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Ensemble Modern

Date of Event

Tuesday, 2. 6. 2020 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 21.45

Event place



  • Jiří Kadeřábek: Nanyin (world premiere of a work commissioned by the Prague Spring)
  • Gérard Grisey: Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil


  • Michael Wendeberg - conductor
  • Melody Louledjian - soprano

Gérard Grisey (1946–1998) was the founder and pre-eminent representative of “spectral music”. Without knowing it was to be his final work, he created a monumental artistic epitaph. Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold) are the settings of texts from four different global cultures that discuss the topic of death from various perspectives. The now-legendary 40-minute composition has received numerous brilliant interpretations, such as with Barbara Hannigan. The Prague performance of the work will feature Melody Louledjian as soprano and Michael Wendeberg as conductor.

The same performing forces are required by a new work commissioned by the festival from Jiří Kadeřábek, a young composer who has enjoyed considerable international success and is known to the Prague audience thanks to his orchestral concerts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Prague Spring 2012) or in the subscription series of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. The National Theatre in Prague successfully produced his opera Žádný člověk (No Man), which tells the story of Otakar Švec, the sculptor who created Prague’s infamous Stalin Monument. Kadeřábek’s Prague Spring premiere is thus highly anticipated. “Nothing can be said for certain while the composition is still in the works,” the composer remarks enigmatically. “I always have some creative starting points of course, but those can prove to be irrelevant in the end, and so I prefer to keep them to myself. The diligent fulfilment of some sort of ‘statement’ would make for terribly boring creativity!” Kadeřábek is not the type to rely on tried-and-tested concepts, and he regards every composition as an opportunity to explore uncharted territory. We have much to look forward to!

Ensemble Modern was established in 1980 by members of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. It is democratically organised, and all projects are approved by the musicians themselves. Although based in Frankfurt, the ensemble currently comprises 21 permanent soloists from many parts of the world. Besides concerts, the ensemble collaborates on opera productions and multimedia projects, organises masterclasses, and offers creative internships to young composers from all over the world. Its star-bedecked career boasts intense cooperation with world-renowned composers (such as John Adams, George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös, Heiner Goebbels, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Frank Zappa) while leading to the discovery of a number of young talents.