The œnm . österreichisches ensemble für neue musik has dedicated itself to the performance of contemporary music for over 40 years and has established itself internationally as one of the leading ensembles of its kind. With over 300 world premieres since its founding and regular participation at numerous major festivals, the ensemble residing in Salzburg has meanwhile become indispensible on the world’s great concert stages.
The œnm was founded in 1975 by the composer Klaus Ager and the clarinettist Ferenc Tornai; the composer and conductor Herbert Grassl took over directorship of the ensemble in 1988 and successfully developed it further. Since 1997 Johannes Kalitzke has served as principal guest conductor, decisively influencing the ensemble and leading it to a lasting success together with the cellist and artistic director Peter Sigl.
In the meantime, musicians from eleven nations perform in the œnm with a strong commitment towards the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Adapting to the variable requirements of contemporary music, the ensemble performs in combinations ranging from 1 to 15 musicians, and more than that in exceptional cases.
The œnm is a regular guest at the Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals, Wien Modern, the Dialogues Festival of the International Mozarteum Foundation, the Salzburg Biennial and the Aspekte Festival. The ensemble has also performed at the Dresden Contemporary Music Days, the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, the Munich Biennial, the Bologna Festival, the Kunstfest in Weimar, at Milano Musica, Traiettorie Parma, Settembre Musica and Warsaw Autumn. The ensemble has been directed by such conductors as Johannes Kalitzke, Peter Ruzicka, Titus Engel, Franck Ollu, Peter Rundel, Beat Furrer, Tito Ceccherini, Andrea Pestalozza, José María Sanchez-Verdú and Hideto Nomura. The oenm can look back on close collaborations with renowned composers including Pascal Dusapin, Beat Furrer, Bernhard Gander, Sofia Gubaidulina, Toshio Hosokawa, Helmut Lachenmann, Enno Poppe, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm and Salvatore Sciarrino.
During the 2008 / 09 season the œnm organised it own cycle entitled “Saitenklang” (String Sound), providing the sonic image of traditional Salzburg music for string instruments with an up-to-date profile. Works concerned with this theme were commissioned from five composers.
Since 2011 the œnm has been presenting its own concert series “œnm . ganz privat” at the Salzburg Künstlerhaus, thus providing the audience with the opportunity to encounter contemporary art intensively in an intimate concert atmosphere. This popular series was awarded Austria’s most highly endowed prize for the arts, the Bank Austria Arts Prize in 2012. The series organised by the ensemble called “fingerprints”, which focuses on individual musician personalities from their own ranks, offers the Salzburg public an open window onto international artistic activities of today thanks to a widely varied programme.
Ekkehard Windrich / Michaela Girardi / Izso Bajusz / Dagny Wenk-Wolff, violin Jutas Javorka / Danka Nikolic / Elen Guloyan / Ursula Kortschak, viola Sebestyen Ludmany / Marcus Pouget, violoncello Michael Seifried / Christian Junger, double bass Irmgard Messin, flute Markus Sepperer, oboe Theodor Burkali, clarinet Michael Krenn, saxophone Markus Hauser, horn Horst Hofer, trumpet Dusan Kranjc, trombone Katharina Teufel-Lieli, harp Nora Skuta, piano Michael Mitterlehner / Rupert Struber / Malgorzata Szymecka, percussion