Burkart Zeller began his music studies in Freiburg, then continued his studies in the USA on a scholarship and finally moved to Düsseldorf, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in the class of Johannes Goritzki culminating in an Artist Diploma. His repertoire stretches back to the music of the 17th and 18th centuries played on period instruments and continues up to the contemporary music, which occupies a central place in his artistic work. Since 2002 Burkart Zeller has been a member of the E-MEX Ensemble, and since 2009 in the Ensemble reflexionK. He has also appeared as a frequent guest in several other ensembles (notabu, chronophonie). Along with the soprano Irene Kurka, Zeller founded the ensemble socell21, and he is also continually expanding his solo repertoire, which has a strong focus on compositions with live-electronics, improvisation concepts and the interplay between music and other art forms. Zeller has been invited to play at festivals, give concerts and lead workshops in countries across Europe, in Asia and the USA. He has premiered numerous new works, which have been featured in radio broadcasts and on CDs.

photo by Martin Gendig

E-MEX Ensemble was founded in 1999 by 6 musicians from Cologne and the Ruhr in western Germany and has grown to be become one of the most independent voices in the new music scene in the greater Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. With projects ranging from large ensemble works to solo pieces, the ensemble’s core group of 10 musicians has been the unifying factor that has over the years helped shape the ensemble’s distinctive personality and sound. E-MEX’s profile as an ensemble is intimately link to their encounters with other art forms taking their inspiration from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, and the ensemble has been a tireless advocate of this multidisciplinary approach by actively developing new concert forms that integrate visual arts, theater, literature and performance art.

Over the years the ensemble’s repertoire has grown to encompass more than 400 works running the gamut from small chamber formations to large ensembles. In addition to the large number of newly commissioned works that E-MEX has premiered, their repertoire includes a wide selection of modern classics such as works by Elliot Carter, Iannis Xenakis, Franco Donatoni, Gérard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Salvatore Sciarrino or Helmut Lachenmann. The ensemble is regularly entrusted with the premieres of works by emerging and established composers, such as Cort Lippe, Henry Fourès, Guoping Jia, Xiaoyong Chen and Karin Haußmann. The artists are also committed to collaborations with the next generation of young composers, including projects with Jagoda Szmytka and Marcin Stańczyk.

The ensemble’s wide ranging artistic output arising out of its international partnerships has been documented in regular live-recordings produced and broadcast by public radio networks in Germany and a number of CD productions.

Concert tours and workshops have taken E-MEX throughout Europe, to North and South America as well as to Asia, especially several tours to China in recent years. Most recently the ensemble was invited to the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music to participate in the Beijing International Composition Workshop and other programs for students, composition faculty, musicologists and artist from across China.