Thursday Evening: Musical Odyssey

Musical Odyssey – Beethoven, Europe and the Danish-German border

Venue: Concert Hall Aarhus, Rytmisk Sal (the Rhythmic Hall)
Time: Thursday 23 April 2020 at 20:00-22:00

The concert is organized as part of the German-Danish Cultural Friendship Year 2020 - a comprehensive and collaborative initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institute, celebrating and developing the decades-long relationship grounded in common values and interests, setting an international example of peaceful coexistence in the 21st Century. The evening event is also part of Aarhus University’s international MatchPoints2020 seminar, Denmark and Germany in Europe.


The STEGREIF.orchestra. Photo: Roman Novitzky
The STEGREIF.orchestra. Photo: Moritz Esyot
Ensemble EDGE. Photo: Ensemble EDGE

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Come along on a different and inclusive musical journey transcending borders and eras, where German and Danish choirs, musicians and ensembles will perform their interpretations of music from different genres, from Beethoven to songs from the border region.

Experience the great, original STEGREIF.orchestra, known for improvising and arranging symphonic music without a conductor and giving the audience a new and modern understanding of classical music. The evening’s concert #bfree — a European Symphony: Connecting European Cultures through Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is based on Ludwig von Beethoven’s 9th symphony as a tribute in connection with the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The concert will interpret the 9th symphony as a musical piece that transcends borders and builds cultural bridges across Europe. The STEGREIF.orchestra was established in 2016 in Berlin with Juri de Marco as the artistic director. The performance by STEGREIF.orchestra this evening is presented by Goethe-Institute Dänemark and the Danish-German Year of Cultural Friendship. Read more about the STEGREIF.orchestra.

Meet ENSEMBLE EDGE, a vocal group based in Aarhus that specialises in performing new music. The ensemble’s vision is to give the audience a different and more inclusive concert experience. They will take a journey through the Danish treasury of songs that helped shape the cultural identity of Southern Jutland and all of Denmark from the nineteenth century and towards the reunion of Southern Jutland with the rest of Denmark in 1920. The songs will be presented in new, experimental arrangements for choir and cello. Read more about Ensemble EDGE

Ensemble EDGE will also take part in the performance of an excerpt from the brand new opera”Grænsemageren”, which will premiere with the symphony orchestra of Southern Jutland in June 2020. The opera is based on the historical events that began in Berlin and Aabenraa in November 1918 and led up to the reunion in 1920. One of the leading figures at the centre of the political drama concerning the issue of the border was H.P. Hanssen, a member of the German parliament from Southern Jutland.“You must not yield, Hans Peter,” his wife Helene told him. And H.P. did not yield, even as he was subjected to endless schemes – just like in a typical opera. The opera is produced by the company “Opera på Grænsen” on the occasion of the centenary of the reunion. The opera is composed by Bo Gunge, with Erik Kaltoft as the artistic director. Read more about the opera here (LINK)

Programme for the evening:

20.00-21.00       #bfree — a European Symphony: Connecting European Cultures through Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (by Stegreif)

21.00-21.20      Break and refreshments

21.20-21.40      Performance by ENSEMBLE EDGE

21.40-21.55      Performance of Grænsemageren by the opera company Opera på Grænsen

The evening will be hosted by former chief mayor of Flensburg, secretariat manager for Genforeningen 2020, Simon Faber.


The event is part of the MatchPoints conference 2020 at Aarhus University entitled Denmark and Germany in Europe – Cooperation, Conflict and Future Challenges. The conference will focus on the Danish-German relationship, both historically, culturally, economically and politically and will also mark the year 2020 as an important year for a number of anniversaries including the centenary of the reunion of Denmark and Southern Jutland, the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 2020 has also been declared Danish-German Year of Cultural Friendship by the governments of the two nations.
Read more about the MatchPoints Seminar 2020 – registration is open to everyone.