The STEGREIF.orchestra is an international group of 30 young, versatile musicians of various musical origins.
What makes the ensemble unique is the way they create new paths for both themselves and the audience to approach classical music. Expanded by folklore, jazz, klezmer, blues and rock, Stegreif creates innovative, musically and visually powerfull reinterpretations of well-known repertoire. STEGREIF explores new worlds of sound and is constantly trying to bend the boundaries between musical genres.
The ensemble always performs without sheet music, without a conductor and without chairs. The resulting freedom creates space for improvisation and movement. The concert hall, the auditorium, the ranks, everything becomes a stage, giving the audience a unique concert experience. The ensemble is under the direction of Juri de Marco and since its debut concert in RADIALSYSTEM V Berlin in October 2015 has performed with a variety of productions on various stages in Germany (including Konzerthaus Berlin, Elbphilharmonie, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival i.a.). The musicians belong to a generation of artists that combines classical music, improvisation and jazz at the highest artistic level. Their inspiration lies in developing a new performance practice that does not limit itself to reproduction and in seeking new concert formats.
With the founding project #freebeethoven the STEGREIF.orchestra demonstrated for the first time on stage what classical music can look like today: with musicians of all backgrounds, who play by heart and without a conductor and improvise, on free arrangements of symphonic music. The association Stegreif e.V. was created and in early 2016 the formation #freesextett toured through Germany under the artistic direction of Juri de Marco. They made a name for themselves nationwide and got to meet important future partners at festivals and projects. Among them are the composer Wolf Kerschek, the director Theresa von Halle and the trumpeter Markus Stockhausen. They all support and inspire the ensemble successfully. At the end of the year, the second major project #freeschubert premiered with which the STEGREIF.orchester subseqently went on tour.
In January 2017, the musicians played a charity concert for Syria, traveled to the Classical Next Festival in Rotterdam and developed workshop formats for children, adolescents and refugees. In addition, the ensemble played at the opening of the exhibition space "FUTURIUM" in September and organized a musical flash mob at the Brandenburg Gate together with a choir, a rapper and a soul singer. In November, the ensemble received its first major award in the shape of the Berlin Startup Music Prize. The next idea was born: the development of a techno-symphony.
In April 2018 #freebrahms got its premiere in the sold-out Berlin Konzerthaus. After Beethoven and Schubert, the orchestra now turns to Johannes Brahms’ monumental third symphony. Since the premiere Stegreif has toured Germany performing at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie amongst others. The next award soon followed: the Würth Prize of Jeunesses Musicales Germany. In parallel with #freebrahms, the organizers developed a three-year cooperation with the „Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin“ and the „Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonie“: the TRIKESTRA project. As three Berlin-based orchestras, they want to unite artistically and organisationally to close the gap between the independent music scene and the musical institutions.
And the orchestra also opens up digital spaces: In the spring of 2019, the first episodes of their YouTube series "plural", funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation's "Ooorchestra"- project have been released. With the creation of this digital education channel, the orchestra not only intends to contribute to a profound change in the performance practice of adolescent (professional) musicians, but above all to give the young audience a new approach to classical music. As part of the multi-year project, three seasons of the new video series will be published.
Fotografin Header: Elisabeth Hardenberg