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Mondrian Ensemble Basel

About Mondrian Ensemble Basel

There is a growing gap between the New Music industry with its compulsive devotion to world premières on the one hand, and the established Classical scene that primarily embraces music from Bach to Stravinsky on the other hand. It is this gap repertoire to which the Basel Mondrian Ensemble has been committed since 2000 and, above and beyond, it endeavors to link up different historical eras, regardless of whatever chasms might have to be crossed to achieve it.

The Mondrian’s commitment to both new and newest music is thus just as important as its engagement to the Classical-Romantic repertoire. It takes particular pleasure in experiments that illuminate cross-connections that one would not notice at first glance – such as those that exist between Liszt’s late oeuvre and drone improvisation, or between Franz Schubert’s sense of temporal organization and that of Morton Feldman.

Shortly after its foundation in 2000, the Mondrian Ensemble won the Nicati Competition for the interpretation of contemporary music, and in 2003 the third prize in a chamber music competition organized by the Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund. There followed debuts at the Zurich Tonhalle, at the Lucerne Festival, at the Musikverein in Vienna and the Wigmore Hall in London as well as participation in many festivals and tours.

Numerous composers have written works for the Mondrian Ensemble. These include Dieter Ammann’s‚ (performed around forty times) and works by Wanja Aloe, Jürg Frey, Rudolf Kelterborn, Detlev Müller-Siemens, Roland Moser, Felix Profos, Michel Roth, Martin Jaggi (long-time cellist of the Ensemble) and many others. Several CDs document their skill.

The Mondrian Ensemble received the Swiss Ambassador Award in 2007 and, in 2011, the “Werkjahr” (Working Year Scholarship) of the city of Zurich.