The independent scene has suffered throughout the coronavirus pandemic as a result of restrictions and temporary closures. In November 2020, the Konzerthaus Berlin launched the initiative “Free spaces for the independent scene” under the patronage of Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer. Well over 500 Berlin musicians and ensembles in the fields of Baroque, classical and contemporary music as well as jazz and world music applied for rent-free, organisationally supervised performance opportunities on our stages – an overwhelming response.
Due to the pandemic, the concerts of ensembles selected by a jury of seven, which were planned for the spring, had to be postponed. But now you can finally experience these inspiring concerts with us from 26 June to 4 July. All concert proceeds will go to the performers.
“The initiative ‘Free spaces for the independent scene’ offers Berlin musicians and ensembles free space to perform their projects at the Konzerthaus Berlin. I am particularly pleased that the selected projects represent such a diverse range of musical genres and eras, and I am looking forward to the performances that will soon take place. Berlin’s independent scene needs more initiatives like this from established venues that offer artists a stage, and I hope that ‘Free spaces for the independent scene’ will become a model for other venues to follow.” – Klaus Lederer, Senator for Culture and patron of the initiative “Free spaces for the independent scene”
“Offering Berlin’s independent scene a stage at the Konzerthaus after some very difficult months is a matter that is very close to my heart and that of the entire Konzerthaus team. This spring we had to postpone the performances of the selected ensembles due to the coronavirus pandemic. I am extremely pleased that we are still in the fortunate position of being able to experience eleven of the projects, from Baroque to Beatbox to Beethoven Remix, at the end of the season here at the Konzerthaus Berlin – live together with you, our audience.” – Sebastian Nordmann, Artistic Director Konzerthaus and Konzerthausorchester Berlin
The German Orchestra Foundation supports #Freiraum with short-term grants. Freelance artists should get a new perspective through the #MusikerZukunft program.
“Music equals movement equals noise” – with material from the first two cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach, a work has been created for the unexpected constellation of Baroque cello, beatbox and dance. With three equivalent instruments, the suites’ polyphony can be experienced in a completely new way. The question arises as to what Bach would be like today as a performance artist. SUITE CUBIC is the fourth individual work in the “ImPuls der Suite” series founded in 2015 by Baroque cellist Julia Kursawe in collaboration with German beatbox champion and beatbox vice world champion Daniel Mandolini and award-winning dancer and choreographer Yui Kawaguchi.
“Harmony, Emptiness, Space” is a scaled-down version of a major festival project from 2020 dedicated to the US composer James Tenney (1934 – 2006). It has been shortened to 60 minutes and tailored for the Small Hall. James Tenney’s main focal points included psychoacoustic phenomena, alternative tuning systems and non-dramatic formal structures aimed at the experience of hearing sound. The Harmonic Space Orchestra describes its homage, featuring works by Tenney and other composers for 12 to 18 musicians, as a “radical poetic perspective on far-reaching spaces with a distant audience”.
Zafraan steht für Musik, die das heutige Leben, die heutige Gesellschaft, die heutige Realität in all ihren Facetten reflektiert. Gemeinsam mit anderen Kunstformen beobachtet, erforscht und verarbeitet Zafraan das, was uns umgibt: die Menschen, das Geschehen, die Natur, die Technologien, die Normalitäten und die Absurditäten von heute. Die aus zehn festen Instrumentalisten aus Spanien, Frankreich, Neuseeland, Australien und Deutschland bestehende, basisdemokratisch organisierte Gruppe formierte sich 2009 in Berlin und spielt vorzugsweise aktuelles Repertoire, das von der Kernbesetzung mit Violine, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flöte, Klarinette, Saxophon, Harfe, Klavier und Percussion abgedeckt wird.
In its concert, Vocalconsort Berlin presents distinctive representatives of Baroque sacred vocal music: from Claudio Monteverdi, whose work marks the turn from the Renaissance to the Baroque, to Johann Hermann Schein and Heinrich Schütz, the most important German composer of the early Baroque. In their choral works, they depict man in his different states of mind. The diversity of Baroque music is also demonstrated by two arias from the Altbach Archive, a collection of motets, choral songs and cantatas by the Bach family dating from the period between 1650 and 1700, as well as an instrumental work by the composer and organist Giovanni Maria Trabaci.
The pulse races, the event tempo is high, Bach’s familiar harmonies, their popular melodic turns, go round in circles. Staying largely faithful to the original, Andreas N. Tarkmann arranged 14 of a total of 31 independent movements for string orchestra from Bach’s set of variations, considered the epitome of harmony. The sequence of the transcribed variations adheres to the cycle by Bach. In between are eleven compositions for this project with violinist Niklas Liepe, written by Tarkmann, Moritz Eggert, Sidney Corbett, Wolf Kerschek, Rolf Rudin and Daniel Sundy, which bring the Baroque masterpiece into the present.
Harnoncourt’s idea of “music as sound speech” permeates the Ensemble Luminar’s concert. It follows the idea of rhetoric in music, language-like rhythm and phrasing. On the programme: works by Pierre Boulez, Johann Sebastian Bach, Guillem Palomar and Claude Debussy. The soloist at the centre of the programme is Tomer Amrani, flautist and graduate of the Barenboim-Said Akademie. Ensemble Luminar offers students and alumni of the Barenboim-Said Akademie and the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music the rare opportunity to make music together.
Ensemble KNM Berlin has been shaped by the rapidly changing capital city since the fall of communism and the exploration of musical, architectural and socio-historical implications of space. Adopting a multi-perspective approach, it has been committed to international networking in the field of music since 2014. With surprising concepts and intercultural collaborations, Ensemble KNM confronts pressing issues of globalisation from Argentina, India, Japan, Cambodia, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan. The programme includes works created in collaboration with composers from Korea, Iran and Turkey.
The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble stands for the combination of classical instruments and club music. Through an exploration of different musical traditions, it has been broadening the audience’s listening habits since 2010 – although it is never just about “crossover appeal”. After starting out as a trio, Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick founded the ensemble with trombone, tuba, violin, cello, harp, piano, drums/percussion and Moog synthesiser. They bring electronic music to the stage in a quasi-analogue, nearly acoustic way, and are now at home in large concert halls and techno clubs around the world.
“Helm auf” (“Put On Your Helmet”) is a joint work by Ensemble Adapter, composer Sarah Nemtsov and author Finn-Ole Heinrich. The basis of its abstract soundscapes between contemporary chamber music and imaginative words is a short story of the same name that is as curious as it is dark. It reflects the thoughts of a child, dealing with loss in an individual way. There is no linearity here. Ensemble Adapter – consisting of bass flute, contrabass clarinet, cello, harp, percussion and electronics – is joined by author Finn-Ole Heinrich as narrator.
The Babylon Orchestra, founded in 2016, is an urban Berlin fusion ensemble that combines European and Middle Eastern music with the sound of big band and contemporary orchestras. In this concert, the Babylon Orchestra will perform compositions by Mischa Tangian based on themes from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The compositions transform elements of the original into an acoustic remix in which recollections and even samples from the 9th are mixed with new material. Other cultures are integrated and merge with Beethoven’s music – a santur evokes Iranian folk music in a dark, gentle scherzo, an oud plays the “Ode to Joy”, and electronic music lurks in the background.
The Capital Dance Orchestra and singers Sharon Brauner and Meta Hüper embark on a musical journey through time, bringing to life much more than the incomparable atmosphere of the “roaring 20s” in Berlin. Between two world wars, the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall, a creative quagmire emerged that still forms the fertile cultural landscape of the capital today. With American, Russian, Yiddish, French, English and, of course, German music, the orchestra brings all the significant musical and cultural influences of the last century to the stage in this concert.
Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Deutschen Orchester-Stiftung
Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von Zukunft Konzerthaus