance of the newly written works by Ensemble Modern.


Two one-week working phases, one building on the other

During the first phase (try-out), compositional ideas are tested and discussed with Ensemble Modern musicians; during the second phase (rehearsal phase), the new compositions are rehearsed and given their world premieres

A renowned guest conductor moderates the “work-in-progress” and leads the final concert

The International Composition Seminar was initiated in 2004 by the Allianz Kulturstiftung as the only event of its kind worldwide. Young composers particularly find it difficult to gain a foothold in the professional world: learning and studying generally take place exclusively at universities; there is usually no opportunity to work with professional ensembles. The International Composition Seminar strives to fill this gap, creating a platform which enables learning and working in a professional and international context.

The format is great for young composers who are trying to establish themselves. (Andreas Eduardo Frank)

With their many years of experience as instrumentalists, the members of Ensemble Modern provide invaluable support to the creative process of the participating young composers. The seminar includes two working phases: during a first try-out, composers can experiment with and develop their compositional ideas in conjunction with the musicians. In a second phase, the pieces are then thoroughly rehearsed and given their world premieres. Both of these phases are accompanied by acclaimed personalities from the world of music, including, in the past, Stefan Asbury, George Benjamin, Johannes Kalitzke, Hanspeter Kyburz, Helmut Lachenmann, Franck Ollu and Enno Poppe.

Since 2011 the International Composition Seminar has formed part of the festival “cresc... Biennial for Modern Music Frankfurt Rhine Main”, enabling a more effective and sustainable dissemination of the compositional results.

1st Composition Seminar with Helmut Lachenmann, Saed Haddad, Marko Nikodijevic, Márton Illés, 2004 © Barbara Fahle
Composition Seminar, 2017 © Barbara Fahle
Stephan Asbury and Manuel Nawri, 2007 © Barbara Fahle

Currently not accepting applications