evolved out of the former Polish–German Ensemble Workshop for Contemporary Music, which was initiated in 2003 by the German Music Council and the Warsaw Autumn Festival. This workshop had two major focuses: first of all, supporting young musicians who are interested in training in the special techniques of contemporary music and want to familiarise themselves with contemporary repertoire; secondly, the wish to promote the cultural exchange and artistic integration between the two countries as well as co-operation in European contemporary music in general.
The first workshop in 2003 featured a meeting of the Kwartludium ensemble from Warsaw with young German musicians. After many days of rehearsals, the ensemble performed very successfully under the direction of Rüdiger Bohn during the Warsaw Autumn Festival, staging contemporary works from Poland and Germany. In the following years, first performances of young composers’ works from the two countries, especially created for this occasion and mostly commissioned by German Radio, were added to the programmes. Thus new and lesser-known works also became part of the workshop’s repertoire.
Meanwhile the EWCM was opened to partners from other European countries, and by now the ensemble’s work list encompasses compositions by Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Mathias Spahlinger, Isabel Mundry and Witold Lutosławski as well as works by Joanna Woźny, Alexander Shchetynsky and Lubava Sidorenko.
The high artistic level of the EWCM has regularly attracted attention during the Warsaw Autumn Festival. Consequently, the ensemble was invited to the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin (2005) and the international composers’ workshops Buckower Begegnungen (2005–09), where the EWCM worked as ensemble in residence. Further invitations included a concert tour to Cracow and the Contrasts Festival in Lviv in 2007, to Milano Musica with Stockhausen’s HYMNEN in 2008, and to the Baltic Sea festival in Stockholm and Tonlagen in Dresden in 2009. For the first time in the history of the EWCM, two workshops took place in 2010. Prior to the rehearsals and concert at Warsaw Autumn, a workshop phase in Düsseldorf was initiated in spring 2010. It was followed by a concert at German Radio’s Forum Neuer Musik in Cologne, presenting works of the younger generation of East European composers. For 2011, the EWCM received two further invitations for workshops and concerts: in June the ensemble presented a programme of works by upcoming Polish and German composers at the final concert of the Warsaw festival for Polish-German neighbourhood “Sąsiedzi 2.0”, organised by the Goethe Institute and the German Embassy in Warsaw. At the invitation of the Berlin Academy of Arts, the EWCM presented works of young Polish composers at the opening event of the Blickwechsel project in Berlin.
During Warsaw Autumn in 2012, the ensemble performed three stage works, including a new version of Manos Tsangaris’ Vivarium in a concert broadcast by Polish TV. In 2013, the EWCM celebrates its 10th anniversary.