Portrait concert Stefan Keller

Ensemble Ascolta

Theo Nabicht, saxophone
Markus Schwind, trumpet
Andrew Digby, trombone
Hannah Weirich, violin
Niklas Seidl, cello
Hubert Steiner, electric guitar
Florian Hoelscher, piano (Schaukel, Breathe, Stück für Klavier)
Felix Nagl, sampler (hybrid gaits)
Anne-Maria Hölscher, accordion
Daniel Eichholz, drum set, congas
Boris Müller, percussion
Stefan Keller, tabla

Yalda Zamani, conductor (Hybrid Gaits)

Schaukel (2015)
for piano, violin, violoncello
Breathe (2016) for piano, electric guitar, live electronic instruments and accordion
Riccardo Nova / arr. Stefan Keller (2005/2020): Ma's Sequence 7, trumpet, tabla, congas and percussion instruments set-up
Stück für Klavier (2009)
Hybrid Gaits (2017) for drum kit, sampler, electric guitar, saxophone, trumpet and trombone


The composer Stefan Keller is originally from Switzerland but now lives in Berlin. He was the winner of the Villa Massimo Rome Scholarship 2019/2020, and focuses particularly on the physicality of music, a rather pertinent aspect in these times of pandemic 'disembodiment', and also an almost utopian endeavour.

The portrait concert with Ensemble Ascolta showcases a wide range of different manifestations of the physical: in Schaukel, they are of an extrovert character, literally focusing on quite physical elements; in Breathe, they are more introverted, and embedded in the complex relationships between percussion and melody, instruments and electronic music. Ultimately, they take the form of an almost licentious outburst in Hybrid Gaits. Stefan Keller can be experienced not only as a composer but also on the tabla. Keller studied the art of tabla playing for many years – an appeal for transcultural exchange with an open mind and with respect.

The Ensemble Ascolta began to enrich the German and European Neue Musik scene with its unusual soundscapes and exceptional projects in 2003. Since then, Ascolta has premiered over 250 works inspired by and written especially for its very special line-up, for example by Pierluigi Billone, Chaya Czernowin, Beat Furrer, Isabel Mundry, Olga Neuwirth and Hans Thomalla. The ensemble has guested at almost all of the important Neue Musik festivals (including the Donaueschingen Festival, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, the ECLAT Festival Neue Musik Stuttgart, the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, Ultima Oslo, and the Wien Modern) and has followed international invitations to perform, for instance, in the USA, Singapore or Israel.