Tradition of Curiosity

The ensemble KONTRASTE (eK) has been an important initiator and fixture in Nürnberg’s cultural landscape for a quarter of a century.
schedule for the  2018/19 season reflects once more our guiding principle: the appealing blend of the proven, the unknown, the daring and the provoking – true to Pierre Boulez: “Culture doesn’t need false security but open doors and risk.“ 
The name says it all, variety is the result, thrilling, intensive and in every respect extraordinary concerts are our trademark. Whether it is chamber or ensemble music, classical or contemporary, on its own or in combination with acting, puppet theater, video-art, film, literature, the fine arts – smart and ingenious program concepts turn events with the eK into a highlight for musicians and audiences alike. 

The backbone of eK’s program is a concert series entitled KONTRASTE – Klassik in der Tafelhalle. As unconventional as the location are the concerts, with their own dramatic concepts across all segments of the classical genre, which are by no means still an insider tip. A large subscriber base appreciates the diversity being offered: concerts rich in contrast, stage-, (silent) movie- or video-productions, the thriving poet’s café with its mixture of readings and music.

Over the course of the coming two seasons, our program “HIN & WEG” finds Ludwig van Beethoven appropriately in the spotlight in celebration of his 250th birthday. And as usual with us, full of contrasts! Both a group of students from Nuremberg and the New York composer Gene Pritsker, who is well known at eK, take on compositions by the master in unconventional ways sure to peak your curiosity! Alongside our adventurous musical treatments, even “pure” Beethoven finds his due place in concerts and poetry cafés, as well as a protagonist of significant silent art film. A season highlight and affair of the heart showcases FEUERGEISTER – a scenic concert with Beethoven's complete incidental music to Goethe's Egmont and his incomparable Violin Concerto, featuring eK’s own Pawel Zalejski as soloist. Created by author, director and dramaturge, Peter te Nuyl, this evening principally probes the age old question: Can you fight for peace with (violence) violins?  We’re looking forward to the realization by a top-class ensemble reunited with conductor Jac van Steen.

ensemble Kontraste approaches the tried and true with respect and the new without avantgarde-attitude in its artistic work. Our great passion for new and current music resulted in numerous premieres, including works by Heinz Winbeck, Martin Smolka, Klaus Ospald, Michael Obst, András Hamary, Leo Dick, Marcus Maria Reißenberger, and Gene Pritsker– often as  hands-on collaborations with the composers.

Support for eK’s efforts include the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the Ministry of Science of Bavaria, the German-Czech Future Fund, the Bavarian Music Fund, the Bavarian Cultural Fund, the Future Fund of Sparkasse Nürnberg, the Fund for Performing Arts  and the German Music Council.  Additional funding is being provided by the State of Bavaria, the region of Middle Franconia and the City of Nürnberg, which includes eK in its yearly budget.

The ensemble’s work has been acknowledged through numerous awards: Wolfram-von-Eschenbach- Förderpreis (1999), Kultur-Förderpreis der Stadt Nürnberg (2004), Friedrich-Baur-Preis der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste (2007), Kulturpreis der E.ON Bayern AG (2010), Wolfram von Eschenbach Preis (2015).

Beyond its concert activities in Nürnberg, ek has performed in many major European cities: Luxemburg (Philharmonics), Vienna (Concert Hall), Paris (Louvre-Museum), Berlin (Volksbühne), Athens (Concert Hall), Lisbon (National Theater). It received invitations to the Vienna Festival Weeks, the Schwetzinger Festival, the Chopin-Festival Warsaw, the Berlinale, the Salzburg Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival and the Music Festival Nara in Japan.

Most prominent media partners are Bayerischer Rundfunk and ZDF/Arte.


Additional information about us is available through our management:

Eckhard Kierski
Hagenhausener Straße 13
90518 Altdorf
+49 9187 2229
+49 172 3832191