International Ensemble Modern Academy

New Music in a context of vibrant learning, experimentation and discourse. It was with these objectives in mind that the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) was founded in 2003 as a logical extension of everything the Ensemble Modern (EM) stands for: highest quality, joy of performing, interdisciplinary art projects and internationality. Over the last thirty years the EM has made profound study of many artists and their works, gaining deep understanding and extensive knowledge of music from the beginnings of the 20th century onwards: a »memory of modern music«. IEMA strives to give young artists the opportunity to share in this memory and benefit from it in various ways. Thanks to funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Kunststiftung NRW, GVL and the Allianz Cultural Foundation, IEMA is able to offer a variety of training programmes designed to promote artistic discourse between highly qualified young musicians and renowned personalities from the arts world.
One of the core training programmes is a one-year Master's programme in contemporary music, launched in 2006 in cooperation with the University of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt am Main (HfMDK), which now attracts great international interest. Young artists (instrumentalists, conductors, composers, and sound directors) work for an entire year with the members of the Ensemble Modern on the diverse repertoire of modern music. Cooperation, for example with the Centre for Arts and Media Technology (ZKM) in Karlsruhe or the Institute for Applied Theatre Sciences in Gießen, makes interdisciplinary projects possible. Famous composers and conductors are also regularly invited to participate, including Friedrich Cerha, Peter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Lucas Vis and Hans Zender. The results of this work are presented in over 20 concerts each year in Germany and abroad, amongst others at the Witten Days for New Chamber Music, the Gaudeamus Muziekweek or the Kurt Weil Fest in Dessau. In 2012, IEMA also began offering a scholarship in music education, supported by the ALTANA Kulturstiftung. IEMA is member of the Ulysses Network, an alliance that was founded in 2012 and brings together 14 musical institutions and academies from all over Europe. Trough this network, funded with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union, IEMA can offer better conditions for the production and dissemination of works created within its context. It gives young composers the chance to expand their network throughout the continent and to present their works to a broader audience. Since 2014 both our active students and more than 160 graduates of this master course are able to participate in projects with the Ensemble Modern Orchestra. This is made possible by funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
IEMA's training programme also includes an institution which is unique in the world: the International Composition Seminar for composers, conductors and musicologists. Here, young composers receive the opportunity to encounter outstanding guest tutors and to experiment with and perform their own works together with the Ensemble Modern over the course of several working phases. In 2011 the Composition Seminar first took place as part of the festival cresc..., the Biennial for Modern Music Frankfurt Rhein Main.
In addition, the International Ensemble Modern Academy regularly offers master classes, for example at the Paxos Spring Festival in Greece and at the Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz in Austria. In 2005 successful classes were also held in Japan and Korea. In 2008, 2010 and 2011 the work in Tokyo was continued. In 2010/11 the Siemens Foundation, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Ensemble Modern jointly offered a training programme for contemporary ensemble playing entitled ›contempo primo‹.
In the field of education, since 2009 IEMA partners with the ALTANA Kulturstiftung, cultural institutions and several schools in Frankfurt in organising an unique cultural project: over the course of one year, a weekly ›culture day‹ (›Kulturtag‹) gives 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to embark on an excursion through the various artistic disciplines (music, arts, dance, literature). So far, the project has been implemented at the Bettinaschule Frankfurt, IGS Nordend and Charles-Hallgarten-Schule.
Since 2008 IEMA has been running the master classes ›Epoche f‹ especially for young instrumentalists, in cooperation with Lower Saxony’s ›Jugend musiziert‹ Foundation. Prize-winners of the German music competition »Jugend musiziert« are invited to work on pieces of contemporary music with members of the Ensemble Modern and then to perform them in a joint concert at the end of the course. This project has proved highly successful and has met with very positive resonance.
These are just some examples of the different areas in which IEMA is active at the moment: starting with children and teenagers and continuing with students who have completed their training, to conductors and composers who have already embarked upon their professional careers and receive grants to participate in international master classes.