Monday, May 17, 2010

SurPlus value

Among the noteworthy ensembles participating in June in Buffalo 2010, one name in particular may be unfamiliar to American new music fans: Ensemble SurPlus. But this highly accomplished German group plays an important role in this year's JiB, performing works by Augusta Read Thomas, Lukas Foss, Harvey Sollberger, Alvin Lucier, Charles Wuorinen, and Brian Ferneyhough on June 1, and playing participant composers' pieces on June 2. (A full concert schedule is available here.)

Based in Freiburg, Ensemble SurPlus was founded in 1992 by the eminent pianist and conductor James Avery (1937-2009). The Ensemble performs chamber music ranging from duos to large instrumental combinations, and aims to give new or unknown works optimal performances, regardless of compositional style or technical and intellectual demands. Its credits include performances at numerous European festivals including Darmstadt, Musica Viva, Donaueschingen, and others. Ensemble SurPlus has also collaborated closely with the Experimental Studio of the German Radio (SWR). Numerous CD productions and recordings (Ferneyhough, Clark, Spahlinger, Mahnkopf, Wolpe with Heinz Holliger) document the great versatility of the ensemble. For further information and sound samples, visit the Ensemble SurPlus website.

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