UMS 'n JIP ['umsnjip] is one of the most innovative and accomplished Swiss contemporary music ensembles. Founded in 2007 by Ulrike Mayer-Spohn [UMS] and Javier Hagen [JIP], it is, alongside Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Kronos Quartet and Ensemble Recherche, one of the most active contemporary music ensembles worldwide commissioning around 10-15 works and performing more than 100 international concerts annually, including mobile chamber operas & multimedia performances. UMS 'n JIP explore new musical and scenic settings for voice, recorders and electronics ranging from live to digital performance as well as European to non-European music. Since their studies (composing, audio design & musical performance) in Holland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, UMS and JIP have been invited to prestigious contemporary music and theatre festivals (Avignon, TKF Zürich, TKF Lausanne, Shanghai, Donaueschingen, Hong Kong, New York, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Basel, Bern, Paris, Strasbourg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Adelaide, Riga) where they have premiered more than 200 works as soloists and as a duo, collaborating with both world famous and aspiring young composers such as Goebbels, Rihm, Kagel, Reimann, Eötvös, Stefan Pohlit, Huang Ruo and Guo Wenjing. UMS 'n JIP’s performances are emotionally touching, technically virtuosic and conceptionally strong. UMS 'n JIP is coached by Irvine Arditti.


The UMS 'n JIP Association is a non-profit organization based in Brig/Switzerland. The mission of UMS 'n JIP is to continually re-imagine the contemporary (classical) music experience. UMS 'n JIP fulfills its mission through commissioning, performing, composing, presenting, recording and publishing contemporary music, and collaborating with, mentoring and encouraging other artists. UMS 'n JIP
commissions about half a dozen new works each season and performs more than 60 concerts a year, touring for several weeks annually. Performances often include educational activities in conjunction with Swiss contemporary music festival forum wallis / forum valais and touring engagements in both rural communities as well as large urban centers. UMS 'n JIP continually strives to reach, challenge, and expand audiences that rarely have the opportunity to attend performances of contemporary music. The ensemble also maintains a commitment to education by participating in concert discussions, benefit performances, classroom visits, open rehearsals, master classes, coaching sessions, and performances in schools which reach diverse groups including elementary, secondary, and university age students. UMS 'n JIP has a management office in Brig/Switzerland. The administrative staff handles all of UMS 'n JIP's business, such as booking, travel, promotion, production, and fund raising. The organization is funded by individuals, foundations, and government sources, including: Etat du Valais, Loterie Romande, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung, Artephila Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Migros Kulturprozent, among others. To donate to UMS 'n JIP Association and help to commission composers and perform new work, click here.


Does the UMS 'n JIP Performing Arts Association accept charitable donations?
As a non-profit charitable organization, UMS 'n JIP relies on financial contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations and, government agencies. Click here to find out how you can donate.

Do you accept unsolicited compositions?
UMS 'n JIP does accept unsolicited compositions, but note that any material submitted will not be returned. Although scores are acceptable, recordings are much preferred. Please send your package to our office address. Because of the volume of submissions, we cannot acknowledge receipt of your package. Please include your contact information, so that we can reach you if there is interest in adding your work to the repertoire.

Can you send me sheet music for a piece in the UMS 'n JIP repertoire?
We are not music publishers, and are therefore not allowed to send out copies of music in our library for other groups' use. Please contact the publisher of the piece you're interested in for scores and parts.

When will UMS 'n JIP be performing in my area?
Click here for the current performance schedule.

How do I get information about booking UMS 'n JIP?
Please e-mail details to UMS 'n JIP's Production Office.


UMS 'n JIP's startup was "riviu 99.7" compiling pieces by Cage, Lehmann, Kagel, Schnebel and Aperghis at "schauwerk-blackbox" being part of the Schweizer Tonkünstlerfest 2007 in Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich (7/07). During the innovative festival forum : : valais 4 world premieres by Beat Gysin, Andreas Zurbriggen and UMS 'n JIP have been recorded by Radio Suisse Romande Espace 2 and been highly acclaimed by various Swiss musical feuilletons (9/07). Together with world famous Japanese actor and poet Ron Obe UMS 'n JIP premiered 4 works by Maria Porten in Zürich and Basel (Ferne Schritte.Nähe, 9/07).

For Swiss dance company Interface, UMS 'n JIP participates in the soundtrack "La Légende Dorée" – a ballet being on tour worldwide from 2008-11 (3/08). Collaborating with Swiss Radio UMS 'n JIP records "lebelight" by Swiss female composer Maria Porten for Swiss label VDE-Gallo - "Es war einst ein Paradies" (6/08). At Theatre Interface in Sion UMS 'n JIP's first full scenical program "1 (ONE)" with pieces by Thorsten Töpp and Maria Porten and both composers UMS and JIP themselves is successfully premiered (10/08).

Its "China Project" with commissions for Chinese composers Du Yun, Tao Yu, Deqing Wen, Huang Ruo as well as with Yulong Mao´s famous traditional Chinese Music trio will be on tour in both Switzerland and China (Shanghai New Music Days) from January-October 2009. "1 (ONE)" has been invited to the
Festival off d'Avignon, France, Théâtre Gilgamesh, where it is going to be performed daily from 8.-31.7. 2009. At the Fête Suisse des Musiciens in Lausanne, UMS 'n JIP will premiere "Mora-Mori" by female Corean composer Junghae Lee (9/09). Its second chamber opera "2 (TWO)" compiling electropop works of both UMS and JIP has been premiered at Theatre Interface in Sion and Zeughaus Kultur Brig in December 2009.

UMS 'n JIP will be on tour in Switzerland (spring) and East Asia (autumn). Premieres by Maria Porten collaborating with Paul W. Taylor and Werner Bärtschi are scheduled for spring and winter 2010. Tonhalle Zürich debut in march. In July, UMS 'n JIP returns to Avignon (Palais Royal) with 3 different programs: China Project, Swiss Project and electropop opera TWO. In september 2010 UMS 'n JIP will premiere their third scenical program "3 (THREE)" in Sierre, Sion and Brig. In 2010 UMS 'n JIP offers commissions to Guo Wenjing, Chen Yeungping, Liu Jian, Roland Dahinden and Maria Porten.

2011 will bring a Switzerland tour with "THREE", "The Russia Project" (Dec 2011 in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov), an Avignon Festival residence (Jul 2011), UMS 'n JIP's fourth chamber opera FOUR with a Switzerland and France tour, invitations by Forum Neue Musik Luzern, (ONE Feb 2011), Contemporary Music Festival Oggi Musica (TWO Oct 2011), as well as world premieres by Swiss composers Max E. Keller, Pierre-André Bovey, Markus Hofer, Maria Porten (collaborating with Carmina Quartet and Gian Manuel Rau), all of them recorded by Swiss Radio DRS2, in Feb 2011 UMS 'n JIP premiered Painted Skin, a mini opera by New York based Chinese composer Huang Ruo. UMS's works won prizes at Musikfestival Bern and Music Village Mount Pelion Greece where they were premiered by conductors Beat Furrer and Mark Foster. UMS 'n JIP wins the renommated MusiquePro grant 2011-13 and becomes coached by Irvine Arditti. Further collaborations with South African composer Pierre-Henri Wicomb and Alain Michon (France).

2012: totally 136 performances all around the world - a breathtaking amount and probably world record! Concert tours in Autralia (Adelaide), Mongolia (Roaring Hooves), Russia (Rostov/Taganrog), France (Avignon Festival), Greece (Thessaloniki), Latvia (UMS 'n JIP is the first foreigner ensemble to be invited to Latvian New Music Days) presenting contemporary classics by Cage, Berio, Kagel, Aperghis as well as premieres by Chinese, Russian, Latvian, Arab and Swiss composers, 2 successfully premiered chamber operas collaborating with stage directors Gian Manuel Rau (Einer) and Wolfgang Beuschel (FIVE), composition awards at MATA Festival New York and European Youth Choir Festival Basel. Nov 23-Dec 2: '5 years UMS 'n JIP' in Basel and Brig celebrating 5 extraordinary years with more than 400 concerts and 94 world premieres worldwide.


Extraordinary diversity describes the composer and multi-instrumentalist Ulrike Mayer-Spohn who plays the recorder (with focus on contemporary music), as well as historical string instruments (fiddle and baroque violin). She studied composition and audio design with Erik Oña at the Studio of Electronic Music, Academy of Music, Basel, beginning to compose in 2007, and receiving commissions from the festival forum Valais and the international New Music Days, Shanghai. Her work has been performed by the Stuttgart Vocal soloists, Ensemble Phoenix Basel, Vertigo, DissonArt, L'Arsenale, cool a cappella (1st Prize world choir games 2008) and her own ensemble Ums' n Jip in Switzerland, France, Greece, Italy, Russia, Australi , the USA and China, premiered under the baton of Beat Furrer, Mark Foster, Tsung Yeh, Jürg Henneberger and Filippo Perocco and broadcast by the Swiss radio. She was awarded the 2nd Prize in the composition competition Culturescapes 2010, 2nd Prize in the composition competition at the Bern music festival 2011, the Scholarship Award for 2011 at the Music Village Mount Pelion in Greece and the Call for Scores Award L'Arsenale Treviso, Italy 2011. With the ensemble Ums' n Jip she has undertaken research in the field of musical theater (chamber operas One, Two, Three, Four, Five), live electronic music and sound spacialization. She studied recorder with Ulrike Mauerhofer at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe, with Conrad Steinmann and Corina Marti at the Schola Cantorum Basel before specializing in contemporary music and studying with Dorothea Winter at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. From 2009-11 she received a specialized master in contemporary performance at the HSM in Basel supervised by Jürg Henneberger, Marcus Weiss and Mike Svoboda and has taken masterclasses with Marion Verbruggen, Peter van Heyghen, Sebastien Marq and Gerd Lünenbürger. She studied baroque violin and viola with Martina Graulich and David Plantier and fiddle with Randal Cook in Basel. Ulrike Mayer-Spohn works with internationally leading composers and annually plays more than 20 world premieres dedicated to her, which she has recorded for the radio as well as VDE Gallo on CD. Together with the Swiss composer and singer Javier Hagen, she established the experimental new music duo Ums `N Jip for voice, recorder and electronics, which, alongside Ensemble Modern, Intercontemporain and Kronos is one of the most active ensembles worldwide and in 2011 won the prestigious MusiquePro scholarship. Since 1999, Ulrike Mayer-Spohn has also performed as a recorder player, violinist, violist and fiddle player in specialized early music ensembles such as the Amsterdam Barok Compagnie, Freitagsakademie, Collegium Musicum Stuttgart, La Chapelle Ancienne, Musica Poetica, Muscadin and La Morra and has performed in Germany, China, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.


Javier Hagen, tenor and countertenor, is one of the most surprising classical singers of his generation: new music, performance art and Swiss folk music rank equally in his repertoire alongside opera and early music. Hagen was born in 1971 in Barcelona in the Mediterranean and raised in the Valais Alps. He studied classical singing in Germany, Italy and Switzerland with Roland Hermann, Alain Billard and Nicolai Gedda, and composition with Heiner Goebbels and Wolfgang Rihm. He studied Lied with Irwin Gage, Hartmut Holl and Ernst Haefliger and early music with Karel van Steenhoven and Kees Boeke. He has a four-octave vocal range. Hagen has worked with world-class composers such as Reimann, Kagel, Rosemann and Eötvös and leading artists from the worlds of poetry and constructivist art. Guest appearances have taken him to the modern music festivals in Donaueschingen, Zurich, Geneva, Lucerne, Karlsruhe, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Bologna, Milan, Prague, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Adelaide, Riga, Avignon and Berlin. Alongside operatic roles such as Handel's Giulio Cesare, Zsupan (Kalman), Dardanus (Rameau), Stanislaus (Zeller) and Pappacoda (Strauss), Javier Hagen has premiered more than 200 works, including operas 'à l'air en verre' by Daniel Mouthon 'eismeer' by Christoph Schiller, 'poem ohne held' by Regina Irman, 'esther de racine' by Boris Yoffe, 'The Madman's Diary' by Guo Wenjing, 'Marienglas' by Beat Gysin, 'Les Musiciens de Brème' by Wen Deqing, 'Keyner nit' by Mathias Steinauer and almost all vocal works by Maria Porten. He has made more than 50 recordings and broadcasts for Swiss and German radio and television. He won prizes at international contemporary music and composition competitions in 2001, 04 and 08 in Basel, Lausanne and Dusseldorf. In 2003, his distorted folk song arrangements "s´sch mr alles 1 Ding" were released on CD on the Swiss label "musiques suisses". His compositions, in particular the vocal works are performed throughout Europe, Israel, China, Korea, Russia, Australia, North and Central America, by ensembles and conductors including Titus Engel, Ensemble Phoenix, Basler Madrigalisten, Schweizer Jugendchor, Philip Bride, Eliana Burki, Amar Quartet. In 2012, a selection of his graphic scores will be shown at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art ‘haus konstruktiv’ in Zurich. At the European Youth Choir Festival 2012, Javier Hagen represented German-speaking Switzerland in the context of 'Swiss Composers meet Europe'. With Ulrike Mayer-Spohn, Hagen formed the experimental new music duo UMS 'N JIP, which, with over 100 concerts annually is one of the most active contemporary music ensembles around the world and winner of the prestigious scholarship MusiquePro. Javier Hagen, who speaks 6 languages also directs the contemporary music festival forum :: wallis, he is expert in experimental music theater at the University of Arts in Bern, President of the International Society for Contemporary Music Wallis / Switzerland ISCM VS as well as board member of ISCM Switzerland. He presents guest lectures at universities in Shanghai, Moscow, Adelaide, Moscow, Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Paris, Riga and Hong Kong. He is a jury member at national and international composition and new music competitions and a member of various committees on behalf of Valais and for the inventory of the cultural heritage on behalf of UNESCO. In 2007 he was nominated for "Walliser of the year."