Tradition of Curiosity


For the past three decades ensemble KONTRASTE (eK) has been an important fixture in Nuremberg’s cultural landscape.
In 2020 the City of Nuremberg awarded ensemble KONTRASTE its Major Cultural Prize; an achievement which we are particularly proud of, and one which inspires us to carry on, more determined than ever! Especially with our 30th anniversary on the horizon!

We planned our previous season based on a mix of the tried and tested, the unknown, the daring and the provocative – as Pierre Boulez once said “ Culture doesn’t need false security, it needs open doors and risk.” However, we didn’t anticipate the kind of risks that the Corona Pandemic would pose. Nevertheless, we vow not to give up, we will go on, and keeping in line with our 2021 Motto, will once again present a concert series overflowing with extraordinary moments; regardless of the setting - chamber or large ensemble, whether classical or contemporary music, on our own or in combination with theatre, video, the visual arts, film or literature. Our clever, quirky and ingenious programs aim to make eK events an experience for both the musicians and audience alike. Something Live-Stream concerts just can’t replicate.

As always, the backbone of eK’s program is the concert series “KONTRASTE – Classic in the Tafelhalle” which presents innovative concepts accross the entire ‘classical’ genre. Our subscribers can also appreciate myriad of other events including staged productions, silent movies with live orchestra, video-productions, family concerts in collaboration with the Puppeteers from “Thalias Kompagnons” and last but not least our beloved ‘Poetry and Prose’ events, where music and literature go hand in hand.

Speaking of collaborations… in the 2021/22 season they will play an even bigger role than usual! A quick glance at the season program highlights our diverse artistic network of composers, conductors, directors, singers and actors. Under the motto “What it’s all about” - inspired by a 2019 German publication of British Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Doris Lessing’s most beloved stories – our program focuses on music of the early 20th century, which presents a particularly intense period of musical upheaval and change.

We are particularly excited to welcome back well-known former chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Jac van Steen for two programs this season, Mahler's tenth and fourth symphonies. And our opera project presents an additional highlight: Carl Maria von Weber's Freischütz, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year - reason enough to take a closer look at the history, characters, plot and music of this “most German of operas”.

ensemble KONTRASTE prides itself on approaching both the old and new with respectful enthusiasm. Our passion however, to endorse new and contemporary music has led to a number of world premieres through collaborative efforts with composers such as Heinz Winbeck, Martin Smolka, Klaus Ospald, Michael Obst, András Hamary, Leo Dick, Marcus Maria Reißenberger, Manfred Knaak and Gene Pritsker.

ensemble KONTRASTE is proud to acknowledge the generosity of our financial supporters, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the German-Czech Fund for the Future, the Bavarian Music Fund, the Bavarian Cultural Fund, the Sparkasse Nuremberg’s ‘Foundations for the Future’, the Fund for Performing Arts, and the German Music Council. Additional funding is provided by the State of Bavaria, the region of Middle Franconia and the City of Nuremberg, who include eK in their yearly budget.

The Ensemble’s success has been readily acknowledged through numerous awards, including the Wolfram-von-Eschenbach Cultural Grant (1999, 2015), the City of Nuremberg Cultural Support Grant (2004), the Friedrich Baur Award from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (2007), and the E.ON Bayern AG Cultural Grant (2010).

In addition to its concert series in Nuremberg, eK has also performed in a number of major European cities including Luxemburg (Philharmonie), Vienna (Konzerthaus), Paris (Louvre-Museum), Berlin (Volksbühne), Athens (Concert Hall), and Lisbon (National Theater). Ensemble KONTRASTE has also received invitations to participate at the Vienna Festival, the Schwetzinger Festival, the Chopin-Festival in Warsaw, the Berlinale, the Salzburg Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival and the Music Festival Nara in Japan.

Our most prominent media partners include the 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