The 4th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival

Wednesday 26 September 2012
The Shoe Factory, Nicosia / 8:30pm

The Nieuw Ensemble
Ernest Rombout / oboe
Ernestine Stoop / harp
Angel Gimeno / violin
Frank Brakkee / viola
Jeroen den Herder / cello

The Nieuw Ensemble was founded in 1980 in Amsterdam. It has a unique instrumental structure, using plucked instruments such as mandolin, guitar and harp in combination with wind, string and percussion. Ed Spanjaard has been the principal conductor since 1982. The lack of literature for this group makes it as dependent upon composers, as composers have always been upon musicians. The Nieuw Ensemble has thus set out to build its own repertoire, encouraged by continuous contact with composers from different cultures, countries and generations, and long-term workshops for young composers. More than five hundred pieces have been written for the ensemble.
Highly successful programmes have been those dedicated to the work of a single composer, such as Berio, Boulez, Carter, Donatoni, Ferneyhough, Kagel, De Leeuw, Kurtág, Loevendie and Nono. The ensemble has been widely praised for its innovative programming. It initiated festivals such as Complexity? (1990), Rules & Games (1995), Improvisations (1996), the multi-cultural Festival of Plucked Instruments (1998), The Refined Ear on microtonality (2003), Inspired Time (2004) on rhythm, OpenMusic (2005-6) on computer aided composition and Orientations (2006-7) on western and non-western instruments.

In 1998 the Nieuw Ensemble and its artistic director Joël Bons were awarded the Prince Bernhard Fund Music Prize for their ‘markedly lively and adventurous programming which can be described as ground-breaking, both in the literal and figurative senses of the word’. Since 1991, programmes featuring new works written especially for the ensemble by Chinese composers such as Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Xu Shuya, Chen Qigang and Guo Wenjing have attracted wide attention. In 1997, 2008 and 2010 the group toured China with concerts in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.

The Nieuw Ensemble now enjoys a firm international standing. It has performed in festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Settembre Musica, Ars Musica in Brussels, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musica Strasbourg, Holland Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield Festival, Agora, Stockholm New Music, the Festival d’Automne à Paris, Lincoln Center Festival and Sadler’s Wells in London.

The Nieuw Ensemble has released compact discs of Donatoni, Carter, Ferneyhough, Gerhard, Loevendie, Poulenc, Honegger, Guo Wenjing, Kagel, Tsoupaki and Chinese composers, and documentary films about Boulez’ Eclat and five Chinese composers. The Nieuw Ensemble also participates in the Atlas Ensemble, a unique chamber orchestra uniting thirty brilliant musicians from the East, the Near East and Europe.

Tasos Stylianou World premiere
Arnold Schönberg (1874 – 1951) String Trio, Op. 45 (1946)
Musheng Chen World premiere
Anton Webern (1883 – 1945) String Trio, Op. 20 (1927)
Jonathan Harvey (b. 1939) Death of Light/Light of Death for oboe, harp, violin, viola, cello (1998)

Information: Pharos Arts Foundation Tel. +35722663871 /
Tickets: €20 Adults / €15 Members of the Foundation, Concessions
Box Office: Tel. 7000-9304 (daily 9.30-11.30am) /