EUROPEAN WORKSHOP FOR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
The European Workshop for Contemporary Music (EWCM) evolved out of the former Polish-German Ensemble Workshop for Contemporary Music, which was initiated in 2003 by the German Music Council and the Warsaw Autumn Festival in Poland. is workshop has two major focuses: firstly, to support young musicians who are interested in training in the special techniques of contemporary music and want to familiarise themselves with contemporary repertoire; and secondly, to promote cultural exchange and artistic integration between the two countries as well as cooperation in Europe in the field of contemporary music. The first workshop in 2003 featured a meeting of the Kwartludium ensemble from Warsaw with young German musicians. After many days of rehearsals, the project made its highly successful debut under the direction of Rüdiger Bohn during the Warsaw Autumn Festival, staging contemporary works from Poland and Germany. In the following years, first performances of young composers' works from the two countries, written specially for the purposes of this project and mostly commissioned by German Radio, were added to the programmes. us new and lesser known works (including new commissions) have become part of the workshop's repertoire.
Meanwhile the EWCM opened to partners from other European countries, and by now the ensemble's work list encompasses compositions by Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Mathias Spahlinger, Rebecca Saunders, and Witold Lutosławski as well as by Joanna Woźny, Alexander Shchetynsky, and Lubava Sidorenko.
The high artistic level of the EWCM has regularly attracted attention during the Warsaw Autumn Festival, resulting in invitations to the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin (2005) and the international composers' workshops Buckower Begegnungen (2005-9) where the EWCM worked as ensemble-in-residence. Further invitations included a concert tour to Cracow and the Contrasts Festival in Lviv in 2007, Milano Musica with Stockhausen's HYMNEN in 2008, the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm and Tonlagen in Dresden in 2009. For the first time in the history of the EWCM, 2010 featured two workshops. Prior to the rehearsals and concerts at the Warsaw Autumn, a workshop phase in Düsseldorf was initiated in the spring of 2010. It was followed by a concert at German Radio's New Music Forum in Cologne, presenting works by the younger generation of Eastern European composers. For 2011, the EWCM received two further invitations to hold workshops and concerts: in June it presented a programme of works by up-and-coming Polish and German composers at the final concert of Sąsiedzi 2.0, a Warsaw festival held under the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation between Poland and Germany, organised by the Goethe Institute and the German Embassy in Warsaw. At the invitation of the Berlin Academy of Arts, the EWCM presented works by young Polish composers at the opening event of the Blickwechsel project in Berlin.
During the 2012 Warsaw Autumn, the ensemble performed three stage works, including a new version of Manos Tsangaris's Vivarium in a concert broadcast by Polish TV. In 2013, the EWCM celebrated its tenth anniversary with an exceptional programme by young composers, combining a wide range of musical aspects. The four works by Matthias Ockert (open room in overlapping spaces), Joanna Woźny (as in a mirror, darkly), Annesley Black (Snow Job), and Yannis Kyriakides (Telegraphic) explored various compositional aspects such as different intermediary stages between noise and sound, light, space, live electronics, and the musical interaction between two ensembles.
For the first time, in 2014 the European Workshop took place during the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. In 2015 the EWCM illuminated several musical aspects of different explorations of the inner world of sound. During the workshop phase in the architecturally unique Kolumba Kunstmuseum in Cologne, the musicians also had a particular challenge in reacting to diverse spatial characteristics of the museum and in developing an idiosyncratic concert dramaturgy.
After a prolific cooperation with the Academy of Music in Cracow between 2013 and 2015, last year the European Workshop took place in the Academy of Music in Łódź. In addition to exciting concerts in Łódź and Warsaw, for the first time the EWCM gave a guest performance at the Luxembourg Philharmonic.