Two weeks with members of Ensemble Modern means a lot – two Season Concerts, four Masterclasses, 21 works to be performed, 12 custom-made wood blocks and metal tubes, two Tibetan Singing bowls in D, one Toccata for teapot & piccolo and a Pig with Wings? But of course.

This international supergroup has blazed a trail of innovation and searing virtuosity as one of the leading contemporary groups dedicated to performing and promoting the music of modern composers for over 35 years. Regular guests at the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Salzburg, Festwochen Wien, Lincoln Center, Festival d’Automne Paris and the Lucerne Festival, it’s now ANAM’s turn to welcome members of Ensemble Modern to Melbourne. Here’s a little ‘Who’s who’ guide to those ensemble members joining us.

IMAGE_EM_Saar Berger

Saar Berger horn

Horn player Saar Berger has been a member of Ensemble Modern since 2017. Born in Tel Aviv, Saar says that he became a musician almost by chance. “As a child, I suffered from asthma. When I was eight, the doctor suggested that instead of taking medication, I should try playing a brass instrument. Deliberating between the trombone and the French horn, I opted for the latter because I just liked it more. By the time I recovered, I decided to continue studying anyway.”  From there Saar studied at Rubin Academy of Music (University of Tel Aviv) in Jerusalem with Chezi Nir and Michael Slatkin, with Michael Höltzel in Hamburg and Marie Luise Neunecker at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin and at the  Frankfurt Academy of Music with Erich Penzel and Esa Tapani.

Whilst Saar Berger has served as principle and associate principle horn player with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and has played with many leading international orchestras, the dream of joining Ensemble Modern was too great an opportunity to let go  “For me, it really is a dream come true because it means a constant change of everything – of sound, of style, of fantasy…we are 20 soloists in the ensemble, and we are all shareholders.”

IMAGE_EM_Hermann Kretzschmar

Hermann Kretzschmar piano

Hermann Kretzschmar, born in 1958, studied music education and German literature and subsequently piano with Bernhard Ebert in Hanover.

He became a member of the Ensemble Modern in 1985, where he works as a soloist and chamber musician. Together with Dietmar Wiesner and Cathy Milliken he founded the composers group HCD Productions in 1994.

IMAGE_EM_Jagdish MistryJagdish Mistry  violin

Jagdish Mistry has been a member of the Ensemble Modern since 1994 and has worked closely with some of the outstanding composers of our time.  He performs regularly as a guest concertmaster with various symphony and chamber orchestras in Great Britain, Spain and Switzerland. Recently, Jagdish has returned to his passion for the string quartet by forming the Isenburg Quartet together with colleagues of the Ensemble Modern.

Between 1986 and 1992, he was the leader of the Mistry String Quartet with which he toured Europe and Asia and recorded works by Edward Elgar, Arnold Bax and Elizabeth Maconchy for Decca Argo, Chandos, Unicorn, and the BBC. At the same time, he continued his career as a soloist, performing with a number of renowned orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Philharmonia Orchestra in London and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

FUN FACT:  Jagdish Mistry plays on a J. B. Vuillaume violin built in Paris in 1853.

IMAGE_EM_Dietmar WiesnerDietmar Wiesner flute

Dietmar Wiesner lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany. As a founding member and flautist of the Ensemble Modern, he has been involved in all the Ensemble’s artistic and organisational processes, and has worked with the most important contemporary composers of this age. He plays regularly in Europe and abroad with the Ensemble as well as appearing as a soloist with orchestras such as the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg.

In 1994 he founded the composers group HCD Productions with Hermann Kretzschmar and Cathy Milliken. Together they have produced concerts and installations as well as the CD Migration, featuring the chamber music works of the American composer Paul Bowles, and the CD Surface Tension with chamber music by the British composer Howard Skempton.

The Ensemble Modern madness begins this Friday with Trailblazing. See details below for other associated events.


Fri 9 Jun, 7.30PM

WIDMANN Etude no. 2
GOEBBELS Toccata for Teapot and Piccolo
YUN Octet for clarinet, bassoon, horn and string quintet
CAGE Variations VIII
POPPE Gelöschte Lieder

Members of the Ensemble Modern:
Dietmar Wiesner flute
Saar Berger horn
Jagdish Mistry violin
Hermann Kretzschmar piano

ANAM Musicians


ZAPPA The Adventures of Greggery Peccary
ZAPPA Yellow Shark (excerpts)

Members of the Ensemble Modern:
Dietmar Wiesner flute
Saar Berger horn
Jagdish Mistry violin
Hermann Kretzschmar piano

Johannes Debus conductor
ANAM Musicians


Fri 16 Jun 10AM – 4PM

10AM / Dietmar Wiesner
12PM / Jagdish Mistry
2PM / Hermann Kretzschmar
4PM / Saar Berger

Masterclass Tickets: Full $20 / Student $5 / Student/Teacher Group (per person) $5 / ANAMates FREE



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