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The Ulysses Network gathers 13 European institutes dedicated to promote and disseminate contemporary music, stimulate young composers’ creativity, as well as encourage the circulation of works, authors and performers.

The partners of the network:
Ircam – Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique, Francia
Aldeburgh Music, United Kingdom
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC), Estonia
Divertimento Ensemble, Italy
Festival Flagey, Belgium
Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Holland
IEMA – Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, Germany
Opus XXI / HfMT, Germany
Impuls, Austria
Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD), Germany
Fondation Royaumont, France
Time of Music, Finland
Ultima Festival, Norway

Ulysses is co-funded through the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
IRCAM is the coordinator of the network.

In the first four years (2012-2016) Divertimento Ensemble shared with the network four of their own musical projects, realised in Italy and performed at various European institutions:

  • Giocare la Musica – In 2011 Divertimento Ensemble commissioned Daniele Ghisi and Federico Gardella with two scores for ensemble and “non-musician” children. The two works were performed during 2012 Rondò season in Milan and again in Bruxelles with Belgian children and ensemble at the Festival Flagey in 2013;
  • Incontri Donatoni – Three scores by Maurizio Azzan, Huck Hodge and Daniela Terranova for ensemble, electronics and dancers (Divertimento Ensemble’s commissions as a result of the 2014 “Franco Donatoni” International Meeting for Young Composers) were performed within 2014 Rondò Season in Milan and again at the Time of Music Festival in Finland and at the Budapest Music Center in the same year;
  • Feeding Music – Four scores by Matej Bonin, Stefano Bulfon, Elvira Garyfzianova, and Antonin Servière, among the 50 winners of the international contest Feeding Music, were selected by Peter Eötvös after their performance at Expo-Milano 2015 for a rerun at the Budapest Music Center with the musicians of Divertimento Ensemble;
  • An Experiment With Time, reloaded – the world première of the audio/video project by Daniele Ghisi – a commission of Divertimento Ensemble and IRCAM Centre Pompidou – took place in Milan in 2015 (both in concert and installation version) and were rerun at the Centre Pompidou of Paris in the same year.

In the same four years Divertimento Ensemble participated in four musical projects of other network partners:

  • Summer residency in Latvia – Divertimento Ensemble was ensemble in residence during an international workshop for composers (2014);
  • Out At Sea – Chamber Opera Workshop with Péter Eötvös: Out at Sea, a chamber opera composed by young artists from different countries under the guidance of Péter Eötvös was rerun in Milan during 2014 Rondò season;
  • Giocare la Musica – Rerun of two compositions for ensemble and groups of children by Hanne Deneire and Karl Naegelen in Milan within 2015 Rondò season with Divertimento Ensemble musicians and the children participating in the Giocare la Musica project. The two works had been commissioned and performed in 2014 at Flagey Festival in Bruxelles;
  • Film scores– Rerun of the movie Maudite soit la guerre within 2016 Rondò season in Milan with Divertimento Ensemble musicians. Original soundtrack by Artur Akshelyan and Miguel Farìas, commissioned and performed in 2015 at the Flagey Festival in Bruxelles.


The second four years period of Ulysses network is divided in five main activities:

Every year some young composeres, conductors, instrumentalists and singers have the possibility of participating free of charge in various education and performing activities (courses, workshops, master classes) organised by the network partners, thus undertaking a “Grand Tour” on the model of great XVIII century artists’ trip in order to make the most of the artistic and social diversity that characterises the European countries. The Ulysses-Ensemble themselves, which will be formed every year through a selection, will make a “Grand Tour” working with famous conductors and performing in various festivals of the network.

Every year Ulysses will commission young composers selected by the artistic committee of the network with new compositions.

Audience Building
The goal is to organize activities that contribute to targeting and attracting new audiences, deepening the experience of returning audiences and, finally, creating long lasting audience fidelity. Audiences of all ages will be offered activities that will take them from a first encounter with an artist (or a work) to a deeper understanding through activities that: 1) aim to place the artist’s work in a wider context – through encounters, lectures and seminars covering historical, social and aesthetic aspects; 2) provide participatory activities enabling the audiences to have “first hand” experiences of the creative process.

Knowledge Transfer collects topics and activities regarding contemporary music as for its production, transmission and inclusion in the musical and social context.

These are some of the topics: feedback between performers and composers, curating and programming, historically informed performance practice, reflection on teaching and tutoring, strategies for making available material/sources, new music and other arts/and other media, artistic research for performers and as a form of arts/science mediation.

Audience Research – This activity aims to analyze and understand various aspects of the enjoyment of contemporary music concerts by the audience.
An IKI (Institut für Kulturelle Innovationsforschung, Hamburg) doctoral student will consult, study and interview all partners on this subject with a focus on the specific topic of audience building for contemporary music. For specific studies or research, complementary “expert competences” (Max Planck, Freie Universität Berlin etc.) will be consulted.
One of the goals will be to analyze the motivations or criteria used by audiences to make their decisions as to what concerts to go to. This will include examining “life style” criteria such as: the “expert”, the “good listener”, the “innovation fan”, the “wanna be” etc.

Another goal will concern how the works are presented to the public. This implies identifying novel approaches to artistic programming, exploiting a variety of ensemble configurations, work formats, and a creativ