Classical and experimental music at Klarafestival

Classical and experimental music at Klarafestival

Klarafestival celebrates its 10th edition this year, with a repertoire of solid classics and more adventurous compositions.

Characteristic of this edition is that both original compositions by Beethoven and Mahler are performed, as well as new musical pieces.

Cuarteto Casals commissioned six Mediterranean composers to create new compositions for a string quartet, based on Beethoven's individual quartets.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, who like Mahler is a composer and conductor, will perform his latest piece Gemini during the concert Mahler 9. “This is exactly what characterizes Klarafestival 2020: A bridge between tradition and innovation,” the organisers explain.

Klarafestival is more than classical music. It also invites other artistic disciplines to enter into dialogue with the works of classical composers. What do you get when a composer of contemporary classical music collaborates with a cult figure of the Berlin club scene? From Within ... is a spectacle in which classical music clashes with the rich and raw power of computer music.

Others travel between different musical worlds. Festival-goers may not immediately think of classical music when hearing the word "mandolin", but the charismatic Avi Avital alternates compositions by known and lesser-known composers, such as Bach and Heitor Villa-Lobos with Bulgarian, Welsh and klezmer music.

The same goes for the legendary jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis (photo), who will perform three times at BOZAR and will play a mix of jazz and classical music.

In short, with Glitter & Doom – this year’s theme - Klarafestival offers something for everyone, whether fans of the classics or those preferring something more experimental.

About Klarafestival 2020: Glitter & Doom

The motto ‘Glitter & Doom’ is the silver thread running through the programme of Klarafestival 2020. Is our ‘Society of the Spectacle’ (a concept by the French thinker Guy Debord) on the edge of the abyss? What are the heights and depths in the lives of Beethoven and Mahler? Where does our fascination for passions, compositions that celebrate Christ’s suffering and death, come from?

Practical information:

Klara Festival 12 – 29 March 2020

For the full programme and tickets, visit

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