uBu is a unique, multidisciplinary ensemble that transforms contemporary music into an embodied and social event.

uBu has been investigating the boundaries of multidisciplinary interpretation since 2016 through the collaboration of three dancers with the three instrumentalists of a piano trio.

uBu came together to re-interpret B. A. Zimmermann’s absurd ballet blanc Présence for piano trio and dancer. In this piece, Zimmermann brings together three figures of world literature – Don Quixote, Molly Bloom, and King Ubu (the namesake of the ensemble) – who each are assigned to one of the instruments of the trio. For the interpretation of this piece the Trio uBu received the Pergamenschikow Prize in 2016. uBu performed this work in a staged version for example at the Schwetzinger Festspiele 2018, at the Zimmermann-Symposium 2018, and in Athens in 2019.

In 2018, Vladimir Guicheff Bogacz created “La Palenca” a new composition for this very special ensemble.

Through the Pergamenschikow Prize uBu was also able to commission a work by Huihui Cheng; collaboration started in December 2018 at the Villa Massimo. The resulting work “Calling Sirens” premiered 2019 in Berlin. At the same time the piece was recorded by Deutschlandfunk Köln for a portfolio CD of the composer in the series Edition Zeitgenössische Musik of the German Music Council.

In 2019, Trio uBu also performed Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments, unfinished Lieder and the piano trio op.100 of Schubert with singer Lisa Schmalz as part of the “Vollendet|Unvollendet” (“Finished|Unfinished”) concert series in the Tonalisaal Hamburg.

In 2020 uBu is undertaking a six-months long artistic investigation of the meaning of live moments for the work of the ensemble thanks to a scholarship of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the German national endowment of the arts.


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