Klangforum Wien — A Force to Improve the World

24 musicians from ten different countries represent an artistic idea and a personal approach that aims to restore to their art something that seems to have been lost – gradually, almost inadvertently – during the course of the 20th century, which gives their music a place in the present and in the midst of the community for which it was written and for whom it is crying out to be heard.

Ever since its first concert, which the ensemble played under its erstwhile name “Societé de l’Art Acoustique” under the baton of its founder Beat Furrer at the Palais Liechtenstein, Klangforum Wien has written musical history. The ensemble has premiered roughly 500 new pieces by composers from three continents, giving a voice to the notes for the first time. It could – if given to introspection – look back on a discography of over 70 CDs, a series of honours and prizes and around 2000 appearances in the premier concert houses and opera venues in Europe, the Americas and Japan, for renowned festivals as well as youthful and idealistic initiatives.

Over the years, strong artistic and affectionate links have developed with outstanding composers, conductors, soloists, directors and dedicated programmers. These have been influential in forming Klangforum’s profile, just as the ensemble has played an important part in forming and supporting the shape of their endeavours. During the last few years, individual members and the ensemble as a whole have made increasing efforts to pass on special techniques and forms of musical expression to a new generation of instrumentalists and composers. And from 2009, owing to a teaching assignment at the University of Performing Arts Graz, Klangforum Wien as a whole could style itself “professor”. 

All of this would remain purely superficial, if it didn’t have its base in the monthly assemblies of all the ensemble’s musicians and the constantly redefined artistic will of a collective for which music, finally, is nothing less than an expression of their ethos and awareness of their own share of responsibility for the present and future. And just as in their art, Klangforum Wien itself is nothing but a force, barely disguised by its metier, to improve the world. The moment they step onto the podium, the musicians know that only one thing counts: everything. Eros and the absoluteness of this conviction are at the root of the inimitable quality of their concerts.

Whoever would like to know more about the ensemble’s history, figures, dates and facts, is cordially invited to visit our web-site at www.klangforum.at
In this brief account of ourselves we thought it more worthwhile to attempt a sketch of the ensemble’s nature rather than to follow convention by publishing statistics.
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The members of Klangforum Wien come from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. Sylvain Cambreling, Friedrich Cerha and Beat Furrer are three outstanding musicians who have been awarded an honorary membership of Klangforum Wien through an unanimous decision by the ensemble. Sylvain Cambreling is first guest conductor of Klangforum Wien since 1997. 

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