Splitter Orchester
splitter orchester at heimathafen, berlin 2018. photo: uta neumann

Current line-up 2022: Burkhard Beins (Percussion), Anthea Caddy (Cello), Roy Carroll (Electro-Acoustics) Anat Cohavi (Bass Clarinet), Axel Dörner (Trumpet), Sabine Ercklentz (Trumpet), Kai Fagaschinski (Clarinet), Emilio Gordoa (Percussion), Robin Hayward (Tuba), Steve Heather (Percussion), Chris Heenan (Contrabass Clarinet), Patrick Klingenschmitt (Management), Mike Majkowski (Double Bass, Electronics), Magda Mayas (Clavinet), Matthias Müller (Trombone), Andrea Neumann (Inside-Piano), Andrea Parkins (Accordeon, Electronics), Marta Zapparoli (Field Recordings, Electronics), Simon James Phillips (Piano), Michael Thieke (Clarinet), Sabine Vogel (Flutes), Biliana Voutchkova (Violin)

Home of Splitter Orchester

The Splitter Orchester, founded in 2010, is a Berlin-based collection of internationally respected composers/performers which draws inspiration from many genres, most noticeably contemporary and improvised music. Splitter Orchester originates from the Echtzeitmusik scene which emerged in Berlin in the mid-1990s - a locally based and globally networked experimental music scene and long-term platform for the exchange of artistic ideas.

All the members of the Splitter Orchester are simultaneously composers, interpreters and improvisers that collectively elude clear classification - forming an ensemble most comfortable in the creative borderland between composed and improvised music. They utilise a broad variety of extended techniques on traditional, electronic, and especially constructed and tailored instruments. The main focus in their artistic practice is the production of sound (as opposed to musical material) and on how to diffuse it in space. The collaborative nature of musical creation within a Composer-Performer context is integral, from the first sketch to the performance.

Ten different nationalities are represented in the orchestra, although all the members are currently based in Berlin. The Splitter Orchester is an example of how the contemporary music scene in an international context is changing and experimenting (especially in Berlin), with newer forms of musical communication and presentation. Splitter Orchester is not a homogenous body, but consists of a variety of autonomous and ultra- specialised musicians/composers who choose not to work in an institutionalised framework and call the existing hierarchies in the music establishment into question. The whole group relies on each member equally and deliberately denies established leadership roles to create an experimental production field, which is process- oriented and, therefore, socially relevant in a broader sense.

The long-term ongoing collective work processes of the orchestra utilise a wide range of improvisational and compositional approaches - analysing and contextualising specific methods and practices of composition and improvisation. Over five years of experimentation, the ensemble has developed an extraordinary artistic profile and specific group sound.