A b o u t
A b o u t
14.Sep 2024 | 8:00 pm
UNSETTLING SOUNDS: Iran & Afghanistan
Goethe-Institut in Exile / Part of the Month of Contemporary Music Berlin of the initiative new music / field notes berlin
03.May 2025 | 8:00 pm
Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik


The Trickster Orchestra performs in varying lineups and sizes. Among its collective are superb musicians and vocalists from genres including electronic and New Music, global classical music traditions, jazz, Old Music, weird pop, and free improvisation. The ensemble does not merely paste these together, but strives to develop collective forms of creation for a contemporary musical language of radical diversity on an equal footing.

Based on the conviction that today’s artistic practice can no longer take place within the categories of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Trickster Orchestra envisions a New Music that transcends separate genres and cultures. Traditions and skills become tools of mimetic improvisation that permits musical innovation. In this way, the orchestra opens up entirely new sonic experiences.


The Trickster Orchestra was founded in 2013 by Cymin Samawatie, Ketan Bhatti, and Philip Geisler.

Their goal was to unite outstanding soloists from a wide range of musical traditions in a new form of collectively created contemporary music, and to strengthen the virtuosic free music scene in this way. The multiplication of perspectives was supposed to lead to a multiplication of artistic possibilities in order to find a greater creative depth and complexity in contemporary music.

In the years that followed, the Trickster Orchestra continued to develop its approach towards a trans-traditional music born of radical diversity and musical multiperspectivity at the Tonhalle and Asphalt Festival Düsseldorf, Silk Road Festival Baku, Tonlagen Festival Hellerau, Borusan Istanbul, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Radialsystem Berlin, Komische Oper, Staatsoper Mannheim, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, as well as at Kontraklang and Konzerthaus Berlin. This was followed by residencies such as in Ludwigshafen, new collaborations such as with the Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonien and new formats like the radio radio play with SWR2-Jetztmusik.

In 2021, the ensemble released its first album recording with the Munich-based label ECM Records. Since then, it has presented its working methods, artistic objectives, and sociopolitical visions in the orchestra’s own Trickster Podcast on Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Podcasts.

In 2022, the Trickster Orchestra received the German Jazz Award as Best Large Ensemble and the TONALi Music Award “Courage to Utopia” in contemporary music. For her work with the Trickster Orchestra, the artistic co-director of the ensemble, Cymin Samawatie, received the Berlin Jazz Award 2022 . In 2023, the artistic directors Cymin Samawatie and Ketan Bhatti were awarded the German Composers’ Award. In 2024, the Trickster Orchestra was honoured by being admitted to the German government’s Excellent Orchestra Landscape Germany.