Press releases | Culture 26.10.2010

contempo primo – Siemens Stiftung initiates Training Program for Contemporary Ensemble Music in China

The Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, and the Siemens Stiftung are launching in Beijing a training program for contemporary ensemble music entitled contempo primo. By training young Chinese musicians a professsional ensemble for contemporary music is to be developed in China. The founding of the ensemble contempo primo will thereby pave the way for a genesis and consolidation of ensemble music hitherto unseen in China. For the first time now Asian and European music traditions will be corresponddingly united into an ensemble. The aim of the Siemens Stiftung’s activities is to promote active cultural scenes worldwide by means of intense exchange between artists.

Highly talented musicians resident in China were already able to apply to participate in contempo primo since spring of this year. Under the guidance of the internationally acclaimed Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt am Main the selected instrumentalists will work in different phases through to Spring 2011 on an evening’s program of music from the 20th and 21st century. One feature here is the combination of original Chinese instruments with western ones in an ensemble.

The next work phase will run from November 11th to 18th 2010 at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Under the baton of conductor Kasper de Roo and with the musicians of the Ensemble Modern as wide a variety as possible of approaches and playing techniques from the classical Modern Age through to the latest music will be worked upon. A further work phase is planned for March next year before the debut performance of a work by Chinese composer Guo Wenjing is to form the concluding highlight: the commissioned work by the Siemens Stiftung will be presented on May 14th 2011 at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing to mark the founding of the contempo primo ensemble. Guo, one of modern China’s most internationally acclaimed composers, is influenced by the traditional music of his country. At the same time, with his work he wishes to break down borders and barriers between east and west as well as between history and modern times.

contempo primo

Ensemble Project of the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, and the Siemens Stiftung, in Collaboration with the International Ensemble Modern Academy

Spring 2010 – Spring 2011Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing

The goal of the Siemens Stiftung is to help alleviate poverty and create better living conditions. To achieve this, the Siemens Stiftung promotes the improvement of basic services and the strengthening of social structures, supports education projects, and contributes to the development of arts and culture. The focal regions of the Siemens Stiftung are Africa, Latin America, and Europe. The Siemens Stiftung is headquartered in Munich, Germany. It was founded in September 2008 as a charitable foundation under civil law and endowed by Siemens AG with foundation capital of EUR 390 million, continuing the company’s over 160-year tradition of social commitment.

The Central Conservatory of Music is China’s leading musical training institution situated in the former residence of Prince Chun of the Qing Dynasty. Today these grounds located in the heart of Beijing comprise some 53 hectares and musical training is held in both traditional and modern buildings. Founded in 1950 the Conservatory offers a very broad range of lessons for all levels touching on all areas of music. The library with its over 500,000 volumes is the largest of its kind in China. For several years now the Central Conservatory of Music has been intensifying its international relations by means of exchanges with foreign institutions and artists. Further information at:

The Ensemble Modern is considered one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music. Thanks to its close interaction with artists and their works during the 30 years of its existence the ensemble has been able to gather wideranging and in-depth knowledge on the music of the 20th century. The International Ensemble Modern Academy was founded in 2003 with the aim of facilitating lively learning, experimentation and exchange at a high level. Further information at