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Connecting European Cultures through Beethoven's 9th Symphony

The borders are open - whether between countries or genres, between languages or instruments, between unique characteristics and commonalities. Inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the "European Symphony", the STEGREIF.orchestra combines folk songs from Europe with elements from Beethoven's monumental work and lets Europe grow together in the symphony of a colorful continent that speaks from the heart of its people. With this new concert project, the STEGREIF.orchestra has once again taken it upon itself to open up new approaches to classical music for the audience. Classical music interwoven with various "folk music" from the musicians' countries of origin, played by a young orchestra without notes, without a conductor and without chairs. Thus creating freedom and space for improvisation.

#bfree was created as part of the #beethoven project as a contribution to the Beethoven Year 2020. #bfree grew during the crisis. It became a different production than originally planned. Not only the process, but also the result are shaped by Corona: by constraints and distance, although STEGREIF is so fond of closeness and movement. The possibilities for action on stage are limited, direct contact with the audience impossible. And yet it has become a performance about freedom, about the longing for closeness and togetherness, about flying, across all borders.

A cooperation project of STEGREIF and PODIUM Esslingen in the framework of #bebeethoven - funded by the KULTURSTIFTUNG des BUNDES and the state of Baden-Württemberg - and further supported by the Karl Schlecht Foundation.

Premiere: September 15, 2020

Artistic direction: Juri de Marco
Recomposition/Arrangement: Uri Caine, Juri de Marco, Alistair Duncan, Bertram Burkert
Direction, Choreography: David Fernandez
Lighting design: Andreas Harder
Costume design: Sophie Schliemann


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