Founded in 1986, the Ma'alot Quintett can be numbered among leading international chamber music ensembles of today. The repertoire of the ensemble embraces compositions for wind quintet from the Viennese Classics to the present day, as well as arrangements specially prepared by Ulf-Guido Schäfer, and now all available on CD.
Particular emphasis is placed in their work on championing new music, in close collaboration with today’s composers, introducing audiences to new sounds and ideas and thereby expanding the chamber music repertoire. The ensemble receives wide support in the realisation of this activity, and for its experimental ideas, from concert agencies, promoters, producers and fellow performers. The recently initiated collaboration with the »Glissando« label further extends the ensemble’s series of widely-acclaimed recordings and led among others to the ECHO Klassic 2006 award.
Following their founding, the Ma’alot Quintett soon achieved wide international recognition, winning four 1.rst prizes in major international chamber-music competitions, foremost among them First Prize in the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.
The ensemble regularly appears in the major concert halls of Germany and has been invited to many of Europe’s capitals, such as Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Bern, Lisbon, Belgrade, Athens, Instanbul. It further has made extended tours throughout Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Recent engagements include Beethovenfest Bonn, Rheingau Musikfestival, Mozartfest Augsburg, Bodensee Festival, Kissinger Sommer and Kuhmo, and also performances at the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Wiener Musikverein.
In the United States, the ensemble has appeared, among others in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, Washington and Chicago.
Celebrating Ma'alot's 25th birthday in the season 2011/12, upcoming engagements will leed them to the Brasilian Festival de Campos do Jordão 2011 (with concert in Sao Paolo), the far east on invitation of the Goethe Institut (concerts u.a. in Jakarta, Bankok and Hanoi) and again to the USA, with appearances in New Yorks Lincoln Center as well as the Boston Harvard Music Association.
The quintett also invites this may for the first time to their own Woodwind Festival in Rheda Wiedenbrück, Germany (6.-9.5.2011). Together with Adrian Oetiker, piano, and Johannes Peitz, bass-clarinet, they will perform highlights of their 25 years on stage
All members of the quintet hold leading positions in major German orchestras or teach at music conservatories.