Classical music

Ensemble intercontemporain, Matthias Pintscher

Part of Classical Season 2017/18

The formidable new music group presents contemporary masterpieces by Pierre Boulez and Jonathan Harvey, with a brand new work by Philippe Schoeller.

Ensemble intercontemporain presents mesmerising music by Pierre Boulez, Jonathan Harvey and Philippe Schoeller.

Conducted by their Music Director Matthias Pintscher, the ensemble performs one of Boulez’ most ethereal works alongside the more overtly spiritual Bhakti by Jonathan Harvey. The programme is completed by Philippe Schoeller’s piece inspired by the Olympian god, Hermes.

Following the death of Pierre Boulez in January 2016, The Guardian described him as the ‘single dominant figure of the classical musical world through the second half of the 20th century and beyond.’

Using electronics to create intricate textures, ...explosante-fixe was conceived as a memorial piece for Stravinsky in 1971. In the following year, Boulez founded Ensemble intercontemporain, which premiered ...explosante-fixe in its definitive version for solo flute, chamber orchestra and electronics in 1993.

British composer Jonathan Harvey was invited by Boulez to work at IRCAM. He wrote several works for Ensemble intercontemporain, including Bhakti. Harvey’s gleaming sonorities offer an intimate exploration of ‘bhakti’, the Hindu word for a devotional act of faith.

With the generous support of Diaphonique, a Franco-British fund for contemporary music.


Ensemble intercontemporain
Matthias Pintscher director
Sophie Cherrier solo flute
Matteo Cesari flute
Emmanuelle Ophèle flute
Andrew Gerzso IRCAM computer music design
Jean-Baptiste Barrière IRCAM computer music design
Stanley Haynes IRCAM computer music design
Denis Lorrain IRCAM computer music design
Augustin Muller IRCAM computer music production
Jérémie Henrot IRCAM sound engineer


Harvey: Bhakti for ensemble & quadraphonic tape (short version)
Philippe Schoeller: Hermès V for large ensemble (UK premiere)
Boulez: ...explosante-fixe... (In memoriam Stravinsky) for flute with live electronics, 2 flutes & orchestra

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall


£15 - £45
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£15, £25, £35, £45


50% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Part of Belief and Beyond Belief festival

£7 student tickets are available via the Student Pulse app in the month before this concert. Some of these seats are on the stage. Download the app from any app store or go to

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