Founded in 1976 by Pierre Boulez in Paris, Ensemble intercontemporain is one of the most long-standing specialist ensembles for New Music. Its members, all of them internationally renowned soloists in their own rights, have significantly contributed to the performance practise of New Music. Composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher has been the ensemble’s music director since 2013. At last year’s Musikfest Berlin, he conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time. This year, the first part of his concert will present his ensemble cycle sonic eclipse, which centres on trumpet and cornet. As if in a lunar or solar eclipse, the two protagonists’ sound characteristics slowly spread over each other, drawing the other instruments into their gravitational fields.
Wolfgang Rihm’s Concerto Seraphin, commissioned and premiered by Musikfest Berlin eight years ago, is part of a larger body of work that consists of a topical core to which further parts and layers were continually added over the years. The central sources of inspiration for Rihm were Antonin Artaud’s and Charles Baudelaire’s texts on the Théâtre de Séraphin. In their project No More Masterpieces, the Dutch experimental video artists of 33 1/3 Collective developed digital imagery that draws on Antonin Artaud’s radical and provocative manifest of the same title and extends Wolfgang Rihm’s Concerto Séraphin into the world of kinetic visuals.