The FUCHSTHONE ORCHESTRA was founded in 2018 by the Cologne musicians Christina Fuchs and Caroline Thon. In terms of content, it stands for modern and unusual jazz compositions in large-scale jazz.
A female double leader is currently still a rarity in the jazz landscape. A joint concert program in Cologne's Stadtgarten inspired the two Cologne composers Caroline Thon and Christina Fuchs to found a new large ensemble together in spring 2017. Both composers can each look back on many years of experience with their own ensembles: Caroline Thon with the "Thoneline Orchestra" and Christina Fuchs with the "Soundscapes Orchestra", before that over 17 years in co-leadership with the "United Women's Orchestra".
With a view to achieving greater consistency in the ensemble's structure and sharpening its artistic profile, Fuchs and Thon decided to combine their ideas and strengths in a joint project and thus achieve synergy effects: the FUCHSTHONE ORCHESTRA is the result of this progressive teamwork.
Their goal is a new, orchestral large ensemble sound, which should point beyond previous genre-specific classifications. According to their vitae, the two composers Christina Fuchs and Caroline Thon stand for a modern and unusual style of composition for contemporary jazz ensemble.
This ensemble sound represents a further development of their previous compositions. The multitude of voices contained therein are used in polyphonic voice leading across movements and with multicolored and genre-untypical instrumentation. An integral part of the compositions is the use of electronic and noisy sound generators such as computer samples both in the live performance and in the compositional run-up, as well as the integration of additional instruments such as violin.
The FUCHSTONE ORCHESTRA was nominated for the 2021 German Jazz Award in the category "Large Ensemble of the Year".
Christina Fuchs, Caroline Thon: lead, composition, conducting
Roger Hanschel, Martin Gasser, Veit Lange, Jens Böckamp, Susanne Weidinger: saxophones
Christian Mehler, Matthias Knoop, John-Dennis Renken, Matthias Bergmann: trumpets
Philipp Schittek, Matthias Schuller, Matthias Muche: trombones
Wolf Schenk: basstrombone, tuba
Zuzana Leharovà: violin
Filippa Gojo: voice
Laia Genc: piano
Andreas Wahl: guitar
Alex Morsey: bass
Jens Düppe: drums
Eva Pöpplein: electronics, live samples
The nomination of the FUCHSTHONE ORCHESTRA for the German Jazz Award in the category "Large Ensemble of the Year" 2021 was a clear signal in the middle of the pandemic to the two bandleaders Christina Fuchs and Caroline Thon and their 20-piece Large Ensemble. Undeterred, they realized the ongoing concert series "FUCHSTHONE reloaded #2 and #3" in Cologne's Stadtgarten. Together with the ensemble, the composers there continue to modulate their repertoire in a constant process and develop new works. Reloaded #4 and #5 will follow this year.
The importance of electronics in the ensemble and in the compositions has been further developed, while at the same time the fantastically cast orchestra continues to grow together musically with each concert. In June 2022 they will record the results of their work so far in the broadcasting hall of DLF Cologne for their first release on ENJA Records. One can and may be curious!
The FUCHSTHONE ORCHESTRA stands for an up-to-date, orchestral sound that transcends genre-specific boundaries and takes the listener on a spectacular sound journey. It unites 22 outstanding and multiple award-winning musicians from Cologne and Essen.
The two composers Christina Fuchs and Caroline Thon have long been leading exponents of contemporary, large-scale jazz and have two decades of experience in leading large orchestras (United Women's Orchestra, Thoneline Orchestra, Soundscapes Orchestra).
Born in Munich, Germany, Christina Fuchs has worked for over 30 years as a saxophonist, clarinetist and composer in a wide variety of improvised music and jazz formations. She has worked in a conducting capacity with the NDR and WDR Big Bands, and for 17 years with the "United Women's Orchestra" and the "Soundscapes Orchestra". As an instrumentalist she is the leader of her ensembles "No Tango Quartet", "flux", "Kontrasax" and in the musician collective "SONIQ".
Christina Fuchs received national and international composition awards such as the WDR JAZZPREIS, the Julius Hemphill Composition Award for Large Ensemble /USA, "Scrivere in Jazz", Italy and the composition award of the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, USA. In 2019 and 2020 she was nominated for the finals of the "New German Jazz Award" for composition. In 2019, her CD "Newton's Cradle" with the WDR Big Band was released.
The Cologne-born saxophonist and composer moves in the border area between modern jazz and contemporary music. After completing her classical studies, she spent a year at the Berklee College of Music (Boston/USA) and began studying composition/arrangement at the Musikhochschule Köln in 1999, graduating in 2002. In addition, she completed master classes with Dave Liebman, Hal Crook and Dick Oats.
She was commissioned by the "European Music Festival Stuttgart" to arrange the "Art of Fugue", set poems by Else Lasker-Schüler to music, founded her jazz quartet "Patchwork" and her own big band, the "Thoneline Orchestra". As a musician and composer she received several prizes such as the "Jazz Hoilaart" /NL and with the formation "Eurasians Unity" the RUTH prize of the TFF Rudolstadt and released in 2018 the same-titled CD on ENJA.