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Founded in 1976 by Pierre Boulez with support from the French Secretary of State for Culture at that time, Michel Guy, the Ensemble intercontemporain consists of 31 soloists who devote themselves entirely to music of the 20th and 21st centuries. In close collaboration with composers, they explore new instrumental techniques and also realize genre-defying projects in the areas of dance, theater, film, video, and visual art. They also perform together with the Paris-
based IRCAM in projects involving electronic and synthesized music. After Pierre Boulez, who held the leadership position until 1978, Peter Eötvös helmed the Ensemble for twelve years; he was succeeded by David Robertson (1992–99), Jonathan Nott (2000–05), and Susanna Mälkki (2006–13). Since September 2013, the composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher has served as Music Director. The Ensemble intercontemporain commissions and performs new compositions every year and is active in addition in the realm of youth work and education through children’s concerts, workshops for students, and courses for instrumentalists, conductors, and composers, as well as through projects intended to attract a broad public to contemporary music. The Ensemble, which performs all over France and at the major international festivals and new-music concert series, is permanently headquartered at the Cité de la Musique in Paris; since January 2015, it has moreover served as resident ensemble at the new Paris Philharmonie. The Ensemble intercontemporain receives financial support from the French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and from the City of Paris. Supporting the premieres of new works is the Fondation Meyer.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1985 with Pierre Boulez in a program of works by Holliger and Boulez