ensemble recherche (scroll down to see more)

Dear audience,

in these times we experience what culture means to us: the tension we experience together, the feeling of closeness, being there, listening to each other, the social interaction that follows … All these things we are painfully missing at the moment!

It is obvious to transfer content into digital space – knowing that the real interaction will be missing. We would like to offer digital contents on this transitional website step by step: Podcast episodes, video recordings and information on the current situation. Thank you for your interest and support for our work! And above all: Stay healthy!

All the best,

ensemble recherche

Concert cancellations due to Corona

The following concerts have already been cancelled:

  • 13.-17.03.20 „how to reboot the universe“ (6 performances)
  • 20.03.20 „Zwischen den Sternen“, SWR JetztMusik in Ravensburg
  • 30.3.–3.4.20 Klassenarbeit with students from San Sebastian and Ljubljana
  • 15.4.–17.4.20 CD production with Christian Mason
  • 25.04.20 Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik
  • 29.04.20 ABO concert „Poética del camino“, Konzerthaus Freiburg
  • 30.04.20 Stuttgart, Theaterhaus
  • 02.05.20 Ankara, New Music Festival
  • 15./16.05.20 Valencia, Festival Ensems (workshop and concert)
  • 02.06.20 Kopenhagen, KLANG Festival
  • 03.06.20 Aarhus

We will try to video record some pieces of our Freiburg concert series and to publish them online. Therefore information regarding the following concerts will follow shortly:

  • 20.05.20 ABO concert „spotted: Japan“, PEAC Museum Freiburg
  • 19.06.20 ABO concert „wandeln“, Ensemblehaus Freiburg

Support ensemble recherche

As a free ensemble, which has to finance itself to approximately 75 % through concert fees, the COVID 19 pandemic hits us very hard. Of course we are anxious to mitigate the viral spread and take our responsibility – both as organizers and as an internationally performing (and therefore traveling) ensemble – very seriously. We do not want to encourage the spread of the virus!

Nevertheless, the current situation is threatening our existence and we expect massive fee losses!

If you would like to support us in this difficult time, we are very grateful!

Donations by bank transfer to: Freunde des ensemble recherche e. V. · Volksbank Freiburg· IBAN: DE29 680 90000 00 3636 4904 · BIC: GENODE61FR1· reference: corona emergency relief

If you would like a donation receipt for a donation of 200 € or more, please send an e-mail with your full address to freunde@ensemble-recherche.de

ensemble recherche – digital

Unfortunately we cannot afford a digital concert hall. Nevertheless, we would like to present a part of our digital contents to you here. This digital collection is constantly updated and new content is added bit by bit. Have fun browsing and listening!

ensemble recherche Podcast

Since 1985, the ensemble recherche has dedicated itself to the new and unknown. The ensemble recherche podcast provides insights into the work of the ensemble. In monthly episodes we meet composers, accompany the musicians on their concert tours or take a look into the curious world of contemporary sound research. All episodes are recorded in German.

Episode 4: Neues aus dem Norden

In the fourth episode, cellist Åsa Åkerberg talks about her time with the ensemble recherche. She also talks to Clemens K. Thomas about Simon Steen-Andersen's piece "Next to Beside".

Episode 3: Vom Neustart des Universums

In the third episode we get insights into the development of multimedia music theatre "how to reboot the universe". In our music theatre we ask the question: In which future do we want to live? And what would we do if we could reboot the world? Push to reboot!

Episode 2: Alte Töne und das Gefühl von Freiheit

In the second episode our violinist Melise Mellinger looks back on the 70s. In 1977, as a young woman, she came from Romania to Freiburg to study the violin. It was a moving time in which her personal concept of freedom developed. We will also hear an excerpt from the 1st Freiburg subscription concert with Morton Feldman's "The Viola in my life II".

Episode 1: Die junge Schwedin und die heilige Francesca

In the first episode we meet Lisa Streich and chat about her image as "young Swedish woman" and "the one with the engines". We also talk about the inspiration for her latest piece FRANCESCA and hear excerpts from the premiere by the ensemble recherche at Klangspuren Schwaz in Innsbruck.

ensemble recherche on YouTube

The members of the ensemble recherche have been dedicated to the new and unknown since 1985. The Freiburg-based ensemble has shaped contemporary music and written musical history during this period of more than three decades – with in excess of 600 premiers and more than 50 CD recordings. The eight musicians, all internationally known soloists in the field of contemporary music, combine immense pleasure in experimentation with enthusiasm for intensive consideration of the present time. The eight soloists place their enormous musicality and their individual personalities at the service of the collective so that they can research the musical present together, as an ensemble. The considerable energy and personal commitment of each and every explains why the independent ensemble has been recognised as one of the most important players of contemporary music for more than three decades.

The ensemble recherche is regularly invited to the most prestigious festivals in Europe, and has made guest appearances at, among others, the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Venice Biennale, the Donaueschingen Music Festival, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, and the Vienna Modern. International concert tours have taken the ensemble to, among other places, Israel, Japan, China, Russia, Mexico, the USA and South America. In Freiburg the ensemble introduces the public to new developments in contemporary music and exciting composer personalities during its own series of subscription concerts.

In collaboration with both young and established composers, the ensemble recherche generates new impetus and greatly influences the development of contemporary music. Students of composition at the music academies in, among other places, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Linz, Freiburg, Antwerp, Reykjavik and Cambridge profit from the ensemble musicians’ many years of experience within the framework of the ensemble’s long-standing ‘Class Work’ project, in particular. The ensemble’s personal links to important composers of the 20th century (particularly with Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, Gérard Grisey, Hans Abrahamsen and Hans Werner Henze) make its musicians experts in ‘historical performance practice’ in the contemporary music of the last century.

The ensemble invests in the future and wants to pass on its spirit of research to the next generation in numerous teaching activities, such as school workshops, children’s concerts, participative youth projects, and master classes. The ensemble recherche thus advocates a culture of sensitive listening, a productive handling of difference, and a joyful and relaxed approach to complexity.

The ensemble recherche, together with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, has been headquartered in the Ensemble House Freiburg since 2012. During recent years, the ensemble has gradually rejuvenated itself with younger musicians and new management – ideal prerequisites for continuing to write musical history in future…

The ensemble recherche won the City of Freiburg Reinhold Schneider Prize in 2018.

Mario Caroli, Flöte – Eduardo Olloqui, Oboe – Shizuyo Oka, Klarinette

Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Piano – Christian Dierstein, Schlagzeug

Melise Mellinger, Violine – Paul Beckett, Viola – Åsa Åkerberg, Cello


ensemble recherche / Ensemblehaus / Schützenallee 72 / D-79102 Freiburg

Phone +49 (0)761 70 20 79/ Fax +49 (0)761 70 20 80 / mail@ensemble-recherche.de

Clemens K. Thomas · Artistic Manager · thomas@ensemble-recherche.de

Beate Rieker · Executive Manager · rieker@ensemble-recherche.de


The ensemble recherche is sponsored by the City of Freiburg and the state of Baden-Württemberg.


ensemble recherche GbR – Ensemblehaus, Schützenallee 72, 79102 Freiburg

Photos: Marc Doradzillo

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ensemble recherche, Ensemblehaus, Schützenallee 72, 79102 Freiburg