Making great scores resound with small forces – that was the goal of conductor Joolz Gale when he founded Ensemble Mini in 2010. What usually requires 60, 80 or more musicians on stage was to be reimagined with less than 20. The doubtful curiosity that this undertaking met with soon turned into astonished enthusiasm. Ensemble Mini has worked with artists such as Regula Mühlemann, Ferhan & Ferzan Önder, Marlis Petersen, Gerhild Romberger and Tanja Tetzlaff. Apart from many late-night club concerts, they have performed at Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus as well as at Budapest’s Palace of Culture, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, the Philharmonie in Essen, Zaryadye Hall in Moscow and Salzburg’s Mozarteum. Their plans for 2021/22 include a tour of “Bartók Beyond Borders”, Zemlinsky with the RIAS Chamber Chorus and additional celebrations of the Stravinsky and Schoenberg anniversaries in 2021, as well as further projects with Mahler’s Third Symphony. Joolz Gale and Ensemble Mini have performed several live concerts on Deutschlandfunk Kultur, RBB Kulturadio, NDR Kultur and SWR Classic and recorded a debut CD featuring Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. A subsequent CD recording of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony was released in March 2021 and has received two nominations for the OPUS Classic in 2021.
Born in England, Joolz Gale initially studied as a violinist and read Music at the University of Oxford before furthering his studies at Royal College of Music, London as a singer. Graduating in 2007, he became an inaugural apprentice to the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, at which time he began to develop his skills as a conductor. In the same year, he took part in the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, resulting in an immediate invitation to make his début radio recording with Bavarian Radio and the Bamberger Symphoniker. He has since gone on to make conducting debuts with choirs and orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Joolz Gale assisted Sir Roger Norrington and Paavo Järvi, among others. Recent highlights have included conducting the RIAS Chamber Choir and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin as a cover and assistant to Justin Doyle. As a guest conductor he recently led the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, returned to Bamberg for the theatre production Die Deutsche Seele with Orchestra Academy of the Bamberger Symphoniker and conducted Handel’s Messiah at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música.
Marlis Petersen is familiar to Berlin audiences, most recently as Artist-in-Residence of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2019/20. The main focus of her repertoire is the field of classical coloratura, however, she has also made a name for herself as an interpreter of contemporary music. After studying at the Music Academy Stuttgart and with Sylvia Geszty, she supplemented her training in the specialized areas of opera, new music and dance. She started her career as a member of the ensemble at Städtische Bühnen Nuremberg. From 1998 to 2003, she was engaged at Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf. Marlis Petersen gave her debut at the Vienna State Opera with Lulu. She also sang this central role of her repertoire in Hamburg, Chicago and Athens. She has since been a regular guest on the world’s leading opera stages, including Paris, Bussels, Hamburg, Munich, the Berlin State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the festivals in Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence. In addition to the major opera roles that are scheduled in the coming months, Marlis Petersen is increasingly committed to the concert and Lied repertoire. In 2013, Marlis Petersen received the very first Austrian Music Theatre Award for her interpretation of the three female main roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Theater an der Wien and was awarded “Singer of the year” for the fourth time by Opernwelt magazine in 2020.
“Totenfeier”, first Movement, Symphony No. 2 ( arr. Joolz Gale 2021)
“Mädchenblumen” Op. 22 (1888, arr. Eberhard Kloke 2021)
Chamber Music No. 1, Op. 24 No. 1 (1921-22)
Making great scores resound with small forces – that was the goal of conductor Joolz Gale when he founded Ensemble Mini in 2010. What usually requires 60, 80 or more musicians on stage was to be reimagined with less than 20. The doubtful curiosity that this undertaking met with soon turned into astonished enthusiasm. The arrangements of huge works such as Mahler’s Tenth Symphony not only sound more transparent, making details stand out in lucid clarity instead of being drowned in a wash of sound, but they also capture the colours and atmospheres of the originals. When Ensemble Mini appears at Young Euro Classic, as an alternative for the Jovem Orquestra Portuguesa necessitated by the pandemic, two new arrangements will be heard for the very first time: “Totenfeier”, an early version of the first movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, arranged by the conductor; as well as the rarely heard Mädchenblumen by Richard Strauss, with the celebrated soprano Marlis Petersen as the soloist. The concert ends with the Chamber Music No. 1 by Paul Hindemith with its “Finale: 1921”, which has lost none of its explosive and vivacious character 100 years on.