Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain
Text in englischer Sprache verfügbarFrance's Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (not to be confused with the Ensemble InterContemporain) is a major force in contemporary music in France, having performed about 200 world premieres. The group is based in the Lyon area and has the stated goal of "becoming part of the cultural development" of its Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain was founded in 1992 by Daniel Kawka, who remained its director until 2019. He established a core group of 19 musicians, drawn from various elite programs and ensembles; for larger works, the Ensemble can expand to orchestral dimensions. Its repertoire is firmly focused on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries and is unusually large, comprising more than 600 works by 300 composers, about 200 of which it has premiered. Each season involves the performance of more than 80 works, many of them new, and each concert is mounted as a discrete, original event. The group plays at festivals around France, including the Imperial Annecy Festival and the Musiques Démesurées festival in Clermont-Ferrand, as well as abroad (the Venice Biennale and the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo). However, the orchestra's activities remain centered on southeastern France, where it mounts cultural activities that draw some 2,000 new listeners each year, and the group stresses innovative projects originated in collaboration with local musicians and other cultural figures. In 2019, Bruno Mantovani, son of the easy listening/light music conductor, Mantovani (Annunzio Paolo Mantovani), became the orchestra's new director. Since 1999, when it made its debut on the 2e2m label with an album of works by Gilbert Amy, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain has made recordings for various labels, including Aeon, Naïve, and Musicaphon. In 2020, the group moved to Col Legno for a recording, under Kawka, of Pierre Boulez's Le marteau sans maître and Philippe Manoury's B-Partita - In memoriam Pierre Boulez. That recording, made in May of 2019, marked Kawka's last as director.
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