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Morgenland Festival Osnabrück 2.-11.09.2016

Welcome to the 12th Morgenland Festival Osnabrück!

Since 2005 the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück has dedicated itself to the fascinating music culture of the Middle and Near East, from traditional music to avant-garde, jazz and rock. The “Orient”, conjures up both positive and negative cliché images, and the Festival’s focus seeks to juxtapose these clichés with authentic images from the region. During the Festival the audience and the guests have the opportunity to meet one another and discover a culture which is at times familiar, and yet inspiringly different.

The musical programme for 2016 has a variety of focuses: The Festival offers a forum for musicians who have had to flee their home countries, especially Syria. For many of them it is existentially important to relocate themselves and build networks, to find a new home, both musically and personally.

Home and cultural identity also play a large part in the cycle “Beethoven im Felix-Nussbaum-Haus”. On eight evenings the Palestinian pianist, Saleem Ashkar, will play all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in East and West Jerusalem, in Prague, Berlin and the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus in Osnabrück. Musical receptions in both a social and cultural context – in the Arabian world, in Israel and in Europe. Music and religion, music and society, music and politics – universal questions which will be examined musically in the course of interviews during the concert cycle.

The series “The Art of Duo” will bring together some of the most outstanding international musical personalities in the smallest and most intimate musical format – the musical dialogue. Once again, the Festival functions as a laboratory, a stage for things musically new, never heard before, outrageous even. Thus, the Iranian knee-fiddle virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor joins Toumani Diabaté, a kora player from Mali, the French tuba and serpent specialist Michel Godard can be heard with the Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov and the Chinese mouth-organ player Wu Wei encounters the Azerbaijani piano player Salman Gambarov. All these dialogues are absolute firsts and we are sure our audience will enjoy these adventures, even if they are slightly outside the “comfort zone”!

The dazzling Iranian city Isfahan is the subject of a literary-musical time-trip, presented by the Hamburger Ratsmusik together with the actors Mario Freivogel and Neda Rahmanian and the young Iranian musician Houman Esmailian.

And of course, the Morgenland All Star Band is not to be forgotten. After a 6-week tour through China and a celebrated concert in Izmir, the band returns to its roots in the City of Peace, Osnabrück. You can experience the band in an open-air concert on the Marktplatz together with a fantastic supporting act: The 20-piece ‘Banda Internationale’ which arose out of the ‘Banda Communale’ from Dresden. They thought, “let’s form a band together with refugees living in the city and play some good old German Volksmusik”… And after dancing your heart out on the Marktplatz you can carry on dancing to the sounds of DJ Ipek, who will once again bring her very individual style of sounds and beats to Osnabrück.

This year, for the first time, we also present the ‘Morgenland Campus’ in collaboration with the Institute for Music at the University of Applied Science in Osnabrück. Musicians from the Festival will work with students at the University for a week and then present the results in the final concert of the Festival on 11th September in ‘Blue Note’.

In October the ‘Morgenland Academy’ opens its doors for pupils from various Osnabrück schools. This event is a cooperation run by the Friends of the Morgenland Festival and the Festival itself.

Last but not least Morgenland Festival Osnabrück wishes to thank its numoerous funders and partners!

We look forward to seeing you all!

Under the Patronage of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Foreign Minister