Ensemble Mini is a courageous collective of supersonic soloists from German symphony orchestras that repackages super symphonic music for new audiences.
Often commissioning world premiere arrangements for innovative late-night projects, its mission is to revolutionise the style, sound and setting of classical concerts. This began in 2010 with “mini-Mahler” at Berlin’s Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal, followed by “Strauss 150: New Perspectives” at STATTBAD Berlin, “From Russia with Soul” at Griessmühle Berlin and “Bartók Beyond Borders” at Musikbrauerei Berlin.
Joolz Gale founded Ensemble Mini (comprised of soloists from the German orchestras) to build upon his vision to reach new audiences though new concert formats and alternative locations. Projects often include newly commissioned arrangements for ensemble by Joolz Gale himself (incl. Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Bartók’s Dance Suite, Debussy’s La Mer, Bruckner’s 9th, Prokofiev’s 5th and Shostakovich’s 9th & 10th Symphonies), for which he is represented and published by Schott, Sikorski and Boosey & Hawkes.
Plans for 2021/22 include a return of “Bartók Beyond Borders” on tour, Stravinsky at Musikfest Berlin, Bruckner at the Rheingau Music Festival, Zemlinsky with RIAS Kammerchor, Mahler’s 3rd Symphony at Kasseler Musiktage and the launch of its new club concert series, “Late-Night-Sinfonie”, in Hamburg and Berlin.
“An ideal case of closeness.”
Tagesspiegel Berlin, 4 August 2021
„The new great things are small… mini is irresistible..“
Tagesspiegel Berlin, 31 July 2021
The STEGREIF.orchestra is an international group of 30 young, versatile musicians of various musical origins. What makes the ensemble unique is the way they create new paths for both themselves and the audience to approach classical music. Expanded by folklore, jazz, klezmer, blues and rock, Stegreif creates innovative, musically and visually powerful reinterpretations of well-known repertoire. STEGREIF explores new worlds of sound and is constantly trying to bend the boundaries between musical genres.
The ensemble always performs without sheet music, without a conductor and without chairs. The resulting freedom creates space for improvisation and movement. The concert hall, the auditorium, the ranks, everything becomes a stage, giving the audience a unique concert experience. The ensemble is under the direction of Juri de Marco and since its debut concert in RADIALSYSTEM V Berlin in October 2015 has performed with a variety of productions on various stages in Germany (including Konzerthaus Berlin, Elbphilharmonie, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival i.a.). The musicians belong to a generation of artists that combines classical music, improvisation and jazz at the highest artistic level. Their inspiration lies in developing a new performance practice that does not limit itself to reproduction and in seeking new concert formats.
„Selten ist die Leidenschaft für Musik, die Virtuosität der einzelnen Stücke so nah erlebbar“
taz, 12th October 2019
„Genau diese Meisterschaft auf unterschiedlichen musikalischen Ebenen und die Freude daran, das scheinbar Gegensätzliche oder Divergierende zu verknüpfen, kennzeichnet das Stegreif-Orchester.“
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 9th May 2019
„Es wirkt wie das zufällige Treffen von Freunden, die sich musizierend grüßen.“
SELECTION OF PROJECTS (2022/23)
Dates available upon request
with Juri de Marco
Dates available upon request
#bfree – Connecting European cultures through Beethoven‘s 9th Symphony
The borders are open – whether it’s between countries or genres, between languages or instruments, between uniqueness or similarities. Inspired by Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the “Europa-Sinfonie”, the improvising STEGREIF.orchestra combines folk songs from Europe with elements from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and in a symphony lets Europe grow together into a colourful country that tells from the heart of its people. With this new, theatrical concert project #bfree the STEGREIF.orchester has once again taken up the cause of making new approaches to classical music possible for the audience. Classical music interwoven with various “Folkmusic” from diferent countries, played, together with special guests from diferent countries, by a young orchestra without notes, without conductor and without chairs. This creates freedom and space for improvisation and movement. The concert hall, the auditorium, the stands – everything becomes the stage. The freedom and boundlessness of this concert evening also stands for the values of Europe and its wealth.
Recomposition/Arrangement: Uri Caine, Juri de Marco, Alistair Duncan, Bertram Burkert
Direction, Choreography: Viola Schmitzer, David Fernandez
26 instrumentalists, 5-6 staff // duration: 90min (60min also possible)
The Molyvos International Music Festival (MIMF) was founded in 2015 by the German-Greek pianists Danae and Kiveli Dörken and the young entrepreneur Dimitris Tryfon. Since then, the focus has been on ensuring the high quality of the festival held annually in Lesbos and its year-round musical youth support program “Musical Key”. The aim is to offer classical music on a world-class level for residents and visitors to the island, to promote cross-border cultural cooperation and an intercultural dialogue, as well as to support the development of the region as a cultural center with specially designed mediation and inclusion measures.
MIMF unites young musicians from all over the world and world stars of classical music to exclusive chamber music ensembles. The central venue is the medieval castle of Molyvos, in addition, there will be pre-festival activities with free entrances on the two islands Lesbos and Chios, short special concerts (“Molyvos Musical Moments”) in public places on Molyvos and a moderated children’s concert followed by a meeting between audience and the artist. Every year, the program deals with a topic that reflects the rich Greek culture and puts it in a current context; In 2020, the motto “Odyssey” illuminates the subject of flight and migration. A deeper engagement with it takes place in the context of a public symposium. Since 2018, the Tryfon Arts Residency has been part of the interdisciplinary festival.
After “Metamorphoses”, “Crossroads”, “Catharsis”, “Genesis” and “Dia-logos”, „odyssey“ the festival 2021 illuminated the thematic complex „ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ – LIBERTY – FREIHEIT“.
The festival is under the artistic direction of the sisters Danae and Kiveli Dörken. They are supported by an advisory committee, in which, in addition to Andreas Richter, Marlis Petersen, Lars Vogt and Jochen Sandig are also represented.
Aga Khan Music Programme was established by Karim Aga Khan with the aim of supporting outstanding musicians and music teachers in preserving and communicating their musical heritage, developing it in contemporary forms and disseminating it worldwide through concerts and recordings. The programme initiates and implements country-specific action programmes to support the revitalisation and preservation of cultural heritage. Under this premise, special programme series in which outstanding renowned artists present new compositions, improvisations and arrangements of a repertoire strongly inspired by the respective tradition are developed, among other things. The programmes always represent artistic encounters between time-honoured traditions and contemporary forms, as a new generation of top-class musicians further develops and varies old musical traditions. The encounter of different cultures thus gives rise to a unique musical creativity.
The Aga Khan Music Programme strives with top-class musicians from the Near and Far East, Africa and the countries of the former Soviet Union to preserve the rich and varied heritage of classical music traditions from around the world and introduce them in Europe. From 15th to 17th February 2019, the Aga Khan Music Programme visited Germany for the first time, presenting the multi-faceted classical music of the Silk Road in four concerts at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, including a school concert. Renowned musicians, such as the Chinese pipa player Wu Ma, the Syrian composer and musician Basel Rajoub or Dutar and tanbur player Sirojiddin Juraev, combined music traditions of their countries with improvisation and borrowings from the Western jazz tradition in their performances. The multimedia concert Qyrq Qyz – Forty Girls reflected both musically and figuratively a centuries-old saga of Central Asia that could possibly change the Western view of women’s images of the East.
„Es ist nachhaltig beeindruckend zu sehen, welch schwindelerregend intellektuelle Leistungen klassischen Musikern in der Türkei, in Thailand und Java abverlangt werden.”
Michael Church, Old and New Music from the Ends of the Silk Route, 2016, 2
„Ein musikalisch hoch eindrucksvoller Abend, nicht zuletzt, um sich über das Fremde im Anderen und im eigenen Wesen klarzuwerden”
Eva-Maria Reuther im Volksfreund, 12.08.2019