With its unique sound and innovative programming, ensemble ascolta has been expanding the horizons of the contemporary music landscape in Germany and Europe for over a decade. Since its inception in 2003, the ensemble has commissioned and performed about 250 new works by composers such as Pierluigi Billone, Beat Furrer, Isabel Mundry, Olga Neuwirth, Martin Smolka und Hans Thomalla. The ensemble has been a guest at nearly all of the major contemporary music festivals in Europe (Donaueschinger Musiktage, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Festival Eclat Stuttgart, Lucerne Festival, Ultima Oslo, Wien Modern, etc.) and has been invited to give concerts and workshops in the USA, Singapore and Israel.
The creation of new concert formats using elements of theater, performance, video, concept art and rock music has been a primary focus of the ensemble's energies. Developing such new programs together with experimental-minded young composers has lead to the creation of a significant oeuvre of cross-medial works such as Simon Steen-Andersen's "Staged Night", Jennifer Walshe's "The Church of Frequency and Protein“, a staged performance of works by Francesco Filidei and numerous cooperations with the German television program ZDF/arte ("Der Absolute Film", "Schatten", etc.).
Ascolta is the recipient of generous funding from the State of Baden-Württemberg as well as from the City of Stuttgart.