Photo by Straight Line Photos
The Intercontinental Ensemble was founded in Amsterdam in 2012, when a group of young musicians from different parts of the world decided to explore together the chamber music repertoire for winds and strings. The group is characterized by its timbral richness achieved from the unique instrumentation consisting of the entire string family (violin, viola, cello, and bass) and a wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and french horn).
This genre could be called “chamber symphony”, since it is a condensed version of a symphonic orchestra. This instrumentation started in the early Romantic period with the Grand Nonetto of Louis Spohr (1813). Apart from the nonets, the Intercontinental Ensemble presents different forms of chamber music such as wind quintets and string quintets, and even more adventurous ones like the Prokofiev quintet for violin, viola, bass, clarinet, and oboe.
The ensemble is formed by musicians of various nationalities including the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Japan, Mexico and USA. All of the members met in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where they pursued their Bachelor and/or Master degrees. Intercontinental Ensemble has also performed with colleagues from UK, Czech Republic, France, South Korea and various other countries.
They also collaborate in professional orchestras and ensembles, mainly in the Netherlands and their respectives countries.
The core philosophy of Intercontinental Ensemble is exchanging and sharing ideas through the universal language of music. The ensemble’s primary goal is to connect with audiences from different generations and cultural backgrounds by demonstrating that music has no boundaries. With those objectives in mind, the Intercontinental Ensemble is also constantly striving to provide the highest level of musicianship and open to collaborating with composers and artists of various disciplines.
As a collective, they were invited by the University of Baja California (Mexico) to give a masterclass in November of 2013, with the support of Dutch Foundation Musici van Morgen.
Also committed to new music, the Ensemble would like to invite composers to write new works for this special combination of instruments, in order to expand the repertoire.