ULYSSES Ensemble 2021

Young Europe-based Musicians


Submission period

Tue Nov 24, 2020 at 9 AM UTC

End of submission period

Mon Feb 1 at 7 AM UTC

Results date

Tue Mar 2 at 3 PM UTC

Entry or Course Fee

no fee


be born after January 1, 1989; reside in Europe; be able to speak and understand English


other instrument applications will be automatically rejected


Inspired by the grand tours of classical musicians travelling through Europe and the goals of training and enriching the practices of young musicians, the ULYSSES Network brings together 11 European institutions for the promotion and professionalization of young composers. With the ULYSSES Ensemble, the ULYSSES Network reached a new peak in 2017, concentrating its efforts on young performers in the domain of new music. The ULYSSES Ensemble will tour from June to October 2021, visiting several European academies and festivals (ManiFeste, Fondation Royaumont, Festival Mixtur).
With the support of the ULYSSES Network, supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe program.

The ULYSSES Ensemble consists of 14 musicians: 1 flute (also picc, alto), 1 oboe (also English horn), 1 clarinet (also Eb cl, bass cl), 1 bassoon (also contrabassoon), 1 horn, 1 trumpet (also picc), 1 trombone, 1 piano, 1 percussion, 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 double bass.


• Applicants must:
- be born after January 1, 1989
- reside in Europe (no travel fees outside Europe can be reimbursed)
- be able to speak and understand English

- MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR ALL STOPS AND DURING ALL PERIODS, including date of travelling: from Sunday June 13 to Monday, June 28, 2021 and from Monday September 27 to Sunday November 3, 2021. No late arrivals or early departures are permitted. No absences during these periods are permitted.
- have no registration fees to pay
- travel fees incurred within Europe, housing expenses (single room in a hotel or apartment, depending on the stop), and meals (restaurant or perdiems depending on the stop) will be paid 


Sunday, June 13 — Sunday, June 20, 2021
Paris (France)
Educational Advisor: Brad Lubman (conductor), soloists from the Ensemble intercontemporain
With the participation of Nicholas Isherwood, bass singer, and Nicolas Crosse, double bass, as soloists
Conductor Brad Lubman will lead a master class for the ULYSSES Ensemble with the complicity of soloists from the Ensemble intercontemporain who will advise the young musicians and perform two works with them: Partiels by Gérard Grisey, focusing on instrumental sound synthesis, and Introduction aux Ténèbres by Raphaël Cendo, a piece he created in IRCAM studios in 2009. For this rerun, ULYSSES ensemble and Ensemble intercontemporain will benefit of his active participation in rehearsals, as guest composer of the academy ManiFeste-2021. ULYSSES ensemble musicians will also work closely with Filipino, Austria-based, composer Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis to create her new piece for ensemble and electronics, a commission by Fondation Royaumont and IRCAM, endorsed by the ULYSSES network. In this piece, musicians will not only perform their instruments, but they will also use their voices. A separate one-line staff will be used for the voiced and voiceless sounds, which are represented using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
First day will be dedicated to personal work and section rehearsals with musicians from the Ensemble intercontemporain. The week will culminate with a public concert as part of the festival ManiFeste-2021.
. Raphaël Cendo, Introduction aux Ténèbres, for bass voice soloist, double bass soloist, ensemble and electronics, 40 minutes (2009)
. Gérard Grisey, Partiels, for eighteen musicians, 23 minutes (1975)
. Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis, new work for ensemble and electronics, 15 minutes (2021), Commission by IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and Fondation Royaumont, with the support of the ULYSSES Network, supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe program WORLD PREMIERE

Sunday, June 20 — Monday, June 28 , 2021
Abbaye de Royaumont (France)
Educational Advisor: Jean-Philippe Wurtz (conductor)
The second stop in the journey will take place at the Royaumont Foundation, in Parisian district, where the UYLYSSES ensemble 2021 will work on a range of works from the contemporary repertoire, including the new piece of composer Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis the ensemble will have premiered during the first stop. Here, young musicians will have the chance to work closely with young Australian, Danemark-based composer, Kirsten Milenko (Voix Nouvelles 2020 Laureate), on her new piece for ensemble, commissioned by the Fondation Royaumont with the support of Christine Jolivet. Young musicians will also work on Thalleïn by Iannis Xenakis, a key work for ensemble by the Greek composer. French conductor Jean-Phillipe Wurtz will conduct the ensemble through a week of rehearsals culminating in a public presentation on Sunday, June 27th.
. Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis, new work for ensemble and electronics, 15 minutes (2021), Commission by IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and Fondation Royaumont, with the support of the ULYSSES Network, supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe program
. Kirsten Milenko, new work for ensemble, 15 minutes (2021), Commission by Fondation Royaumont (Voix Nouvelles 2020 Laureate) WORLD PREMIERE
. Iannis Xenakis, Thalleïn, for 14 instrumentalists, 17 minutes (1984)

Monday, September 27 — Sunday, October 3, 2021
Barcelona (Spain)
Educational Advisor: Beat Furrer (conductor)
For its final stop, the ULYSSES Ensemble will have a residency to prepare a programme of contemporary repertoire under the baton of Swiss born Austrian conductor and composer Beat Furrer, for a performance in the Festival Mixtur.
Beat Furrer, Still for soloists’ ensemble, 12 minutes (1998)
Beat Furrer, linea dell'orizzonte, for ensemble, 12 minutes (2012)
Jonathan Harvey, Wheel of Emptiness, for 16 instrumentalists, 14 minutes (1997)
José Río-Pareja, new work for ensemble, 12 minutes (2021), commission by Festival Mixtur and Hémisphère Son WORLD PREMIERE

HOW TO APPLY (more details on IRCAM website)

You must specify your instrument (and doublings, if any).

You must specify your address in June 2021 and September/October 2021.

You must submit:

1 video (mp4) file (no more than 100MB=12,5Mo), where you briefly introduce you IN ENGLISH as a musician (education, professional experience, repertoire) and explain why you want to join the ULYSSES ensemble.
1 video (mp4) file (no more than 100MB=12,5Mo), where you perform a 20th or 21st century solo work for your instrument and join the PDF SCORE
2 audio (mp3) or video (mp4) files (no more than 100MB=12,5Mo) and PDF SCORES:
- One file must be an audio file or a video you perform a solo "classical music" work (before 20th century) for your instrument. For instruments that do not include such a repertoire, please submit a solo or soloist work of your choice, preferably a second contemporary solo or soloist piece from different type);
- One file must be an audio or video file where you perform a piece of your choice

Other documents to submit IN ENGLISH:
• Short biography
• CV
• List of contemporary repertoire you already performed
• Cover Letter where you explain your motivation for joining the ULYSSES ensemble and different stops
• Headshot picture, that will be used for access badge
• ID or Passport

We recommend you to save your form as a draft, step by step.
Do not forget to read carefully and accept Consent and Release Form, click on PREVIEW button to check all information, and then APPLY button to finalize your application.
For any request, please contact academy @ ircam.fr / For technical assistance, please contact technical.assistance @ ulysses-network.eu 




Jury members will be: soloists from the Ensemble intercontemporain, conductor Jean-Philippe Wurtz (Fondation Royaumont), composers Oliver Rappoport and Oriol Saladrigues (Festival Mixtur). 

Jury's selection is irrevocable.
Applicants will receive a personal answer by email within the end of February 2021.


Instrumentalists selected to participate who do not respect the information provided or who will be absent—even partially—during one stop will be excluded from the ULYSSES ensemble tour by the ULYSSES partners’s team. 

Issues concerning transportation difficulties, health recommendations, being placed in quarantine, and all conditions concerning lockdowns are the responsibility of the selected instrumentalists. They must organize their transportation, respecting all health and safety measures relative to Covid-19 in their country of origin, France and Spain.
Selected instrumentalists will have a first online meeting during March 2021, all together with the 3 stops teams to introduce the project.

Photo: ULYSSES Ensemble, ManiFeste The Academy, 2018 edition.
Credit: Ircam, Quentin Chevrier