About us

Ensemble Contemporánea, Live electronics Denmark
is specialized in performing electroacoustic music for classical music instruments and computer. Contemporánea was founded in 1997 by Fritz Gerhard Berthelsen & Ejnar Kanding. The core of the ensemble consists of clarinets (Fritz Gerhard Berthelsen), percussion (David Hildebrandt), violin (Helianne Blais), double bass (Irina-Kalina Goudeva) & live electronics/MaxMSP (Ejnar Kanding).

Besides extensive concert activities in Denmark, the ensemble has frequently been on tour and has played concerts worldwide. The ensemble has performed at festivals such as the International Computer Music Conference, ULTIMA festival, Nordic Music Days, International Society for Contemporary Music, MAGMA, Up North and the Interactive Arts Performance Series at New York University. An important feature of the ensemble is the composer portrait series, where an entire program is dedicated to a single composer. This gives the audience a rare opportunity to discover several aspects of the musical world of one composer. Please see more at www.contemporánea.dk

Fritz Gerhard Berthelsen (FB), *1963 in Copenhagen
Traveled as a young to the Faroe Islands to teach clarinet. This became the take off for nine years of intensive conservatory studies and following a long carrier as performer on Clarinet and Bass clarinet. The study period was first in the magnificent westpart of Norway and later on – with also one year in The Norwegian Academy in Oslo – FB continued in Switzerland in Central Europe. 

In Norway with solo clarinetist Haakon Vestly, FB learned – on top of the compulsory technical portfolios – exiting important tools for telling stories with the instrument. Later in the recognized Conservatoire de Music de Genevé, with the international clarinet soloist Thomas Friedli, the focus was on detailed aesthetic. This in context to epoch, place and especially in relation to other art-expressions and -waves. In this period FB developed high technical skills and in 1992 it finally ended with receiving a 1. Prix Virtuosité. The final years of study with solo clarinetist Art Rozeboom were largely about being technically accomplished in order to be able to carry out the refined tasks in details with appropriate results.

A meeting with composer Ejnar Kanding (Denmark) in 1996 became an artistic turning point. In this cooperation FB in 1997 has established Ensemble Contemporánea, Live Electronics Denmark. Here FB has shaped his career in a different way braking new ground. With Ejnar Kanding FB began to innovate, develop and play performances, which has its off-spring in complex classical score music and interactive electronic sound design. Often developing it further in a visual framework and continuously experimenting with the development process, the concert form and the context. Very important is the access these results finally brought: It attracted brand new public fields for contemporary music. 

So far this resulted in 76 solo and ensemble first performances in the National Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), six CD releases and establishing of several international major culture exchange projects. FB has with this conception been playing solo concerts in Scandinavia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, China, USA and seven South American Countries on festivals like, the ICMC in Beijing (China), the ISCM in Hong Kong, Interactive Arts Performance Series, New York City (USA), International Computer Music Conference, Havana (Cuba), Bridges festival, Krakow (Poland) and Festival Synthèse in Bourges (France).

Ejnar Kanding, composer, live electronics & video
is internationally known for his uniquely colourful music, which unites electronic and acoustic sound in complex textures, physical energy and delicate simplicity. According to Kanding music should not embellish, but be a realm of fantasy. Like a hall of mirrors, his music is a journey into the ambiguous. A sensuous voyage to the unknown areas of inner life.

Kanding has specialized in composing music for computer and instruments. This has led to an extensive use of the software MaxMSP. Both in the process of developing his works and as an instrument in live performances. Despite this obsession his focus is never the electronic experiment, but always the musical expression, form and phrase.

Kanding’s music has been selected for prominent festivals such as International Computer Music Conference, International Society for Contemporary Music, Festival Synthése, Nordic Music Days, Up North, and Interactive Arts Performances Series at New York University, ConcordiaFestival, Bulgaria.

Besides the Danish Arts Foundation’s three-year stipend and numerous
work grants, Kanding has received commissions by international
ensembles such as Osiris Trio (NL), Harry Sparnaay Trio (NL), Crash ensemble (IR), Cikada ensemble (NO), ensemble Ars Nova (SE),
ensemble Adapter (DE), ensemble Mosaik (DE), Jack Quartet (NYC),
ACME (NYC) and Transit ensemble (NYC), as well as the Danish
ensembles Figura, Athelas, Alpha Trio, Copenhagen Art Ensemble, Messerkvartetten, Audio Exhibition and Ensemble Midtvest.

Ejnar Kanding was born in 1965 and studied composition and music theory at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen followed by studies at IRCAM in Paris and in Jerusalem in 1994/95. He made his debut from the Academy in Copenhagen in 1996. http://kanding.com