LES ESSENCES is an international chamber orchestra consisting of outstanding musicians who are also members of top-class chamber music ensembles and leading orchestras in North Rhine-Westphalia. Les essences’ goal is to make music with a critical yet courageous approach through the consciousness of the traditional performance practices of all periods of classical music.

LES ESSENCES performs real 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 reaches from the baroque period to commissioned compositions by renowned composers of contemporary music.

Founded by the German-Turkish soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and pedagogue Önder Baloglu, LES ESSENCES performs without a conductor, which expands communication within the ensemble and enables the ultimate interaction. The core of the ensemble is Quart.essence, a string quartet that prepares a thorough preliminary musical approach and then expands it to the whole ensemble. Quart.essence dates back to 2009, their debut concert.

Based in Essen, the heart of the Ruhr Metropolis -the largest conurbation in Germany with its over 5.1 million people-, LES ESSENCES is granted the 3-year-ensemble-funding of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia between 2021-2024.

LES ESSENCES recently made guest appearances in leading concert halls in Turkey - CRR Istanbul and AASSM Izmir, as well as at the Klasik Keyifler Music Festival in Cappadocia, in the Konzerthaus Dortmund, in the Stadthalle Rheinberg, in the Mercatorhalle in Duisburg, in various parishes in the city of Essen, Moers and Duisburg and in the Katakomben-Theater Essen. Valuable musical partners alongside LES ESSENCES include Chorwerk Ruhr, Andreas Reiner, Anastasia Kobekina, Anja Lechner and Fazil Say, to name just a few.  Significant collaborations with the Essen Zollverein Foundation, Philharmonie Essen, the Orchesterzentrum NRW, the Katakomben-Theater Essen, the Bürgermeisterhaus Werden and the Werden Evangelical Church, the Alte Synagogue in Essen and the Rheinberg Musical Society round off the creative work of LES ESSENCES.

What they say about les essences
Ingo Hoddick, Rheinische Post

“Musicians are literally looking for the essence of every note, agreeing on lovingly illuminated subtleties. …  It hovered between cool clarity and gentle sensuality, perfectly hitting the specific serenade tone, which is less than a demanding symphony, but still much more than simple entertainment.”


Ingo Hoddick, Rheinische Post
“The young string orchestra played intoxicatingly and with great attention to detail in the chamber concert.”
Klaus Albrecht, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung 

“Founded and directed by Önder Baloglu, the concertmaster of the Duisburg Philharmonic, the ensemble has now received three years of financial support from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is already raising great artistic hopes. Chorwerk Ruhr thus has an equal, ideally suited instrumental partner at its side.”