Twenty-four musicians from ten different countries with their individual artistry stand behind the artistic idea and a personal desire to maintain a bigger whole that seems to have gradually disappeared during the 20th century. This unique spirit rewards their music making with a special place in the current cultural environment, for which most of all recent music was written and to which it is crying out to be heard.
Ever since their first concert, back when the ensemble was called “Societé de l’Art Acoustique” and played under the baton of its founder Beat Furrer at the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna, Klangforum Wien has written musical history. The ensemble has premiered over 500 new works by composers from three continents and can – if given to reflection – look back at a discography of more than 70 CDs, numerous awards and prizes, and some 2.000 performances at leading concert and opera venues as well as at renowned festivals throughout Europe, the Americas and Japan – not to mention their fresh and idealistic educational and other outreach initiatives.
Over the years, strong artistic and affectionate relationships with outstanding composers, conductors, soloists, directors and dedicated programmers have been nurtured. These connections, as well as the ensemble’s energy itself, have been influential and insurmountable in forming Klangforum Wien’s profile and its endeavours. In recent years, individual members and the ensemble as a whole have made increasing efforts to pass special techniques and forms of musical expression on to a new generation of instrumentalists and composers. Since 2009 and owing to a teaching assignment at the University of Performing Arts Graz, Klangforum Wien as a whole has been allowed to bear the title “professor.” All this has its roots in the monthly meetings of all the ensemble’s musicians and the constantly adopted artistic intentions of the ensemble. Therefore, music is nothing less than the expression of the ensemble's ethos and awareness of its own share of responsibility towards the present and the future. The absoluteness of this conviction forms the root of the immutable quality of Klangforum Wien's programming and concerts.
Members of Klangforum Wien come from Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Sylvain Cambreling, Friedrich Cerha, and Beat Furrer are three of many outstanding musicians who have been awarded an honorary membership of the ensemble, based on unanimous decisions by its members. Sylvain Cambreling has been principal guest conductor of Klangforum Wien since 1997.