Pierre-André Valade – chief conductor
Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen is in every sense a barrier-breaking ensemble. With great enthusiasm, everybody within or close to the ensemble becomes a mouthpiece for the avant-garde through innovative projects that overcome aesthetic limitations and physical boundaries.
Athelas has long been established as a leading Danish Chamber ensemble and the nation’s foremost new music ensemble. Concert series, participation in operas and festivals, international tours, recordings of new Danish and international music and imaginative concert programming has made Athelas a remarkable institution.
Time after time, a unanimous press has emphasised the high artistic standard of the ensemble. Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen has performed around 600 different music works including a large number of first performances. Athelas’ determined pursuit of quality has attracted many important soloists and conductors, such as Steve Reich, Per Nørgård, Heiner Goebbels, Poul Ruders, Arvo Pärt, David Lang, Christian Lindberg, Reinbert de Leeuw, Thomas Adès, Ilan Volkov, Paul Hillier, George Benjamin, Philippe Leroux and Pierre-André Valade.
This great devotion to new music has resulted in the appointment of Athelas as “ensemble in residence” at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (1997-99) and the award of the “Danish National Ensemble” title. In this respect, Athelas has represented Denmark and the Royal family. International cooperation is important to Athelas. Athelas has marked this by participation as co-founder of the EEN – European Ensemble Network and the EU-funded projects Integra and Re:New Music. From 2013-2014 Athelas Sinfonietta will be one of the two Danish ensembles to participate in the likewise EU-funded project “New:Aud”, working with audience development.
Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen is the house ensemble at Kulturværftet in Elsinore and the initiators of the Athelas New Music Festival. The latest CD’s by Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen are Per Nørgård’s “Lygtemænd i byen/Will ‘o’th’Wisps in Town” (2010) and Poul Ruders’ “Songs and Rhapsodies” (2011).