Welcome to the 13th Morgenland Festival Osnabrück!

The main focus of the Morgenland Festival 2017 is the music of the Lebanon. Once called the Switzerland of the Near East, enchantingly located on the Mediterranean, with perhaps the best food in the world, a painful history and an exciting music scene!

Syria’s neighbouring country now harbours over a million refugees from Syria, and that with a population itself of fewer than 5 million. How does a country manage to take in a quarter of its own population as refugees? How does this exceptional situation affect the cultural life? Numerous musicians who have fled from Syria now live in Beirut and have made their mark on the music scene there. The road from Damascus to Beirut is only 106 km long. During the battles between the Hezbollah and Israel floods of refugees left Beirut in the direction of Damascus. This road has seen people fleeing in both directions – and returning home. ‘Tarik el Sham’ – The Road to Damascus – is an in-house production by the festival. Layale Chaker and her ensemble bring the Lebanon of the 50’s back to life in their project “Mkhammas”. The exceptionally talented Lebanese percussionist Rony Barrak, who has been part of the festival since its inception in 2015, will be our guest again this year. He will perform together with the Lebanese Oud player Elie Khoury and will also be teaching young musicians at the “Morgenland Campus”.

Renaud García-Fons and Derya Türkan present two completely differing string instruments in perfect synergy. Saleem Ashkar ends his brilliant Beethoven project, ‘Morgenland Revisited’ will bring old friends back to Osnabrück and Morgenland Rocks! presents 47Soul, one of the most exciting Arabian bands of today. The Osnabrück Youth Choir, the Morgenland All Star Band and DJ Ipek are performing in Beirut and Tripoli. I hope you enjoy your journey to discover this year’s programme! We look forward to seeing you, in Osnabrück and in the Lebanon!

Michael Dreyer