Born 28 years ago in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain tirelessly travels across Swiss and international stages to bring contemporary music to life. Its passion: sharing its curiosity and discoveries. Its DNA: a love for music, meticulous attention to the quality of interpretations, as well as joyfulness and conviviality.
The ensemble participates in numerous projects that combine music, dance, theater, literature, photography, cinema, video, and visual arts, never hesitating to push the boundaries of genres by collaborating with musicians from various backgrounds, ranging from baroque to electronic and folkloric.
Each year, the NEC commissions and performs new pieces, enriching its repertoire alongside masterpieces of contemporary music. Its commitment to musical transmission is reflected in performances for young audiences, as well as activities in music education and training for young instrumentalists and composers.
The NEC has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with soloists such as Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Rahel Cunz, Andrew Watts, Sarah Maria Sun, Tehila Nini Goldstein, Daniel Gloger, Patrick Demenga, Jeannine Hirzel, Kornelia Bruggmann, Eva Nievergelt, and HYPER DUO. It has also performed under the baton of conductors from around the world, including Peter Rundel, Heinrich Schiff, Clement Power, Elena Schwarz, Lorraine Vaillancourt, Jürg Wyttenbach, and Lennart Dohms, not forgetting Pierre-Alain Monot, the NEC's principal conductor and artistic director from 1995 to 2016.
The ensemble has had the honor of closely collaborating with composers Rebecca Saunders, Georges Aperghis, Mauro Lanza, Henri Pousseur, Wolfgang Mitterer, Rudolf Kelterborn, Alexandre Babel, Stefan Prins, Salvatore Sciarrino, Luc Ferrari, Jacques Demierre, Thomas Kessler, Sarah Nemtsov, and many others from different generations and ages.
The NEC is always present at major Swiss events of contemporary music and has often been invited to festivals such as Jardins Musicaux, Archipel, Antigel, SMC Lausanne, Gare du Nord, and, of course, Les Amplitudes, a festival of which it is a founding member.
The ensemble has embarked on several significant tours in France, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and even China.
Recordings of the ensemble can be found on labels such as Gallo, Claves, Grammont, and Neos.