Joachim Striepens studied clarinet, music education and chamber music (with Vladimir Mendelssohn) at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. He received a DAAD fellowship and attended masterclasses with Thomas Friedli and Robert Aitken. In 1994 he won the first prize for the best interpretation of contemporary music at the International Duo Competition in Belgium (together with the flutist Christina Mitropoulos-Bott). In 1999 he founded the E-MEX ensemble with musicians from Cologne and the Rhur. The Ensemble has played numerous concerts at international festivals, and toured the USA, Japan, Chile, Korea and China. Joachim Striepens also plays regularly with reflexionK, Tra i Tempi and the nova ensemble, has performed as a guest musician in other ensembles (musikFabrik, Ensemble Köln, Thürmchen Ensemble, oh-ton ensemble, Ensemble Horizonte) and has been a part of numerous radio and CD productions. The large number new work he has premiered, some of which have been dedicated to him, testify to his close working relationship with both young and established composers. Joachim Striepens teaches clarinet at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.

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.