Sophie Karthäuser
(c) Günther Komnick

For its tenth edition, ‘KlaraFestival’, one of the major musical events in Belgian, a genuine broadcasting festival organized bei ‘Radio Klara’, ‘KlaraFestival’ focuses on the Belgian musicians. Held from this year on in March the festival takes its starting point in the tension that exists between old and new, between known and unknown and between young and old music and other art forms like video and theatre. Moreover, all the projects originate from an international perspective and have often been set up exclusively for ‘KlaraFestival’.

This year, ‘KlaraFestival’ will be graced by three residencies. With Belgian pianist and composer Kris Defoort, the artist again takes centre stage, embodying like no other the ‘KlaraFestival’ philosophy: many layered and eclectic. ‘KlaraFestival’ will open with the long-anticipated Belgian première of Kris Defoort’s newest composition for Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In addition, he forms a special trio composed of, amongst others, Mark Turner on sax for a club concert. With Jan Michiels, he again plunges into the score of his ‘Dedicatio’.

The Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser will be sharing the stage with the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra led by conductors like Hans Graf, Vladimir Jurowski and René Jacobs in a varied repertoire from Handel to Berlioz to Mahler.

The British conductor Ivor Bolton and the ‘Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen’ bring all the symphonies by Felix Mendelssohn spread out over 3 concerts in 3 different cities. This is undoubtedly an exciting trip through Mendelssohn’s underappreciated orchestral universe with soloists Lorenzo Gatto and Nelson Goerner.

The Belgian organist Bernard Foccroulle will again breathe life into the majestic organ at the Cathedral of St. Michael in Brussels allowing it to enter into dialogue with a video installation by world-renowned Australian video artist Lynette Wallworth. A video concert that lies between light and darkness, day and night, good and evil.

At the request of ‘KlaraFestival’, Music theatre ‘Transparant’ and the ‘Veenfabriek’ alongside ‘B’Rock’ and ‘Cappella Amsterdam’ will present the world première of ‘Arthur’, based on a new text by Peter Verhelst and the music of Henry Purcell’s ‘King Arthur’. The horror of the first world war rumbles in the background.

In the project ‘Winterreise’, three international artists shine their lights on Schubert’s timeless masterpiece ‘Winterreise’. Michaël Borremans paints a beautiful picture of the boundless melancholy and lonely soul out of Schubert’s song cycle.  Johan Simons, artistic director for the ‘Deutsche Kammerspiele’, knows as no other the works of Schubert and also directs Elfride Jelinek’s version of ‘Winterreise’. On the request of the ‘Ensemble Intercontemporain’, the French composer Mark Andre wrote short musical comments and echoes for Schubert’s original score.

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