Open-minded, virtuosic in performance and aurally perceptive, Klangforum Wien – one of the internationally most renowned ensembles for contemporary music – devotes itself to the artistic interpretation and expansion of experiential space. A performance of
Klangforum Wien is an event in the best sense of the word; it offers a sensual experience, immediate and inescapable; and the novelty in its music speaks, acts and beguiles.
Ever since it was founded by Beat Furrer in 1985, the ensemble – which, over the years, has received a great number of awards and distinctions – has written music history: It has presented around 600 world premières of works by composers from four continents; it boasts an extensive discography of more than 90 releases, appearing at the most important concert and opera venues, but also in the context of young, committed initiatives, and at the major music festivals in Europe, America and Asia. In a mutually rewarding collaboration with many of the world’s leading composers, the ensemble has formed a great number of formative artistic friendships. Since 2009, the musicians of Klangforum Wien have devoted themselves to sharing their comprehensive mastery of playing techniques and forms of expression with a new generation of artists in the context of their collective professorship at the University of Music, Graz.
Klangforum Wien is made up of 24 musicians from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. From the start of the 2018/19 season until summer 2022, Bas Wiegers was Klangforum Wien’s Principal Guest Conductor, taking over from Sylvain Cambreling who, however, has maintained a close relationship with the ensemble as its Principal Guest Conductor Emeritus. Peter Paul Kainrath has been the ensemble’s new director since January 1, 2020.
Klangforum Wien has its own annual concert series at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Every year, the ensemble commissions composers and gives numerous world and territorial premieres. Honorary members of Klangforum Wien are George Aperghis, Sylvain Cambreling, Friedrich Cerha, Barbara Fränzen, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Lothar Knessl, Bernhard Lang, Olga Neuwirth, Peter Oswald, Enno Poppe, Rebecca Saunders, Salvatore Sciarrino.