Gustav Mahler Ensemble

The Gustav Mahler Ensemble was founded in 1996 by the violinist Elena Denisova and the conductor/pianist Alexei Kornienko, with the aim of raising awareness of lesser known works and shedding new light on well known pieces through striking and unusual interpretations. The Gustav Mahler Ensemble’s members are drawn from a select circle of soloists, the number of players varying according to the needs of the project in hand. To promote the ongoing advancement of music the ensemble partly makes use of non-traditional instrumentation, while also respecting the tradition and history of the instruments.

The Gustav Mahler Ensemble has gained considerable international press coverage, for example for its chamber music recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (soloist: Elena Denisova; DEKA media). This is not merely an example of ‘stripped down’ Baroque music, it is an interpretation consciously created with the ideals of Gustav Mahler in mind, after whom the ensemble is named: “Tradition is the conservation of fire, not the worship of ashes”.

Their interpretation of Rudolf Kolisch’s brilliant chamber music version of Max Reger’s Violin Concerto caused a similar stir. As the Dutch composer Jo Sporck so aptly wrote: “Musically highly motivated, this ensemble has delivered a performance of historic importance, thanks to the untiring dedication of two first-rate musicians: Elena Denisova and Alexei Kornienko”. Another guiding principle of the ensemble is Mahler’s assertion that “a work must be born anew with every performance”.

The Gustav Mahler Ensemble performs regularly at the Woerthersee Classics Festival and also frequently gives concerts in Vienna - for example at the Konzerthaus. They have also performed to great acclaim in Holland, Finland, as well as in Italy. The Gustav Mahler Ensemble won the PREMIO ALLA CULTURA prize of L’Associazione I Gaudenziani Amici della Basilica di San Gaudenzio, in Novara, Italy.

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