• Founded 1994
Often appears with
Ensemble Resonanz is a string ensemble dedicated to finding connections between contemporary works and traditional repertory. The group has also experimented with the presentation of new music outside the usual venues of concert music.
Ensemble Resonanz was founded in 1994 by members of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, a German student orchestra. The group performs concerts that combine traditional repertory with new music and has the stated goal of finding a meeting point between the classical chamber orchestra and the contemporary music ensemble of soloists. Ensemble Resonanz was based at first in the city of Frankfurt, then in Diez in western Germany, and in Darmstadt from 2002 until 2005. In the mid-2000s, the group gave a successful series of concerts in Hamburg and established itself in that city on a permanent basis. Ensemble Resonanz became ensemble-in-residence at the city's Musikhalle (now the Laeiszhalle), establishing a concert series called "Resonanzen." Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras became artist-in-residence with Ensemble Resonanz in 2010, followed by violist Tabea Zimmerman in 2013. The group has also had a diverse group of internationally prominent guest collaborators, including composer-conductor Beat Furrer, early music director Reinhard Goebel, and pianist Fazil Say. When Hamburg's large new Elbphilharmonie hall was built, Ensemble Resonanz became ensemble-in-residence there as well. The group has also been heard often at summer festivals, including the Salzburg Festival, Bach Week in Anspach, and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Its season concerts in Hamburg have tended to be organized thematically; the 2019-2020 season featured concerts entitled "auge" (eye, lowercase in original), "rachen" (revenge), "zungen" (tongues), "nabel" (navel), "blut" (blood), and "kreatur" (creature). The group has also appeared in a series called urban string, where they perform in nightclubs in collaboration with DJs.
Ensemble Resonanz's recording career dates back to the group's early days; in 1998, it released a recording of Michael Gordon's Weather on the Nonesuch label. Their recordings include those devoted to contemporary composers such as Iannis Xenakis and to traditional repertory such as Haydn. Having recorded also for Kairos, Harmonia Mundi, and Aeon, among other labels, the group established its own Resonanzraum label and released Tenebre, performing works by rock-to-classical transplant Bryce Dessner, in 2019.