Les essences is a chamber orchestra consisting of outstanding musicians who are also members of top-class chamber music ensembles and orchestras in North Rhine-Westphalia. Les essences’ goal is to make music with a critical yet courageous approach to the traditional performance practices of all periods of classical music.
Playing without a conductor expands communication within the ensemble and enables the members to transfer the ultimate interaction to the group as a whole.
Les essences enables performances of chamber music as a chamber orchestra and does not hesitate if the larger symphonic works are to be rearranged for a smaller chamber ensemble. The ensemble’s repertoire ranges from the baroque period to commissioned compositions by renowned composers of contemporary music.
The core of the ensemble is Quart.essence, a string quartet that provides a thorough preliminary musical approach and then expands it to the whole ensemble. Quart.essence dates back to 2009, their debut concert. Through concerts with various guests, the quartet gradually developed and became the chamber ensemble which we now call “Les essences”.
Based in the Essen, the heart of the Ruhr Metropole, Les essences is granted for the 3-year-ensemble-funding of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia between 2021-2024.
Born in Adana, the Turkish-German violinist Önder Baloglu started his musical life with violin lessons from Ferhang Huseynov and continued his studies at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen with Nana Jashvili, Pieter Daniel and Andreas Reiner, as well as having had important influences from Vadim Gluzman, Gordan Nikolic, Ivry Gitlis, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Enoch zu Guttenberg.
He performed as a soloist with all the Turkish state orchestras, the Bilkent Symphony in Ankara, the Koblenz Rheinische State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bochum Symphonic, the Aachen Symphonic, the Duisburg Philharmonic and the Ensemble Folkwang Modern. He was also featured on broadcasts by the Turkish TRT and the German ZDF and WDR3.
While pursuing his studies focusing on his solo and chamber music career at Folkwang UdK Essen, Önder became a concertmaster at Duisburger Philharmoniker and Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg at the age of 24. Along with the Duisburger, as concertmaster at various Turkish, German and international orchestras, and as a member of the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra he performed in Germany’s most prestigious concert halls and in many countries through Europe, North and South America and Asia.
In addition to his solo appearances and his duty as a concertmaster, Önder moved his passion for chamber music into a different aspect by conducting orchestras from concertmaster position such as Bilkent Symphony, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Duisburg Philharmonic and his own „Les Essences“. Önder played in a number of chamber ensembles; Duo BalKan, Quart.essence, Ensemble Turquoise and others throughout Europe, Turkey and in South Korea at venues and festivals including the Philharmonie Essen,Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Gasteig and Herkulessaal in Munich, Vienna Musikverein, Konzerthaus Berlin and Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. Since 2015, Önder has been the artistic director of the chamber music festival „Klassisch.Unterirdisch. - das Underground-Festivalder Klassik“ which he began at the Katakomben Theater in Essen and the co-artistic director of Klasik Keyifler Music Festival in Cappadocia, Turkey. Önder is a co-founder of "Erato - Akademie für Musik und Sprache Rhein-Ruhr" and is also the leader and artistic advisor of Gedik Philharmonic Orchestra in Istanbul.
Önder Baloglu holds a teaching position at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen and at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. He performs on a violin by Rafaelle& Antonio Gagliano of Napoli from 1850, provided by a group of music lovers.
Through the years, we have been or we are collaborating with the finest organisations: