music for strings

Ryoji Ikeda & Ensemble Modern

2023/24 Musik Immersive Sounds Kulturpass HYBRID Biennale

Together with Ensemble Modern and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Dresden Days of Contemporary Music (DTzM) have commissioned the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda with a new concert project for string instruments. Following the enthusiastically acclaimed world premiere with Ensemble Modern on 8 February in Amsterdam, this project can be experienced at HELLERAU on 15 March, with the renowned percussion ensemble Les Percussions de Strasbourg presenting another concert project by Ikeda with “100 Cymbals” (commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2019) on 7 April 2024.

Ryoji Ikeda’s new concert project “music for strings”, similar to “100 Cymbals”, not only has a clear and purely analogue concept, but also mathematical and geometric elements that remeasure the concert space in precise, minimalist choreography: while in MIRROR two musicians celebrate contrapuntal moments of joint music-making in a diagonal spatial axis, the following pieces PRISM and REFLECTION for nine musicians establish a frontal line to the audience with meticulous precision and simple beauty. Ryoji Ikeda’s concert projects on 15 March and 7 April are part of the new DTzM series “Immersive Sounds” and, together with the Late Night Concert raster. fokus, are also pre-showings for the HYBRID Biennale 2024, which will take place in HELLERAU from 12-27 October 2024.

Duration: ca. 1 h

Ryoji Ikeda: music for strings is commissioned by Ensemble Modern, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ and DTzM – Dresdner Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik

Special double pack:
If you book two events in the “Immersive Sounds” series, you will receive a 50% discount on the cheaper ticket. Only available via the visitor center.

Ryoji Ikeda (*1966)
MIRROR one for two (2020-23)
I for 2 Violins
II for 2 Violins
III for 2 Violas
Duration: 20 min

Ryoji Ikeda
PRISM for string nonet (2023)
Duration: 16 min

Ryoji Ikeda
REFLECTION for string nonet (2022/23)
Duration: 30 min

Program Handout

Ensemble Modern is one of the world’s best-known, leading ensembles for contemporary music. Founded in 1980 and based in Frankfurt am Main, 18 soloists currently shape the activities of the democratically organized ensemble. The musicians from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and the USA decide on their projects together, as well as collaborations with other artists and all economic issues. Ensemble Modern’s aesthetic spectrum encompasses music and dance-theatrical genres, multimedia forms as well as chamber music, ensemble and orchestral concerts. 


Ryoji Ikeda is one of the most important international sound and media artists, and his often large-scale light and sound installations have been shown in numerous museums and galleries around the world for many years. In Europe, the Centre Pompidou in Paris recently dedicated a major exhibition to him in 2018. In the same year, he transformed Hall E in the MuseumsQuartier into an oversized world of data, particles, light and sounds with “micro | macro” for the Wiener Festwochen. In 2019/20, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presented “data-verse” 1 and 2, two new large-scale projections created especially for the museum. In addition to his immersive and installative works, Ikeda can also regularly be seen with musical-performative projects such as “superposition” (most recently Philharmonie de Paris 2022) or “A (for 100 Cars)”, a concert performance for 100 cars in Los Angeles in 2017. The artist’s links with Ensemble Modern include a commissioned composition for a new choreography by William Forsythe, which premiered in Frankfurt in 2004.

Ryoji Ikeda | “music for strings”  is a work commissioned by Ensemble Modern, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and DTzM – Dresdner Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik.

The concert is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the Alliance of International Production Houses.