"Morgenland Festival Osnabrück sets new standards in the encounter between the West and the East."
Stefan Buchen, Qantara.de
The Morgenland Festival Osnabrück has dedicated itself since 2005 to the fascinating music culture of the Near and Middle East, from traditional music to classic and avant-garde, jazz and rock. With its focus on a region which immediately conjures up positive and negative cliché images, the Festival has set itself the goal of counteracting these images with authentic ones. The Festival gives the audience and its guests the opportunity to encounter one another, at times as something complex – other times, something related or inspirationally alien.
The extraordinarily extensive press coverage (BBC, CNN, ARTE, 3Sat, ARD, Spiegel, Stern, FAZ, New York Times, Washington Post, Tehran Times, Hindu Post, Syria Times) and annual visitor figures of nearly 100% serve to document the special significance of this Festival.
The Morgenland Festival Osnabrück has realized Choir and Orchestra projects in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey. In 2013 it invited some 65 musicians from 9 countries to Kurdistan, Iraq for a Festival lasting several days with performances in Erbil and Sulaimaniya. Other highlights of the Festival were the first concert in Iran by a western symphony orchestra since 1979 or the first performance ever in Iran of Bach's St. John Passion.
Numerous documentary films and CDs have been produced about the Festival itself as well as events linked to it.
Commissioned works by Franghiz Alizedeh, Nader Mashayekhi, Saed Haddad, Kinan Azmeh and Nouri Iskander have been premiered during the Festival. 2009 saw the foundation of the Festival's own Morgenland Chamber Orchestra and the Morgenland All Star Band was formed in 2012.