Two of the most exciting ensembles in the international music scene are located in Freiburg-im-Breisgau: the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the ensemble recherche. The two orchestras have jointly organised the annual Ensemble Academy Freiburg since 2004, offering master courses in the ensemble playing of historical and contemporary music for professional musicians and music students from all over the world. Every year more than 100 participants from 20 countries attend the courses and workshops of the Ensemble Academy. The Academy is about much more than a coexistence of two musical directions. It is about a mutual percolation of old and new, about the reciprocal artistic inspiration of differing performance techniques – right up to first performances of works for Baroque and modern instruments.
The idea of a joint Ensemble House in Freiburg is based upon a close connection regarding content, unique in the international music scene, that has been formed between these two entirely differently oriented ensembles. The central aim of this Ensemble House was, naturally, to create a permanent rehearsal room for both orchestras – but that is not all: the Ensemble Academy now also has a sure footing at its new home. A piece of land next to the College of Music and the University Library was found for the new Ensemble House, with a great deal of assistance from the city of Freiburg. The official ground-breaking ceremony with Dr. Salomon, the Lord Mayor of Freiburg, on 6 October 2010 marked the beginning of a construction period that lasted approximately one-and-a-half years, concluding with the much-celebrated opening of the new building with an Open Day on 5 May 2012.
The Ensemble House is no concert hall, but a music workshop which also accommodates the administrations of the two ensembles.
The building of their own Ensemble House definitely marks out Freiburg’s musicians as pioneers who fear neither musical nor organisational uncharted territory: as initiators of joint rehearsal quarters (including the two Orchestra Offices), built and maintained by the not-for-profit Baden-Württemberg Ensemble Academy Freiburg Foundation and rented out to the two ensembles. The Foundation’s rental income will, in turn, be used directly for the Ensemble Academy organised by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the ensemble recherche – the perfect implementation of a musical vision.