mdi ensemble was formed in Milan in 2002 from the idea of six young musicians sharing their mutual enthusiasm for contemporary music.
From the very beginning, the ensemble established close collaborations with many renewed composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Gérard Pesson, Pierluigi Billone, as well as premiering several new works by young composers emerging from the international scene.
At the same time, the ensemble frequently collaborates with eminent conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Beat Furrer, Emilio Pomarico, Yoichi Sugiyama, Robert HP Platz, Marino Formenti and Pierre-André Valade.
mdi ensemble has been awarded with the prize “Una vita nella musica” by La Fenice Theatre, Venice, in June 2017, for “[…] pursuing with perseverance and tireless attention a very precise aim, which is working on contemporary music as a classical chamber music would do, shaping a strong identity in the sound and in the style of the performances”.
From 2012, mdi is artist-in residence at the prestigious Milano Musica Festival. The ensemble also regularly appears at some of the most relevant Italian festival and venues, such as festival MiTo Settembre Musica, Società del Quartetto di Milano, Ravenna Festival, Music Biennale and Fondazione Cini in Venice, Mittelfest, Japanese Institute and American Academy in Rome, festival Traiettorie in Parma, Amici della Musica in Palermo. In 2010, mdi was invited as ensemble-in-residence by the festival Koiné at Teatro dal Verme in Milan, performing among others Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in a stage version realized by Sylvano Bussotti in partnership with the Teatro alla Scala Academy.
Today, mdi ensemble is also promoter of two concert series in Milan and Florence, respectevely “Sound of Wander” and “Contrasti”, that run every autumn since 2015.
Described from the Los Angeles Times as “astonishingly competent”, mdi ensemble performed throughout Europe and overseas, notably at Festival Présences de Radio France in Paris, Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Tonhalle in Dusseldorf, Konzerthaus in Dortmund, Japanese and Italian Institutes in Koln, SWR Stuttgart, ORF Innsbruck, Societé de Musique Contemporaine in Lausanne, festival MusicAperta in Winterthur, Teatro Forteza in Majorca, Los Angeles County Museum of Arts and Chelsea Music Festival in New York City (as ensemble-in-residence). In 2008, the ensemble marked its debut in Japan and Tokyo.
The first mdi ensemble recording, Antiterra by Stefano Gervasoni (AEON), has been awarded by Academy Charles Cros the prestigious “Coup de Coeur – Musique contemporaine 2009”. Their discography also includes monographic CDs dedicated to Sylvano Bussotti’s and Marco Momi’s music (Stradivarius), as well as the more recent albums Dulle Griet by Giovanni Verrando (AEON) and Electric Blueprint by Misato Mochizuki (NEOS).
Their latest release is Emanuele Casale by mdi ensemble (Stradivarius).
In 2015 mdi ensemble realized See the Sound – Hommage to Helmut Lachenmann, a documentary released in October 2017 by l’empreinte digitale which include a long interview with the composer and a video performance of some of his chamber music masterpieces.