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”.
Born 1966 in Göttingen, Thorsten Encke studied violoncello and conducting in Hannover and in Los Angeles, 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 “music 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.
2016 Premiere of “impulse – motion” for clarinet solo and 2 clarinets > commissioned by the project Q (‘kju:) > Bettina Aust. clarinet
2016 Premiere of “Echoes of Paradise” 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 – Fantasie for orchestra over motives of Wagner’s Ring” > commissioned by teh Richard-Wagner-Verband > 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 Musik in Schools” 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