Tradition of Curiosity

For more than three decades ensemble KONTRASTE (eK) has been an important fixture in Nuremberg’s cultural landscape.
The City of Nuremberg acknowledged this achievement in 2020 by awarding 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!

Therefore, innovative and original program concepts in our series  KONTRASTE – Classic in in the Tafelhalle  are a “must” – in chamber music groups or large ensembles, whether classical or contemporary music, on our own or in combination with theatre, video, visual arts, film or literature. Our large subscriber base appreciate myriad of events including concerts, theatre, silent movies and film or video productions, family concerts and last but not least, the thriving Poets Café, where music and literature go hand in hand.

The 2023/24 Season

In our 2023/24 season, our collaborations with a diverse artistic network of composers, conductors, directors, singers and actors alike will continue to play a vital role as we strive to bring our motto “Against the Grain” to life!

Loosely based on Joris-Karl Huysmans' sensational novel, this season we are dedicating ourselves entirely to the conflict between eccentricity and intimacy. Like Huysmans, we want establish and then go beyond our borders. How do former "scandals" in music, literature and film still affect us today? How do the lyrical and introspective sounds of the great masters compare against the backdrop of loud and expressive harmonies? What is the effect of rock and jazz in a "classical" concert? How "extreme" can art be and how does our perspective change when all of this is brought together?

In five concerts we dare to undertake these exciting experiments! We honour Max Reger’s 150th anniversary by juxtaposing his Romantic Suite with the Chamber Symphony of musical revolutionary Arnold Schönberg. Two American music legends, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix, go head-to-head as we dance into the new year. With Schönberg's dazzling melodrama Pierrot Lunaire, we pay homage to the eccentric and as an insider tip for anyone who prefers a more relaxed atmosphere: Morton Feldman's Piano Quintet, congenially accompanied by pictures by award-winning artistic photographer Awoiska van der Molen.

In our Poetry and Prose events we also be highlighting the conflict between eccentricity and intimacy in a setting of music accompanied by top-class actors. For example, Robert Walser’s incredibly detailed observations of daily life in Microscripts, Julian Barnes’ masterful exploration of the human depths, Michael Crummey’s  story of a gripping fight for survival of two siblings in the wilderness, and of course “Against the Grain” by Joris-Karl Huysmans in breath-taking contrast to the third violin sonata by Johannes Brahms.

We are also staying true to this year’s motto for our silent movie: Erich von Stroheim’s “Foolish Wives” with its frivolous and monstrous plot surpassed everything that had previously existed in this genre.

Due to  popular demand, we will be repeating “Pooh the Bear” with Tristan Vogt in the FOR THE YOUNG & THE YOUNG AT HEART series, accompanied by the original and humorous music of Erik Satie.

The ensemble KONTRASTE (eK)

ensemble KONTRASTE prides itself on approaching both the old and new with respectful enthusiasm and an Avant-Garde attitude. 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, Gene Pritsker and Stefan Hippe.

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), the E.ON Bayern AG Cultural Grant (2010) and the City of Nuremberg Major Cultural Prize (2020)

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, Music Festival Nara in Japan and the Gavroche Festival in Moscow.

Our most prominent media partners include the Bayerischer Rundfunk and ZDF/Arte.


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