Nov 28, 2018

Interview with Chloë Abbott

Chloë Abbott is a British trumpet player, musician and curator. She has been a part of ULYSSES Ensemble both 2017 and 2018. We called her to ask about her experiences of the project and her views about ULYSSES Platform.

Chloë Abbott

Chloë Abbott

“I took part in all the ULYSSES Ensemble project in 2017 and 3 of the projects this year. This year’s stops for me were ManiFeste at IRCAM and collaboration with International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt and Utrecht.

A big part of the project is to make contacts with other contemporary musicians. The standard of playing across the board is really high, and everybody in the ensemble has a passion for new music that you rarely find amongst fellow instrumentalists. It is really nice to be in a situation where everyone is in the same boat and understands one another. It is also inspiring to hear what my colleagues are doing and the exciting projects they are involved in. There has been an incredible vibe both times I have taken part in the ULYSSES Ensemble, we became a real team. The ensemble was a hugely inspiring working environment; everyone was so supportive to each other.

Many of the stops were really great experiences to have, but probably the best for me was the week at ManiFeste with Ensemble Intercontemporain; they have a contagious enthusiasm for the music that we were playing. We shared rehearsals, and it was a great experience to be conducted by Beat Furrer alongside working (and performing) with the composer Helmut Lachenmann.”

Chloë Abbott with the ULYSSES Ensemble, ManiFeste-2018, IRCAM © Quentin Chevrier

“After the intensive experiences of both 2017 and 2018 ensembles it would have been great to continue with them somehow. I know that there was an informal lecture this year, which I couldn’t attend about how to move forward and get things going as an ensemble that would have been very useful for me. It is nice that the ensemble has many stops and many experiences, but at the same time it can be really challenging to combine your own schedules with the ensemble. For example this year I myself had a potential clash of one day, where an audition collided with the travel day for one project, and because of that I missed two weeks of projects with the ensemble, which was a real shame. I felt really privileged to still be involved in the other stops, but disappointed to miss those two projects. The schedules of the stops also collided with some festivals like Darmstadt and Lucerne, which are important new music events. I understand that the aim is to have the same group of musicians as an ensemble throughout the project, but this year it was problematic as there were 5 stops. There were however a number of people who did each of the stops and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

A really good thing about the ensemble is that since it is really difficult to organize concerts and tours for an ensemble on your own, finding the repertoire, hiring the music, finding the funding etc., having the opportunity to focus solely on practicing and performing the music was truly invaluable. In the next years of my career I’ll probably have a big responsibility to organize everything, so it was really nice to have an opportunity to just play, and just focus on that. And from the ensemble and projects I was involved in I have ideas of people with whom I’d definitely want to work with in the future, lots of ideas that are starting to form already. ”


IEMA-Ensemble and the ULYSSES Ensemble performing the piece by Quislant © IEMA

“The ULYSSES Platform has quite a good representation of organizations and festivals. I am definitely going to continue to update my profile and search for direct contacts to organizations and people concerning concert opportunities, or other instrumentalists to work with. The way that the platform could be more useful for me is if it had links or information about funding opportunities, funding bodies and applications so that I could find funding for my own projects. The platform would be a good place also to catch the recorded or live lectures that were organized in the courses such as ManiFeste so that if for some reason one doesn’t have the opportunity to attend, you can still access it at a later date. Also as an instrumentalist having more calls for instrumentalist courses through ULYSSES Network would be nice. I’m sure that in the next 5-10 years the platform will explode into a hub of many more members, who can communicate and have a way of finding each other. “

Chloë is a trumpeter who graduated from The Guildhall School in 2015 (BMus & MMus) and now studies at Koninklijk Conservatoire Den Haag with Marco Blaauw, generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. Chloë has worked with many ensembles including Apartment House, Ensemble Modelo62, ddmmyy, An Assembly, The Mark Knoop Supergroup, London Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. She performed Richard Ayres’ NONcerto 31, and collaborated with choreographer Sze Chan to create WYSIWYG. Recent highlights include returning to the ULYSSES Ensemble for their 2018 tour and premiering new works at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2018. Chloë was a Britten-Pears Young Artist in 2014 & 2017. Chloë is the first ever female trumpeter to be cast as ‘Michael’ in Stockhausen’s Licht cycle for the 2019 performances of Luzifer’s Tanz as a part of The Holland Festival. See more about Chloë’s future projects from

Call for applications to Ulysses Ensemble 2019
is open until January 22, 2019. There are three stops: Snape Maltings (UK) Monday, June 10 — Friday, June 14, ManiFeste-2019 (France) Monday, June 17 — Saturday, June 22, and Fondation Royaumont (France) Monday, July 8 — Saturday, July 13.