The Ensemble Modern performed its first concert on October 30, 1980, in the Deutschlandfunk broadcast hall, Cologne, Germany. Over the years it has consisted of about 20 players and is a fairly typical chamber orchestra in makeup, its members filling the orchestral sections of strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion in traditional proportions.
Founded with the intent of promoting new and unusual compositions, the ensemble's roots actually go back to 1973-1974, when the German Youth Orchestra was formed. From this group there soon emerged offshoot ensembles for strings, woodwinds, and various other instrumental factions. In 1979 percussionist Hans-Peter Gluckner took the initiative to begin assembling yet another group from the orchestra, which would become known as the Ensemble Modern of the German Youth Philharmonic.
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