Kindling enthusiasm for New Music: the master course epoch_f for contemporary music offers an opportunity to winners of national and international youth music competitions and is open to musicians aged 14 to 20. Approximately 20 such prize winners work on repertoire of the 21st and 20th century, together with Ensemble Modern musicians as docents and a renowned guest conductor. In addition to music-making, the accompanying workshop in music education provides cause for reflection: not only about music per se, but also the artist’s relationship with the audience.
Currently not accepting applications
One-week master course in Lower Saxony
Rehearsals of core works of the contemporary repertoire (chamber music and ensemble works with conductor) under the supervision of Ensemble Modern members and a renowned guest conductor
Workshops in rhythm and music education / stage presence
Public performances in Germany and abroad
Since 2008, IEMA has run the epoch_f master classes in cooperation with the Stiftung Niedersachsen and Landesmusikakademie Wolfenbüttel. The master class offers young prize winners of international music competitions the chance to learn how to decipher unknown scores, practice New Music playing techniques and, step by step, give shape to this new sound experience as part of an ensemble. In addition, the participants have the opportunity to take instrumental lessons focusing on one selected solo work.
The daily rhythm workshop with the percussion docent and the additional training in music education and stage presence round out the course.
A selection of the repertoire is presented to the public at a joint concert at the end of the course. This gives participants the unique opportunity to perform side by side with the professionals of Ensemble Modern and jointly play larger ensemble works.
Incidentally, the letter „f” in „epoch_ f” stands for music after 1950: The „Jugend musiziert” competition guidelines divide the musical epochs chronologically according to musical styles, assigning a letter to each epoch.
Hans Zender Academy
Ensuring that practical musical knowledge and experience is passed on to the next generation: the master course Hans Zender Academy is tailored to young instrumentalists and composers at the end of their studies who are aware of the special challenges which music of the 20th/21st century poses for them. Docents including Ensemble Modern members and guest teachers ensure the focus on key works of contemporary music.
Currently not accepting applications
Hans Zender was not only a creative and ever-reflective spirit, but initiated projects on many levels. Thus, exchange with coming generations of artists was an issue close to his heart. Accordingly, November 2021 saw the first edition of the ›Hans Zender Academy‹ in Meersburg on Lake Constance, giving advanced instrumental students the opportunity to profit from the expertise of individual Ensemble Modern members and additional guest docents. The one-week master course ends with the Meersburg ConcertConversations, which were initiated as early as 2018, when Hans Zender was still alive and actively involved. Support from the City of Meersburg, the Hans and Gertrud Zender Foundation and the Ensemble Modern Board of Patrons e.V. makes it possible to ensure that practical musical knowledge and experience is passed on to the next generation, so that contemporary repertoire can be maintained in its diversity and adequately performed in the future as well. IEMA has presented the master course Hans Zender Academy since 2021.
One-week master course in preparation of the Meersburg ConcertConversations
Approximately 15 internationally selected instrumentalists and 2 composers work with Ensemble Modern musicians as docents and guest docents on key works of contemporary music
The works rehearsed are performed publicly as part of the Meersburg ConcertConversations
Young Ensemble Academy
Coaching young ensembles: 2022 saw the launch of a new master course format tailored to young existing instrumental ensembles dedicated to new music.
Completing its offerings for young professional musicians, Ensemble Modern and IEMA have developed a stand-alone course format focusing explicitly on the needs of young ensembles in the field of contemporary music. It is tailored to ensembles at the level of advanced students poised to transition to their professional lives, as well as ensembles which are still young, but already working professionally. During a one-week intense working phase in Frankfurt, the young ensembles will be coached by Ensemble Modern members; workshops on various issues complement the curriculum. In a final concert, the ensembles introduce themselves to the public individually, but also jointly in a composition commissioned for this occasion.
Intensive training in the challenges of contemporary music: the master course at the festival Klangspuren Schwaz (2004 to 2021) was designed for young musicians at the end of their professional training who are cognisant of the special challenges which 20th and 21st-century music poses. Members of Ensemble Modern as docents and an exceptional composer personality as “composer in residence” guaranteed a multi-faceted and hands-on approach to key works of contemporary music.
Ten-day master course as part of the festival Klangspuren Schwaz (Tyrol)
Approximately 35 selected international instrumentalists and two conductors work on key contemporary works with Ensemble Modern musicians as docents and a “composer in residence”
Performance of the works in public concerts as part of the international festival Klangspuren Schwaz
From 2004 to 2021, IEMA offered master courses at the Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz, Austria. Since its founding in 1994, the festival has become the largest and most important music festival in Austria focussing on contemporary music. Today, the original concept – to provide a professional platform for contemporary, living music – is still the cornerstone of the festival’s programming. The IEMA master courses were one of the festival’s most successful and important projects.
Every year during the master courses, up to 35 selected international instrumentalists and conductors dedicated themselves to key contemporary works together with members of Ensemble Modern as tutors. Renowned composers, e.g. Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm, Steve Reich, Johannes Maria Staud, George Benjamin, Unsuk Chin, Hans Zender, Enno Poppe, Sofia Gubaidulina and Adriana Hölszky as “composers-in-residence” ensure that these master classes are an intense and challenging experience, where music from the 20th and 21st century is studied and performed within the framework of the festival. The courses concluded with a public performance of the works in question during final concerts presented by the festival.