Making the future of music now
AKOM Ensemble is a new music ensemble established to promote collaboration between composers and performers. Founded in 2013 by Jan Kuhr, it was originally formed to provide composers at Codarts Rotterdam with opportunities to write for, and directly work with a large ensemble. Since then, AKOM Ensemble has grown beyond the limits of the conservatory and now strives to engage today’s audiences through inspiring performances, as well as to bring new music to the forefront of Rotterdam’s cultural scene. AKOM Ensemble seeks to present concerts that inform and entertain the audience, after a preparation process that also educates composers.
Our process of working with composers plays an important part in establishing a core repertoire which includes pieces written specifically for us. As the management team explores potential venues and festivals, we will pay special attention to opportunities for interactive performances that “break the fourth wall”, including multimedia features as well as circus or dance collaborations. Because the service of new music constitutes the core of the ensemble’s activity, control over the quality of the music and its presentation influences all other choices made by the management team.
Over the past years, AKOM has gained much momentum in Rotterdam and has been invited to play in De Doelen multiple times, as well as in some of the other more notorious venues in and around the city. Recent highlights include performances at the Gaudeamus music festival in Utrecht, the Red Sofa Series at De Doelen and a large project in collaboration with the Codarts dance department. This project entailed four composers from the Codarts composition department pairing up with four choreographers, with each group premiering a work based on the different aspects of psychology. Other marking performances were Daylight in the Night, a collaboration with the Rotterdams Centrum voor Theater as part of Rotterdam's 75 Jaar Oorlog in de Stad festival, which commemorated the First World War through theatre performances, and the participation in The Big Day, an all-day festival at De Doelen celebrating fresh talent in Rotterdam through music, dance and acrobatic performances.