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 Le site de l'Ensemble LInea fait peau neuve ! 

Rendez-vous à l'automne pour découvrir notre tout nouveau site internet.


En attendant, suivez toutes nos actualités sur notre page Facebook Ensemble Linea


Et n'hésitez pas à visiter le tout nouveau site de notre Académie Internationale d'Été 

qui aura lieu du 12 au 20 août 2016 à la Cité de la Musique de de la Danse de Strasbourg :


Prochains rendez-vous :


Le mardi 27 septembre à 20h30

Concert de l'Ensemble Linea dans le cadre du Festival MUSICA.

Ensemble Linea et étudiants de l'Académie supérieure de musique de Strasbourg / HEAR - DIrection : Jean-Philippe Wurtz

En savoir plus 



A new approach of contemporary music


Founded in Strasbourg by pianist and conductor Jean-Philippe Wurtz in 1998, Ensemble Linea has, since its beginnings, been committed to promoting a democratization of contemporary music, giving priority to the encounter with the audience, to openness towards other artistic disciplines, and to an active booking strategy.

Beyond any schools and trends, the artistic project of Linea covers quite diverse aesthetic perspective, from musical theater to electronic music, from Western music to the rich Asian and American repertoires. Based in Alsace (eastern France, bordering on Germany and Switzerland), at the crossroads of many different cultures, Linea naturally approaches the repertoires in their multicultural dimension. Linea advocates an engaged music anchored in modernity: it favors works that question the mutations and complexities of our era.


The concerts of Linea are conceived as performances in their own right. Spatial and theatrical, vivid and explosive, they have earned the Ensemble a solid reputation for dynamic staging. Linea regularly includes dance, video, theater or cinema in its productions. Linea is always on the lookout for innovative projects blending different artistic media and disciplines.



Committed to creativity








Raphaël Cendo with Linea in New York, during the rehearsal of his work "Rokh I"


Linea is actively engaged in the creation of music, working with many young composers. Pedagogical aspects are developed in the composition sessions in which the Ensemble Linea participates: in Royaumont (2009 and 2010), June in Buffalo (2011 and 2013), Darmstädter Ferienkurse (2012) or in the residency for eight composers organized by the ensemble itself in 2008.


The ensemble supports composers in the long run by giving commissions and regularly interpreting them, especially on the international level. Thus, it actively contributes to the global circulation of new works. In addition, Linea involves composers in its projects and gives them access to its networks. In 2013, French composer Raphaël Cendo accompanied Linea on its US tour in order to lead the composition sessions of June in Buffalo Festival together with the ensemble. Linea also performed the US premiere of Cendo’s Rokh I” in New York, followed by the British premiere at Huddersfield festival in November 2013. By the way, Cendo is also composing a piano concerto for the ensemble, which is currently also working with composers like Francesco Filidei (Italy), Alex Mincek (USA), Arthur Kampela (Brazil), Aurélien Dumont (France), and Jason Eckardt (USA)


In close relationships with established composers


From the very beginning, Linea has gained the confidence of leading composers. In the first ten years, an intensive work with composers such as Klaus Huber, Ivo Malec, Younghi Pagh-Paan and Michael Jarrell led to many new pieces written by them for the Ensemble and for several CD productions.


A few years ago, Linea has begun a close collaboration with Peter Eötvös, a composer that the ensemble knows very well, as Linea’s conductor Jean-Philippe Wurtz has been student at the renowned International Eötvös Institute in Hungary. Linea has played almost his full catalogue of ensemble and chamber music as well as his piece “Octet Plus” that premiered in 2008 at Musica Festival in Strasbourg (France).


All of these recent pieces were recorded for Linea’s new CD Ensemble Linea plays Eötvös, which was released in early 2011 on the Hungarian label BMC. It was awarded with the prize Fonogram in Hungary and with the Orphée d’Or de la Création Lyrique in France. In spring 2013, Linea and Eötvös met again at Royaumont Abbey to co-organize a master class for orchestral conducting. Other projects with Peter Eötvös are in preparation for 2015-2016.


A similar collaboration with Brian Ferneyhough is underway: in 2011, the Ensemble recorded his ensemble piece “Chronos Aion” (CD in project). After the highly acclaimed French premiere in 2010 at Royaumont Abbey, Linea performed this piece in Zurich as well as in Huddersfield (British premiere) in November 2011. In 2013, Linea met Ferneyhough for the French premiere of “Liber Scintillarum”, taking place in September at Royaumont Abbey. In November, it was performed as British premiere at Huddersfield festival. Furthermore, Linea will work with Philippe Manoury, James Clarke, David Felder...



An ensemble of national and international standing








Entry of the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart on the day of the concert of Linea and the Neue Vocalsolisten (october 2012)


Internationally recognized as one of France’s best contemporary ensembles, Linea is regularly invited to perform at the biggest new music festivals in France and across the world, such as: Ultraschall (Berlin, Germany - January 2013), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK - 2011 and 2013), Ars Musica (Brussels, Belgium - 2011), June In Buffalo (USA, 2011 and 2013), ACMF (Seoul, Korea – 2009), Budapest Autumn Festival (Hungary - 2009), Aspects des Musiques d’Aujourd’hui (Caen, France - 2009), Archipel (Geneva, Switzerland - 2008), etc.


In 2012, Linea was invited to the renowned Darmstädter Ferienkurse in Germany, where it received great acclaim for its concerts in Stuttgart (2012), Magdeburg and Berlin (2013).


This strong international positioning makes Linea a global ambassador of French music that, in turn, also introduces works from other countries into French culture.


Linea has, for example, become one of the leading new music ensembles from France in the development of cultural exchanges with the United States. The two US tours, in 2011 and 2013, supported by the FACE/French American Fund for Contemporary Music, had a great impact on public, music professionals and the media on both sides of the Atlantic: while promoting the French repertoire on its tours through the USA, Linea established close relations with young American composers whose works it now presents in France (Festival Musica in 2012, Season of the Arsenal in Metz in 2014). The next US tour will take place in 2016: next to concerts in New York, Buffalo and elsewhere, Linea will focus on exchange and training programs, especially in collaboration with composition departments of various renowned universities (Northwestern University in Chicago, Harvard in Boston, University of Pittsburgh...)


A further aspect of this international positioning is Linea’s intention to work with countries where a contemporary music industry still has to develop or where exchange programs are rare. 

From South Korea to Romania or Egypt, and soon also Russia (at the invitation of the Saint-Petersburg Contemporary Music Center for 2015), Ensemble Linea often pioneers in the field of international exchange with different countries, acting with intercultural competence and a deep respect for the “culture of the host country”. In a complex and globalized world, Linea makes a humble contribution to reduce disparities and bridge cultural divides.


In France, since 2002, Ensemble Linea has been invited by the renowned Musica festival on a regular basis, since 2011 every year. For many cultural seasons, Linea was ensemble in residence of Royaumont Foundation. In 2015- 2016, the ensemble will strengthen its position in France through numerous events in Paris (Opéra Comique, Festival Manifeste...), Marseille and other important locations.




Well connected to networks of contemporary music








Rehearsal with Irvine Arditti, few days before  the Huddersfield concert, november 2013.

Being very well connected to professional networks, Linea has developed close collaborations with other ensembles: Proxima Century from Bordeaux-France (2006 and 2015), TIMF Ensemble from Korea (2010), Talea Ensemble (2011) and Moto Perpetuo (2013) from New York, the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble, with whom Linea performed together in Cairo and Alexandria in May 2012, and the ensemble Neue Vocalsolisten (NVS) from Stuttgart (Germany, 2012).


Thanks to its excellent reputation, Linea has been invited to numerous artist-in-residence programs, e.g. at Royaumont Abbey, and to many master classes, workshops and composition sessions, e.g. June in Buffalo (USA), Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany), composition academy of Philippe Manoury and Festival Musica, etc.

This recognition also lead to collaborations with internationally renowned soloists and interpreters, such as violinist Irvine Arditti (2013), soprano Allison Bell (2009 and 2013), pianists Wilhem Latchoumia (2013) and Benjamin Kobler (2008), just to name a few…


Linea’s expertise is often requested for selection committees, panels, training projects and conferences in many different environments: universities, Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs (DRAC), conservatories... Being in continuous dialogue with public and private partners, music scene, civil society and audiences, Linea plays a part in reflections about the future of the cultural sector that may influence the activities of the ensemble.


Ensemble Linea is also a member of FEVIS (Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés), a French and European organization of professional vocal and instrumental ensembles.


A dynamic and innovative music training center


For a long time, Linea has been involved with supporting and training young composers and performers – its numerous workshops and master classes speak for themselves.


During many years of work in the field, Linea has detected a need for supplementary training among young performers or composers coming out of the conservatories.

Since 2013, this aspect has become even more important: Linea has developed a veritable “music training center”. 


In 2013, Linea joined Péter Eötvös and Royaumont Foundation to co-organize a master class for orchestral conducting that had a great impact in the contemporary music scene, where training courses of that kind are very rare. During one week, 10 young conductors (selected out of 40 candidates) from different parts of the globe had the possibility to improve their skills under the guidance of Ensemble Linea and Péter Eötvös.


Encouraged by this success, Linea has created its own summer academy of new music in Strasbourg: the first edition took place in August 2014, offering 9 instrumental performance classes and one class for orchestral conducting. It attracted 25 students from France, Italy, Russia, Spain, UK, Germany, Japan and the USA, which is quite a good result for a first edition, promising great potential for the future.


A new summer academy is scheduled for 2015. In parallel, Linea will join Festival Musica and Philippe Manoury for a composition academy organized in the context of the festival in Strasbourg. A further master class for orchestral conducting with Péter Eötvös and Royaumont Foundation is in preparation: one part of it will take place at Royaumont Abbey (near Paris), the other part at the Budapest Music Center, an information and training center that Eötvös founded in the Hungarian capital.


Linea’s training programs focus on ensemble performance: from the beginning, the students are put in the situation of playing with or conducting an ensemble that is composed of Linea’s musicians and other scholars. The course program is concluded by a concert. These simulation methods enable students to improve their skills under the real conditions of a concert, accompanied by experienced musicians that can cope with the challenges of contemporary music. And that is exactly what young performers are looking for.





Projects of a large scale


From the very start , Ensemble Linea has gained recognition by realizing large-scale projects that demand a lot of time and effort: premieres for large ensembles, interdisciplinary shows, opera premieres, innovative projects, participations in big events, international tours...


In 2015, Linea maintains this tradition, organizing high quality events like the world premiere of “Les contes de la lune vague après la pluie”, a new opera by Swiss composer Xavier Dayer, inspired by Kenji Mizoguchi’s eponym film. It is coproduced by Opera of Rouen, Royaumont Foundation and Festival Archipel in Geneva, where Linea will perform the Swiss premiere of the opera followed by two nights at the Opéra Comique in Paris. Linea is also invited to participate in the official program celebrating the Millenium of Strasbourg’s cathedral: inside the famous cathedral, the ensemble will premier Frédéric Durieux’s new work “Verticales rouges“ for organ ensemble and reciter (actress Marianne Denicourt), next to several works by composition students of CNSM in Paris (class of Philippe Manoury)  and of the Conservatory of Strasbourg. Also on the program: “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum”, a work for cathedrals by Messiaen.

 This is a vast and ambitious project that, beyond the celebratory dimension, also has an educational purpose: not only does Linea play works by composition students, but also half of the 47 performers are students of the Conservatory of Strasbourg: playing together with Ensemble Linea, they get the occasion to showcase their performing skills under the real conditions of a great concert.



A wide field of experiment


Totally convinced that music should be the source of transversal experiences, Linea has initiated many crossover projects mixing dance, theater, multimedia, traditional and contemporary music.


In 1999, Linea presented a scenic production of “Pierrot Lunaire”. In 2004, the Ensemble performed Stockhausen’s KURZWELLEN in collaboration with the Hoogenraad company which created a dance adaptation of the music. Furthermore, in 2007, Linea premiered “For what they are” by Bernd Schultheis, a show mixing music, live electronics, dance and video installations.


As Linea also has a strong interest for traditional arts and intercultural exchange, the Ensemble worked together with a Noh dancer from Japan and also with a Sungmu dancer (Korean dance performed by Buddhist monks). The second project led to the creation of a new piece especially written for this dance by Korean composer Hyun Wha Cho. It premiered in June 2010 at festival Champs Libres.



(c) Photo : Alex Florès


Media coverage

b01msls5_640_360.jpg "It was extremely well performed. Ferneyhough does demand extraordinary playing, and Ensemble Linea, they are really top performers"
Sara Mohr-Pietsch, on "Hear and now", on BBC Radio 3, December 10th 2011.

(c) Photo : BBC

Thanks to an extensive publicity made by the ensemble, the media are following Linea’s activity from its very beginning. The recent developments on the international scene have been well covered by the press. For instance, Linea’s US tour has been intensively reviewed by the American media, with, among others, good articles in the New York Times and Time Out…a remarkably extensive coverage for a French ensemble that was not well known in the United States before performing both in New York and Buffalo.

Linea’s last CD has been reviewed by numerous newspapers, magazines, webzines and blogs all across Europe.


Regarding radio stations, in France, Linea’s work is very well followed by France Musique (French public broadcasting devoted to classical music), which has regularly covered and retransmitted most of Linea’s concerts in France.


On the international level, important radio programs have recorded and broadcast a great number of Linea’s performances, e.g. DRS 2 in Switzerland, Deutschlandradio Kultur in Germany and BBC Radio 3 in the United Kingdom, which broadcast Linea’s two concerts at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2011 and 2013), the second one even as a live broadcast.


This excellent media coverage contributes to both Linea’s visibility and its reputation in the musical landscape.



Access and outreach


On the regional level, Linea is strongly committed to cultural outreach projects. A particular effort is put into enlarging the audience of contemporary music, by performing in places and areas where this music is rarely present. This cultural policy is made possible by networking with numerous partners who have cooperated with Linea for years: universities, foundations, public libraries, music schools, municipalities and cultural centers. In cooperation with these institutions, Linea has organized free shows, conferences, workshops, public rehearsals, events in museums and multimedia libraries, or programs favoring more accessible pieces.


Reaching out to new audiences beyond the circle of aficionados, Linea introduces a broad public to contemporary music and also enhances its visibility in the cultural landscape of the region.


Education and transmission


Enlarging the audience of contemporary music also means addressing the public of tomorrow. With “Stockhausen for kids”, a 45 minutes show for two musicians, created with the company “Flash Marionnettes”, Linea meets a new challenge: introducing a young audience to highly complex music. Through a relevant choice of pieces and an effective theatrical direction and lighting, the show is an amazing success that reaches beyond young audiences, even if consisting of 30 minutes of pure Stockhausen.


The show has already been performed in the Paris region, in Besançon (Musiques Libres festival) and in the Alsace region, at the invitation of many institutions such as Musica festival, in front of more than 4000 enthusiastic spectators.


Linea is also engaged in numerous educational projects with schools and universities, e.g. teaching music classes in secondary schools.


Commited players










 Photo (c) Alex Florès

Linea pays particular attention to its musical team. The soloists of the Ensemble have not only achieved an outstanding instrumental level, a broad experience and a masterly technique to do justice to the demanding repertoire: they are also personally dedicated to defend the contemporary repertoire. In order to understand the composer’s vision and to reproduce his music down to the last detail, they invest a lot of time and energy in practising and rehearsing.





From September 2006 to July 2008, Ensemble Linea was ensemble-in-residency at the arts center “Dominicains de Haute Alsace” in Guebwiller (Alsace - France), where they developed in particular a work centered on new technologies. This project highlighted several works by Reich, Stockhausen and Varèse, relating them to contemporary electroacoustic pieces and to so-called “popular” electronic music.

Ensemble Linea itself organized a residency during 2007-2008, with the support of the European Social Fund. Linea accompanied the creative work of eight young composers from France and abroad in order to facilitate their entry into professional networks. In June 2008, the eight new works written during the residency were performed by Linea in the context of Champs Libres.


In 2013, Ensemble Linea concluded its five-year-long “Ensemble-in-residency” program at Royaumont Abbey (Val d’Oise, France).


During this period, Linea was able to accompany many young and talented composers in their studies, to work with famous composers like Brian Ferneyhough, and to realize many innovative projects of a large scale: master class for conducting, premieres of new works, etc.

This residency program had a positive impact in the music scene and fostered Linea’s reputation in France while strengthening the ensemble’s interplay and team spirit.







Ivo Malec - Œuvres pour orchestre et formations de chambre

Double CD
Edition Motus
Distribution France Abeille Musique
Année 1999

Diapason d’or en 2001


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Ensemble Linea plays Eötvös


Edition Budapest Music Center Records

Fonogram Price of the best new music CD of the year at the "Hungarian Music Awards" 2011

"Orphée d'Or" of the lyric creation  given by "Académie Internationale de l'Académie du Disque Lyrique 2011" (France)


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