“An impressive aural assault” Scottish Herald
Founded in The Hague in 2003, Ensemble Klang’s innovative programmes, their commissioning of work from some of the most exciting composers working today, and the inception of their own record label, has seen them quickly rise to become “one of the top ensembles” (NRC Handelsblad) in the Netherlands’ rich contemporary music scene.
Ensemble Klang’s dynamic approach to contemporary music and “sonic adventure” has attracted not only a loyal public following but also the active participation of some of today’s leading composers. Projects have been staged with Heiner Goebbels, David Lang, Tom Johnson, Julia Wolfe, Michael Hersch and Peter Adriaansz. Its unique yet versatile instrumentation – saxophones, trombone, keyboards, percussion, guitar, electronics – generates the energetic drive and passion of a band.
Performing without a conductor, a typical Ensemble Klang programme combines complex music requiring virtuosic accuracy and breathtaking musical risk. They are born collaborators, and participate in music theatre, site-specific and dance projects almost every season. Klang members feel equally at home in the concert hall, in the open air at a festival or at a pop venue.
Members of Ensemble Klang
Guitars / Artistic Director
Anton van Houten
Trombone / Business director
Erik-Jan de With
Michiel van Dijk
“…a virtuoso of contemporary music…” New York Times
The versatile Dutch pianist Saskia Lankhoorn is an active soloist and chamber musician in the contemporary music scene. Her dedication to performing contemporary music dates from an early age; 1995 marked her first appearance on national radio, playing Arnold Schönberg’s Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke. Saskia performs with Electra, duo Avenue Azure, Asko|Schönberg and has premiered new works with duo X88, her trans-Atlantic piano duo with Vicky Chow. She was a co-founder of Ensemble Klang, which has performed in festivals worldwide such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Cultural Olympiad UK 2012 and Sonic Festival in New York City.
Her critically acclaimed solo concerts combine new art music with a strong performance and sonic concept, and strive to immerse the audience in a new sound world. Her first solo programme ‘Chords & Cables’, explored the external sound possibilities of the instrument through combining the piano with electronics and prepared sounds. And she has been exploring those sonic worlds ever since. Saskia performs in the leading venues and festivals of the Netherlands as well as internationally. ‘Dances & Canons,’ Saskia Lankhoorn’s first solo album on ECM Records, featuring a suite of solo piano works by Kate Moore, was nominated for the Edison Award 2015.
Saskia curates Festival Dag in de Branding, a leading platform for contemporary music in The Hague.
“…the audience were immersed in a trance-like, overwhelming ocean of sound…” Trouw
Pete Harden (UK, 1979) is a composer and musician whose work has been called “intriguing”, “fierce, exciting” as well as conjuring “a subtle three-dimensional landscape” (De Volkskrant). In 2003, having completed studies with Louis Andriessen and Richard Ayres at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, he was a founding member of Ensemble Klang, for whom he is electric guitarist and artistic director. As a composer his work seeks out new forms and structures, marrying conceptually rigorous content with rich sonic environments. He has had works commissioned and performed by, among others, the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Bang on a Can All-stars (New York), ASKO | Schönberg ensemble, Maud le Pladec Dance Company (France), Percussion Group The Hague, NorrbottenNEO (Sweden), Saskia Lankhoorn, Marco Blaauw, and Trio Scordatura.
As a guitarist he has performed with leading contemporary music ensembles including ASKO | Schönberg, Red Note Ensemble (UK) and i Solisti (Belgium). For the 2017-18 season he was artist-in-residence for the Red Sofa Series in De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam. Recent years have seen a strong focus on interdisciplinary productions, particularly theatre and dance.
In 2017-18 he performed in Ivo van Hove’s production Network, at the National Theatre, London – and in the same season he worked closely with the French choreographer Maud le Pladec, writing the music for the hour-long production 27 Perspectives. He is one half of the duo Avenue Azure.
Anton van Houten
Anton studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and graduated with a 9,5 with distinction in 2009. He plays the trombone at the Ballet Orchestra Balletorchestra – in productions with the National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater – and regularly performs with the Residence Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, De Volharding, Maarten Altena Ensemble, Modelo ’62, New European Ensemble, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, David Kweksilber Big Band and Ensemble Palatino on baroque trombone. In 2015 he founded 9×13; a neo-fanfare that mixes contemporary music with a taut, theatrical choreography, and brings it to new audiences at music and theatre festivals.
Erik-Jan de With
Erik-Jan graduated with distinction from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2005 under the tutelage of Leo van Oostrom, Frank Timpe, Hans de Jong (Antwerp) and David Kweksilber.
His quartet The Hague Saxophone Quartet (formerly Python saxophone quartet) have won the prestigious Concours Vandoren, and have worked with artists from many different backgrounds including amongst others Ilya Pfeiffer (poet), the Gents, Johan Zomer, Jeroen Willems (actor), Paul Koek (theater), Hartley Hall (filmmaker) and Marije Nie (Tap Dancer). The world renowned Dutch composer Louis Andriessen wrote the opera Inanna for the quartet.
Erik-Jan performs regularly across the Netherlands and internationally with many Dutch orchestras and ensembles. Cities include New York, Princeton, Valencia, Madrid, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, London, Cambridge, Brno, and Prague.
Under his leadership as founder and artistic director, the Westland Saxophone Festival has grown into one of the largest saxophone festivals in the Netherlands held every two years.
Michiel van Dijk
Michiel van Dijk studied classical saxophone with Leo van Oostrom and jazz saxophone with John Ruocco at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He performs with a wide variety of orchestra’s in the Netherland and different ensembles like the Volharding and the David Kweksilber Big Band. He also composes music for other ensembles and different theatre productions.
Joey is percussionist with the ASKO | Schoenberg Ensemble, Slagwerk Den Haag, the David Kweksilber Big Band and also plays in the Anstatt Dass Trio with Michaela Riener and Erik-Jan de With which has a focus on performances of Entartete Musik. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Ensemble Klang Foundation
The Ensemble Klang Foundation sets out to bring new music to a large and diverse audience. The Ensemble Klang Foundation is responsible for Ensemble Klang, 9×13 and Avenue Azure.
We are grateful to have received financial support over the years for specific projects from the following organizations and sponsors