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Since September 2008, the Asko Ensemble and Schönberg Ensemble have been united in ASKO|SCHÖNBERG: not an ensemble, not an orchestra, but a flexible group of musicians who can appear in formations of any needed size to perform 20th- and 21st-century music. They perform not only the music of great, established composers such as György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, and Louis Andriessen who have secured their place in music history, but also the music of a younger generation, composers such as Michel van der Aa, Martijn Padding, and Julian Anderson, and even the youngest generation, whose compositions are still wet from the ink.
Asko|Schönberg has presented all of this in its own Contemporaries series in the Concertgebouw and DonderdagAvondserie (new music on Thursday evening) at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, both in Amsterdam, as a guest of the renowned Saturday Matinee concert series, in the Holland Festival, with the Netherlands Opera, on special occasions such as the opening of a new hall or an important jubilee, or a series of performances for families in coordination with (youth) theater companies.
Asko|Schönberg is a regular guest of foreign festivals. In 2008 they performed at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Festival d’Automn in Paris. In 2010 they were invited to play in France, Poland, New York, and London.
Neither are the youngest audiences neglected: Asko|Schönberg is involved in educational projects for 7-year-olds, composition projects for secondary school students in the graduating class, and collaboration with composition departments of conservatories. Asko|Schönberg recently began the György Ligeti Academy, an initiative for advanced conservatory students who want to gain expertise in the contemporary repertoire.
All of these projects are being carried out by this dedicated group of versatile musicians, conductor Reinbert de Leeuw, and guest conductors and soloists from the Netherlands and abroad.