Vita

Thorsten Encke, composer - conductor

When Thorsten Encke won the Concours de Composition du Festival Pablo Casals de Prades in April 2005 with his composition of a string quartet, it wasn’t only the emotional clarity and fine craftsmanship which directly earned him the award, but in particular his deep roots in the music.

“Encke, with his prize-winning string quartet, has succeeded in creating an impressive work … the unity and coherence in the composition reveal great maturity.” So said the critics at the conclusion of the competition, going on to attest to the composer’s “compositional vigour and the adamant will for expression”.

  • Biographie

    Born 1966 in Göttingen, Thorsten Encke studied violoncello and conducting in Hannover with Friedrich-Jürgen Sellheim and in Los Angeles with Lynn Harrell, gathered experience in all fields of classical music and performed widely as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. In 1999 he decided to devote himself to a future as a freelance musician. After winning the competition in Prades in 2005, Thorsten Encke shifted his musical focus to composition and conducting. Since then he has received numerous commissions, for example from the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Hitzacker Summer Music Festival. His works are performed by artists such as Paavo Järvi, Christian Tetzlaff, Sharon Kam, Isabelle Faust, Julian Steckel, the Quartetto di Cremona, the Stockholm Chamber Brass and many other internationally active musicians.

    In 2011 Thorsten Encke founded the orchestra musica assoluta. As conductor and artistic director of the ensemble, Encke is committed to imparting new ways of listening and presenting impetus-providing concert experiences. Renowned for his unconventional performances and programmes, the ensemble has within a short time earned great recognition among experts and significant public attention.

    • 2017  CD release > "Thorsten Encke. A Portrait" > Avi music
    • 2017  Premiere of "Wer bin ich?" > commissioned by via nova – zeitgenössische Musik in Thüringen e.V. > ensemble diX, Kathleen Danke. Soprano
    • 2017  Premiere of "Bonhoeffer Fragmente" > KlosterKlangFestival Loccum > soloists of musica assoluta, Stella Jürgensen. speaker
    • 2017  Premiere of "Foreboding II" > commissioned by the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern > german hornsound, Slagwerk Den Haag
    • 2017  Premiere of cello concerto > commissioned by the Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel > Christian Poltéra. 'cello, Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel, Georg Fritzsch. conductor
    • 2017  Premiere of “outline” for violin solo > Elisabeth Kufferath. violin
    • 2017  Premiere of 2nd piano trio > commissioned by the Felix-Mendelssohn-Wettbewerb Berlin > Lux Trio
    • 2016  Invitation to participate in the project “Contemporary Music in School” through the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung
    • 2016  Premiere of “impulse – motion” for clarinet solo and 2 clarinets > commissioned by the project Q (‘kju:) > Bettina Aust. clarinet
    • 2016  Premiere of “Echoes” for violin, viola and orchestra > Isabelle Faust. violin, Boris Faust. viola > musica assoluta > Thorsten Encke. conductor
    • 2016  Premiere of “Water Melodies” for viola and orchestra > Peijun Xu. viola > musica assoluta > Thorsten Encke. conductor
    • 2015  Premiere of “Foreboding for four horns” > german hornsound
    • 2015  Premiere of “Cantus in Memoriam Dietrich Bonhoeffer” for orchestra and speaker > commissioned by the orchestra Sinfonia Concertante Bremen
    • 2015  Premiere of “Ströme II” for big orchestra > commissioned by the dance theatre project OpusEinhundert > the North German Radio Orchestra
    • 2015  Premiere of “vivacity” for 14 solo strings > musica assoluta > Thorsten Encke. conductor
    • 2014  Premiere of “Hommage” for 14 players > musica assoluta > Thorsten Encke. conductor
    • 2013  Premiere of “Wanderer" – fantasia for orchestra on motifs of Richard Wagner’s "Der Ring des Nibelungen” > commissioned by the Richard Wagner-Verband Hannover e.V. > the North German Radio Orchestra > Eivind Gullberg Jensen. conductor
    • 2013  Premiere of “Quintett für Streicher” > commissioned by the North German Radio > Fabergé Quintet
    • 2012  Composer in residence at the festival “Spannungen – Musik im Kraftwerk Heimbach” > Premiere of “Préludes” for ensemble > with Christian Tetzlaff, Volker Jacobsen, Gustav Rivinius, Edicson Ruiz, Sharon Kam, Ishay Lantner, Stefan Rapp und Lauma Skride > Thorsten Encke. conductor > Recorded by Deutschlandfunk
    • 2012  Premiere of “Ströme” > commissioned by the opera Kiel > the Philharmonic Orchestra Kiel > Georg Fritzsch. conductor
    • 2011 Premiere of “Nyx” > the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen > Paavo Järvi. conductor > recorded by Deutschlandradio Kultur and Radio Bremen
    • 2010 Premiere of “Paul Klee Splitter” for actor and ensemble > Paul-Klee-Zentrum-Bern
    • 2010  Invitation to participate in the project “Contemporary Music in School” through the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung
    • 2010  Premiere of “Un beau brin de fille” > commissioned by the orchester Sinfonia Concertante Bremen
    • 2009  Premiere of “Das atheistische Krokodil” > Staatsoper Hanover
    • 2008  Premiere of “Hymnos” > commissioned for the 700th anniversary of the town church of Celle
    • 2008  Recipient of a composition grant from the Ministry for Science and Culture, Lower Saxony
    • 2008  Premiere of “Drei Intermezzi” > commissioned by the dance theatre project “KonTakt” > the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen > Alexander Shelley. conductor
    • 2007  Premiere of the “1. Streichquartetts” > Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris
    • 2007  Participant in “Response” project of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
    • 2006  Recipient of a composition grant from the Ministry for Science and Culture, Lower Saxony
    • 2006  Participant in “Response” project of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
    • 2005  1st Prize at the 1er Concours de Composition du Festival Pablo Casals de Prades, Premiere of the “1. Streichquartett” as part of the festival > further performances in France, Germany and Poland