ensemble aisthesis

A sensory understanding of new sound worlds. The ensemble aisthesis focuses on contemporary music from the 20th/21st centuries. Its Greek-inspired name reflects the bid for all-encompassing perception. Under the artistic direction of founder Nußbaum, the instrumentalists (up to 20 in number) have steadily built up an extensive repertoire ranging from modern classics like Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Lachenmann to forward-looking Romantic works by Wagner or Mahler. Commissions invariably take shape in close conjunction with the composers. In its annual Christmas concerts, the aisthesis consort dedicates its efforts to authentic, historically informed performances of ancient music. Close collaboration with the SCHOLA HEIDELBERG has resulted in concert formats 3 like Prinzhorn or Heimathen and the CD Nuits – weiß wie Lilien (“Nights – White as Lilies”). The ensemble aisthesis performs regularly in Heidelberg and has been invited to festivals like musica viva Munich, the Zurich Festival, the Romanische Nacht in Cologne, the Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea, the Kasseler Musiktage or the Basel Music Forum. One much-noted recording by the ensemble is LEIBOWITZ- COMPOSITEUR, issued to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. It contains a representative cross-section of René Leibowitz’ works, impressively documenting his impact on the musical world.KlangForum Heidelberg is where two very distinctive formations pool their interpretive élan and their astounding virtuosity: the voices of the SCHOLA HEIDELBERG and the instrumentalists of the ensemble aisthesis.


Virtuosity coupled with versatility. Both individually and collectively, the vocal soloists of the SCHOLA HEIDELBERG are equally at home with widely differing styles and vocal techniques, all the way up to microtonal intonation and vocal and respiratory noise. Under the artistic directorship of their founder Walter Nußbaum, works from the 16th/17th and the 20th/21st centuries meet head-on, often with astounding results. A new interpretive culture materializes from an intensive concern with historically informed performance and contemporary music. The ensemble’s extensive repertoire is the fruit of close collaboration with leading present-day composers. Much noted are the commissions for new works deriving from projects 2 like Heimathen and Prinzhorn. SCHOLA HEIDELBERG performs in its home city, all over Germany and at international festivals like the Salzburg Festival, Milano Musica, the Lucerne Festival, the Biennale in Venedig, the Biennale Salzburg and the Festival d’automne in Paris. The Schola has successful cooperative partnerships with the Ensemble Modern, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and the Gürzenich Orchestra. SCHOLA HEIDELBERG‘s CD recordings of vocal compositions from the 20th/21st centuries have received several international awards. KlangForum Heidelberg is where two very distinctive formations pool their interpretive élan and their astounding virtuosity: the voices of the SCHOLA HEIDELBERG and the instrumentalists of the ensemble aisthesis.

Christina Pluhar © Marco Borggreve

Christina Pluhar

Christina Pluhar, founder and artistic director of the L’Arpeggiata, discoverd – after classical guitar studies at the University of her hometown Graz – her deep affinity for Renaissance and Baroque music.
She devoted herself to the studies of the lute, theorbo, baroque guitar and baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands) with Toyohiko Satoh and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) with Hopkinson Smith and at the Schuola Civica di Milano (Italy) with Mara Galassi.
Her repertoire includes music of the Renaissance and Baroque for lute, baroque guitar, archlute, theorbo and baroque harp, where she excelled as soloist.

In 1992 studies she moved to Paris, where she performed as a soloist and continuo player in with ensembles including La Fenice, Hesperion XXI, Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Soave, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Cantus Cölln amongst others. As a continuo player, she is sought by orchestras under the direction of René Jacobs, Ivor Bolton and Alessandro di Marchi.

From 1993, she conducted master classes at Graz University, and from 1999 has served as professor of Baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.