l’Odyssée Frank martin



Sunday 15 September 2024 5:30 PM

Starting from CHF 15.-

Tickets available online, at the Migros box office or on site on the day of the concert

Frank Martin’s intensely lyrical musical style sharply contrasts with the avant-garde tendencies of his contemporaries. In 1950, he composed the five Songs of Ariel, while simultaneously, John Cage created his Quartet in Four Parts. The musicians of Contrechamps and the Zürcher Sing-Akademie unite composers whose styles are diametrically opposed, yet paradoxically convey a shared message of simplicity.


CHRISTIAN WOLFF - Evening Shade, Wake up - for mixed choir a capella

FRANK MARTIN - Janeton, Petite église, Si Charlotte avait voulu - for men’s choir

CHRISTIAN WOLFF - Evening Shade, Wake up - for mixed choir a capella

MORTON FELDMAN - Projection I - for cello

FRANK MARTIN - Sonnet, Le Coucou, Ode, Le petit village - for women’s choir, partially with cello

MORTON FELDMAN - Intersection IV - for cello

MORTON FELDMAN - Christian Wolff in Cambridge - for mixed choir a capella

FRANK MARTIN - Songs of Ariel

JOHN CAGE, String Quartet in Four Parts

Performance running time : 1h15 without intermission

Throughout his career, Frank Martin set a wide range of texts to music, from Ronsard’s sonnets to the works of his contemporaries. In 1950, he was inspired by the character of Ariel, the famous spirit swirling around Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to compose his only English-language work. In this piece, Martin used a rich palette of imagination to evoke the ominous depths and dreamlike creatures of the ocean. He later incorporated these elements – in their classic German translation – into his opera Der Sturm (The Tempest).

While Frank Martin was immersed in Shakespeare’s play, the art world in Paris and New York was in a state of upheaval. During this time, John Cage began writing his Quartet in Four Parts amidst the Parisian tumult, lamenting that he “did not find enough time to be simple and quiet”. The result is an intensely contemplative work, inspired by the Indian philosophy of the seasons. For him this work was  like the opening of another door; the possibilities implied are unlimited”. Shortly afterward, John Cage met Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and other avant-garde artists, with whom he founded the New York School. Together, they challenged traditional notions of musical composition, developed avant-garde forms where chance played a key role, and invented new musical notations. Although the Quartet in Four Parts is one of Cage’s last non-aleatoric works, Projection I for cello, composed the same year (1950), is Feldman’s first indeterminate piece.

With this selection of emblematic pieces, the musicians of Contrechamps and the singers of the Zürcher Sing-Akademie invite us to immerse ourselves in the creative and ebullient atmosphere of the 1950s, when composers sought to break free from both neo-classicism and the constraints of dodecaphony, returning to a form of naturalness and simplicity through  radically different aesthetics.

Starting from CHF 15.-

Tickets available online, at the Migros box office or on site on the day of the concert

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Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Zürcher Sing-Akademie


The Zürcher Sing-Akademie is renowned for its versatility and flexibility, performing at the highest level in both chamber and symphonic settings. The Swiss choir collaborates with many eminent orchestras within Switzerland and internationally, and boasts an extensive symphonic repertoire. The ensemble also frequently presents a cappella programmes and plays a prominent part in the promotion of Swiss composers, both historical and contemporary.

Central to its ethos is the continued development of the choral landscape: the Zürcher Sing-Akademie frequently commissions new works and has given many première performances. Florian Helgath has been conductor and artistic director of the Zürcher Sing-Akademie since 2017. Since its formation in 2011, the choir has collaborated with numerous conductors including Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Roger Norrington, Pablo Heras-Casado, Neeme Järvi, Giovanni Antonini, Paavo Järvi, and René Jacobs.

Concert tours have taken the Zürcher Sing-Akademie to Germany, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Taiwan, China, and as well as many European cities. In addition to its long association with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the choir regularly performs with acclaimed ensembles; such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Kammerorchester Basel, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Hofkapelle München, and the baroque orchestra La Scintilla. In joint projects with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the choir is performing in major concert halls in Europe, such as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Philharmonie Berlin and Konzerthaus Freiburg.

Many of the ensembles CD recordings have won acclaim in the form of prestigious awards. The most recent additions to its discography are Weber’s opera “Der Freischütz” with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra for Harmonia Mundi and Haydn’s “Stabat Mater” with Kammerorchetser Basel for the label Pentatone, both conducted by René Jacobs. In autumn 2023, a portrait of the Swiss composer Fritz Stüssi has been released by the Zürcher Sing- Akademie at Claves Records.

Florian Helgath


Florian Helgath has established himself as one of the leading choral conductors of the younger generation. As artistic director and conductor of ChorwerkRuhr and the Zürcher Sing-Akademie, he shaped the ensembles into top international choirs of the highest calibre, both with cappella music as well as in the field of choral symphonies.

From 2009 to 2015 Florian Helgath conducted the Danish Radio Choir in Copenhagen and led the Via Nova Choir Munich from 2008 to 2016. With this ensemble he has conducted numerous world premieres and has been awarded national and international prizes.

Florian Helgath is a regular guest with the RIAS Kammerchor, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, SWR Vokalensemble, MDR Rundfunkchor, Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir and Flemish Radio Choir.

He has also worked with orchestras such as the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony, South Denmark Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, WDR Orchestra, Munich and Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Dortmund and Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Ensemble Resonanz.

In the field of historical performance practice he has realized projects with Freiburg Barockorchester, Orchestra La Scintilla of the Zurich Opera, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and B’Rock Orchestra.

Engagements led him to major concert halls and festivals such as Berlin Festspiele, Schwetzingen Festspiele, Bachfest Leipzig, Donaueschingen Musiktage, Eclat Festival Neue Musik Stuttgart, Thüringen Bachwochen, BR Musica Viva, ION Nuremberg and partitularly to Ruhrtriennale with contemporary opera performances and numerous manifold projects. In addition to a cappella projects, Florian Helgath focusses on performances of choral symphonic and symphonic repertoire.

Florian Helgath’s discography includes numerous highly acclaimed albums such as Carré/Chorbuch with ChorwerkRuhr on the Coviello Classics label (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2022), the album Geistliche Gesänge with works by J.S. Bach, Reger, Knut Nystedt with the MDR Rundfunkchor (ICMA Award 2017) or Da Pacem: Echo of the Reformation with the RIAS Kammerchor and Capella de la Torre (ECHO Klassik 2017). The album of Tigran Mansurian’s Requiem with the RIAS Kammerchor with Munich Chamber Orchestra by ECM Records was nominated for a Grammy in 2018 (Best Choral Performance).

In October 2020, Florian Helgath was appointed as professor of Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.

Florian Helgath gained his first musical experience with Regensburg Domspatzen and at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich. Michael Gläser, Stefan Parkman and Dan Olof Stenlund were among his important teachers who had a decisive influence on his development as a conductor.

Further important steps in his career was international success as a prize-winner in competitions such as the Eric Ericson Award 2006, the Competition For Young Choral Conductors 2007 in Budapest and the Choral Conductors’ Forum of Bavarian Radio 2007.



Contrechamps is an ensemble of soloists specialized in creating, developing and disseminating instrumental music of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Ensemble is dedicated to highlighting the diversity of aesthetics and formats making up the contemporary and experimental scene. For over 40 years the Ensemble Contrechamps has been working hand in hand with a large number of composers, conductors and artists. The Ensemble also showcases the multiple skills and unique talents of its member musicians and strives to develop fresh formats such as installation-performances, radiophonic concerts, research laboratories or collaborative processes. Its hybrid formula, both orchestra and collective, enables it to adapt to a variety of artistic constraints and to the proposals of the artists it works with. Contrechamps is renowned for its accomplishments and is a regular guest on international and Swiss stages and at prominent festivals.

Martina Brodbeck


Martina Brodbeck was born in Basel in 1976 and studied cello at the Basel Academy of Music with Thomas Demenga. After completing her studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag with Michael Müller, she obtained the Concert Diploma with distinction from the Academy of Music and Theater Biel/Bern, studying under Conradin Brotbek.

Martina Brodbeck is the principal cellist of the Basel Sinfonietta, and a regular member of the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Ensemble Lémur alongside Ingrid Karlen (piano) and Matthias Würsch (percussion). Since 2020 she has also been a member of the Ensemble Contrechamps Genève. Martina’s passion for contemporary music is evident through her performances in Europe, China and the USA with various music ensembles including Phoenix Basel, ensemble ö!, soyuz21 contemporary music ensemble zurich, and Collegium Novum Zürich. Martina Brodbeck has been teaching at the Freien Musikschule Zürich since 2013. Since 2017, she has collaborated with percussionist Fritz Hauser, who invited her to perform an improvised duo program at the Lucerne Festival in 2018.

Maximilian Haft


Belgian-American violinist Maximilian Haft has lived in Europe since 2009. A multi-faceted musician, he specializes in the interpretation of contemporary music and improvisation, performing both on large stages and in more intimate settings.

As a soloist, Maximilian Haft has performed and premiered concertos for contemporary violin with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Ensemble Contrechamps, and Collegium Novum Zürich. He has premiered works by composers such as Samuel Andreyev and Dominique Schafer, and has collaborated closely with Heinz Holliger, Oliver Knussen, Hans Zender, Beat Furrer and Michael Gordon. He has performed at festivals such as Donaueschinger Musiktage, Eclat-Festival Neue Musik Stuttgart, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Festival Archipel, Pori Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Winter in Orvieto (Italy), Edinburgh World Festival, and Festival for New American Music in Sacramento. He has participated in residencies at Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Royal Conservatory of Birmingham, and has been a guest lecturer at La Manufacture in Lausanne and the Haute école de musique in Geneva.

Maximilian Haft studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Zaven Melikian and Wei He. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He holds a master’s degree with honors from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he studied with Vera Beths. He is currently a doctoral student in the arts research program at Leiden University.

Rada Hadjikostova


Violinist Rada Hadjikostova is a graduate of the Sofia National Academy. After playing and studying all over the world, including Santiago de Chile, Würzburg, and Paris, she completed her studies at the Haute École de Musique de Genève, winning the Adolf Neumann Prize for the best soloist diploma with M. Karafilova and the postgraduate diploma in string quartet with G. Takács.

She has always had a passion for chamber music, which has given her the opportunity to work with N. Brainin, W. Levin, S. Devich, and the Bartók, Debussy and Ysaÿe Quartets. Fascinated by contemporary and experimental music, Rada co-founded Ensemble Vortex in 2005, in which she has played ever since. She recently joined the eclectic Fecimeo ensemble.

Hans Egidi


The career of Hans Egidi, a German musician who has long since settled in French-speaking Switzerland, has been marked by versatility, curiosity, and a passion for chamber music. After studying violin in Hanover and Geneva, he perfected his skills in the fields of early and contemporary music. He became a member of the Ensemble Contrechamps, where he discovered the viola, and has been the violist with the Quatuor Sine Nomine since 2002.

Hans has toured extensively in the USA, Latin America, and the Far East, and has performed in many of Europe’s leading concert halls and festivals, including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, Mozarteum Salzburg, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiades in Schwarzenberg, and the Biennales du Quatuor in Paris.

He teaches viola and chamber music at the Hautes écoles de musique in Lausanne and Sion, and is a frequent guest jury member at international quartet competitions.