© Stöhr / Strohm

The Decoder Ensemble, founded in Hamburg in 2011, considers itself a “band” for contemporary music. Their fresh and energetic sound, stemming from their distinct combination of electric and acoustic instruments and voices, sets them apart from conventional contemporary chamber music ensembles.

Surprising collaborations, experimental instrumental music, multimedia elements and conceptual performance art all play a large role in Decoder’s programming. Decoder greatly stresses the contemporary format in the presentation of their concerts, incorporating carefully selected performance venues and an over-arching dramaturgy. One of the main focuses of the ensemble is the collaboration with young composers and providing them with a platform to realize their works at the highest level. All of the members of Decoder specialize in the performance contemporary music, with 3 members doubling as the resident composers - Alexander Schubert, Andrej Koroliov and Leopold Hurt. This constellation, together with the extensive communication between the composers and interpreters in the development of the works, allows for the creation of unique and authentic performances.

The Ensemble performs internationally at festivals of contemporary music on a regular basis. In 2014 Decoder’s self-titled debut CD on Ahornfelder Records was produced in cooperation with German Radio Cologne. Their second CD will be released in spring 2019. Beginning in Fall 2017 Decoder will be presenting their own concert series at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg called "Unterdeck".


Decoder Ensemble

Andrej Koroliov -  piano / keyboard

Leopold Hurt - electric-zither

Carola Schaal - clarinet / bass clarinet / voice

Sonja Lena Schmid - cello / voice

Jonathan Shapiro - percussion

Alexander Schubert - sound & light design