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  • "The packed house responded with an extended standing ovation" ── The Washington Post

    Ensemble intercontemporain was founded in 1976 by the late French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, rising to become one of the world's most revered groups specialising in contemporary music, and the first permanent ensemble of its kind.

    The group's dexterous musicians deliver their 20th and 21st-century repertoire with authoritative "clarity and precision", according to the Financial Times. Now helmed by music director and conductor Matthias Pintscher, they continue to explore fresh realms, premièring innovative compositions, extending technique, and performing challenging works requiring exceptional skills.

    In this long-overdue Hong Kong début, the Ensemble performs Schoenberg's revolutionary Chamber Symphony No. 1, also a source of inspiration for Ligeti's densely constructed Chamber Concerto. Donatoni's Tema, one of the group's favourites, is a powerful organic work, recycling certain materials from the composer's previous work in line with his perspective that each piece is linked to the next in a continuous oeuvre. The programme also features newer pieces, including Les Danses interrompues by Mantovani, Whirling Tissue of Light by Pintscher, and Lachrymae by Hong Kong composer Charles Kwong.

    Programme More >>
    • Franco Donatoni
    • Charles Kwong
    • Matthias Pintscher
      Whirling Tissue of Light
    • Bruno Mantovani
      Les Danses interrompues (Interrupted Dances)
    • Pierre Boulez
    • György Ligeti
      Chamber Concerto
    • Arnold Schoenberg
      Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9

    Biography More >>
    Ensemble intercontemporain
    Music Director/Conductor: Matthias Pintscher

    Ensemble intercontemporain

    In 1976, Pierre Boulez founded the Ensemble intercontemporain with the support of Michel Guy who was the Minister of Culture of France at the time and the collaboration of Nicholas Snowman. The Ensemble's soloists share a passion for 20th to 21st century music, enabling them to fulfill the major aims of the Ensemble: performance, creation and education for young musicians and the general public.

    Under the artistic direction of Matthias Pintscher, the musicians work in close collaboration with composers, exploring instrumental techniques and developing projects that interweave music, dance, theatre, film, video and visual arts. New pieces are commissioned and performed on a regular basis. In collaboration with Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), the Ensemble is also active in the field of synthetic sound generation.

    Resident of the Philharmonie de Paris, the Ensemble performs and records in France and other countries, taking part in major festivals worldwide. The Ensemble is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Communication of France and receives additional support from the Paris City Council.

    Matthias Pintscher Music Director/Conductor

    Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, entering his third season in 2015/16. Equally accomplished as conductor and composer, Pintscher sees his two main spheres of activity as entirely complementary.

    In the 2015/16 season, Pintscher makes conducting debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonia. Beginning in 2016/17, Pintscher takes up the post as Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy. Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Contrechamps, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Remix Ensemble and the Scharoun Ensemble.

    Pintscher may justly be called the most sought-after German composer of his generation and his music is championed by some of today's finest performing artists, orchestras and conductors. His works are frequently performed by orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. Since September 2014, Pintscher joined the composition faculty at The Juilliard School.

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  • Pre performance Talks

    Spend half an hour before the performance to learn from experienced art critics and cultural experts on how to appreciate the show.

    In Cantonese
    Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis

    Speaker: Chan Hing-yan (Professor, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong)
    • 23.10 (Sun)

    Lecture Demonstration
    Music in Words

    Composer Matthias Pintscher, Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, said the Ensemble is "one of the most committed, versatile, and warm-hearted orchestras I've ever worked with". Pintscher and four musicians of the Ensemble (flute, violin, cello and clarinet) will demonstrate extracts of chamber music and solo pieces written by Pierre Boulez and Elliott Carter who are signature composers of the Ensemble.

    Speaker: Matthias Pintscher (Music Director)
    Host: Chan Hing-yan (Professor, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong)

    In English
    Free admission
    Enquiries and online registration (from 22.9): 3917 8165 /

    Co-presented by

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