xFriday 18th May, 6:30pm, Østerfælled Torv

Poème automobile

Pierre Dørge's Traffic Music

What could be more French than French cars? Under open sky, Pierre Dørge and his Renault Orchestra will welcome the audience to this year's festival with an automobile ouverture.

"The memory of my childhood love for red firetrucks, la voiture de monsieur Hulot, and my first encounters with Renaults and other French cars engendered the idea for this automobile sound poem," says Pierre Dørge, the internationally renowned Danish jazz composer and leader of the New Jungle Orchestra, about this spectacular musical happening. Monsieur Hulot is the classic comic screen persona of Jacques Tati, always having trouble with the mechanics of the modern world.

Arriving at the festival premises, we get the opportunity to hear Pierre Dørge and his fellow musicians as they reveal the unknown musical potential of French cars!

Pierre Dørge – conductor
Adam Riis – counter tenor
Irene Becker – keyboard & sounds

Morten Carlsen – programming, winds and more
Anders Banke, Torben Snekkestad, Jakob Mygind, Kenneth Agerholm – winds and more
Frans Hansen, Martin Andersen – percussion

Poème Automobile is supported by Renault Denmark, DJBFA and the Dansih Arts Council.



PIERRE DØRGE (b. 1946):

for cars, counter tenor, voices, sounds, winds and percussion
– first performance, commissioned by Athelas New Music Festival with the support of the Danish Arts Council.




Voitures, contre-ténor, voix, vents et percussions.

Ce poème audio sur l'automobile est né de mon amour pour la voiture de pompiers rouge de mon enfance,  la voiture de Monsieur Hulot,  ainsi que de mes premières rencontres avec les Renault françaises et d'autres voitures.

xFriday 18th May, 7:30pm, Festivalscene

Debussys efterkommere

From Boulez to Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

The Festival opening concert will be transmitted by DR P2 Klassisk

Debussy changed music. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth, Athelas and Chief Conductor Pierre-André Valade perform the music of Debussy together with works by two of the greatest living composers.

Claude Debussy wasn't too keen on the label "Impressionism" – but his music was so innovative that it had to have a name. Gone were the classic symphony and sonata forms – each work had its own form and its own title. And gone were the traditional keys for Debussy used different scales and timbres beyond the major and minor modes.

Maria Boelskov is the soloist in Debussy's work for harp and strings. Danse sacrée and Danse profane are the names of the two movements – the hovering character of the ”holy” movement derives from modal scales as in Medieval sacred music, while the ”profane” movement is in a lively and dynamically changeable three quarter time.

”People see me as a theorist but my music is seductive and spiritual as well," says the self-assured 87 year old legend Pierre Boulez. As a conductor, Boulez is regarded as a well-nigh unsurpassed interpreter of Debussy, among others. But as a composer, Boulez distanced himself from his predecessors right from the start and created his own serial systems. He regards all his works as works-in-progress, so that a new work by Boulez is often based on material from his earlier works.

The very title of Dérive 2 signifies that the musical material "derives" from the earlier work Repons – and of course, from Dérive 1 which you can also hear during the festival. The whole of Dérive 2 is based on a single hexacord or six-tone row. In the words of the critic Tom Service, "it is like looking through a kaleidoscope for three-quarters of an hour. It's as if Debussy were to take a single gesture from La Mer and magnify it until it filled 45 minutes."

The Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year. Rather than distancing himself from his predecessors, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen has always felt nourished by the most varied sources of inspiration – musical and non-musical alike. Among the latter are the paintings of Vermeer and the writings of Samuel Beckett.

It is a novel by Beckett, The unnameable, which is the inspiration for Je ne me tairai jamais. Jamais. According to the composer, the piece is about the impossibility and necessity of expressing oneself. The absurdity and black humour of the novel are echoed by the use of unusual instruments like the Hammond organ, mandolin, rattle and policeman's whistle. But it is not least Beckett's indomitability in spite of everything which fascinates Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: The choir is repeating the ”I will never be silent. Never”, while an actor reads excerpts from the novel which concludes with the words ”you must go on evermore ...”

Pierre-André Valade – Chief Conductor
Maria Boelskov – Harp
Stig Hoffmeyer – Voice

Elizabeth Gibbs – Oboe
Anna Klett – Clarinet
Elizabeth Gibbs – Cor Anglais
Thomas Ekman – Horn
Signe Haugland – Bassoon
Jesper Juul Windahl, Christian Schmiedeskamp – Trombone    
Matias Seibæk – Percussion
Manuel Esperilla – Paino, Organ
Tove Flensborg – Mandolin
Matias Seibæk – Marimba
Benjamin Fox – Vibraphone
Anna-Leena Haikola, Inkeri Vänskä, Linda Aburto Hernandez, Luiza Labouriau, Loussine Azizian, Benedikte Damsgaard, Sarah Blankholm – Violin
Jane Atkins, Ida Speyer Grøn – Viola
Toke Møldrup, Adam Stadnicki – Cello
Axel Ruge – Double Bass

Regina Unnur Olafsdottir, Hilde Gjermundsen, Sophie Thing-Simonsen – Soprano
Merete Laursen, Hanna- Maria Stand, Anna- Kajsa Holmberg – Alto
Erlend Tyrmi, Adam Riis, Jonathan Ingvald – Tenor
David Wijkman, Johan Bogren, Torsten Nielsen – Bass

Opening speech: French Ambassador to Denmark Véronique Bujon-Barré

Host: Peter Filtenborg, DR

Listen to the concert at dr.dk/lyttilnyt subsequently


CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918):
Deux danses pour harpe chromatique et orchestre d'instruments à cordes (1904):
I Danse sacrée
II Danse profane

PELLE GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (b. 1932): Je ne me tairai jamais. Jamais (1966)

PIERRE BOULEZ (b. 1925):  Derive 2 – 1st time in Danmark

xFriday 18th May, 10:15pm, Festivalcafé

Satie avec du jazz

Dørge's New Jungle Orchestra

The Jungle Orchestra has a ball playing Erik Satie's timeless tunes.

Pierre Dørge's New Jungle Orchestra has been an institution in Danish and international jazz since 1980 – but we are talking about the kind of institution which is constantly evolving and receptive to new impulses.

The inspiration stems from American jazz legends such as Duke Ellington – who at one point named his orchestra The Jungle Band – but also from African and Asian folk music. All the sources of inspiration are audibly there, but the sound of the New Jungle Orchestra is highly individual and instantly recognizable.

At this concert, the inspiration stems from Western classical music – or to be precise, from the peculiar little niche in musical history inhabited by the French eccentric Erik Satie.

While the  music in Satie's time was a melting pot of late Romanticism and avant-garde movements such as Impressionism and atonal music, Satie wrote his music somewhere beyond time and place. Brilliantly simple and trance-like melodious piano pieces with strange titles such as Nouvelles pièces froides (New Cold Pieces) or the meaningless words invented by Satie as titles for his most famous pieces: Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes.

It is not going to be like anyhting you've ever heard when the New Jungle Orchestra plays Satie.


Pierre Dørge – conductor & guitar
Gunnar Halle – trumpet
Anders Banke – clarinet & bass clarinet
Morten Carlsen – taragot & tenor sax
Jakob Mygind – soprano sax & tenor sax
Kenneth Agerholm – trombone
Irene Becker – piano & synthesizer
Thommy Andersson – double bass
Martin Andersen – drums


Pierre Dørge et son Orchestre de la Nouvelle Jungle rencontrent Satie dans la jungle

– improvisations on music by ERIK SATIE (1866-1925)

xSaturday 19th May, 7:00pm, Festivalcafé

Dehlholm om Debussy

Concert Warm Up

Here is a chance to hear the renowned founder and leader of the performance theatre company Hotel Pro Forma as she introduces this evening’s visual concert, Shadows and Shapes in a dialogue with composer Niels Rosing-Schow.

In her performance shows, Kirsten Dehlholm has brought together elements from all the arts to create a new form which has simultaneously provoked and enraptured audiences.

Not least the visual, the spatial and the textural elements have a strong presence – it makes sense that Kirsten Dehlholm started out as a textile artist and continued as a set designer before introducing performance art in Denmark in 1977 as a founder member of Billedstofteatret.

Since the start in 1985, Hotel Pro Forma has given us an uninterrupted series of remarkable shows which in many cases have been performed all over the world. Kirsten Dehlholm not only introduced performance art in Denmark but went on to introduce Danish performance art in the rest of the world.

Shadows and Shapes takes its cue from two of the greatest figures in Western culture – Claude Debussy and Marcel Proust. It is a commission from Athelas New Music Festival.

Here is a chance to hear Kirsten Dehlholm in conversation with the Danish composer Niels Rosing-Schow about the show.


KIRSTEN DEHLHOLM (f. 1945) in conversation with NIELS ROSING-SCHOW about tonight's performance of Shadows and Shapes

xSaturday 19th May, 8:00pm, Festivalscene

Skygger og skikkelser

Debussy, Proust and Performance

Shadows and Shapes will be performed on the 19th of May at 8pm and on the 24th of May at 9pm

The music of Debussy and the words of Proust are united when Atelier Hotel Pro Forma and Kirsten Dehlholm stage a concert of light and shadow, colours, scent and textural sensibility. Everything is in motion.

”The music has started as the audience enters but stops suddenly as if it were meant to continue. The music is by Claude Debussy – the three last sonatas that Debussy composed before his death. Six musicians and six shadow musicians appear. The musicians and their instruments are duplicated on the stage. The sound moves from the stage out into the room and back again while the light changes in a floating way, making objects and shapes move like coloured shadows. The two groups of musicians are by turns clearly visible and dark silhouettes, playing their instruments by turns and imperceptibly taking over each others' musical parts.” These are the words of Kirsten Dehlholm, founder and leader of Hotel Pro Forma. Together with Atelier Hotel Pro Forma, she has created this performance.

The starting point is the music of Debussy – three intense chamber works written in the last years of his life: The violin sonata, the cello sonata and the sonata for flute, viola and harp – the only ones he completed in a proposed cycle of six sonatas. When the music stops, an actor and a boy read excerpts from Remembrance of Things Past – the great series of novels about the nature of memory by Debussy's contemporary, Marcel Proust..

Dehlholm continues: ”Everything seems to be floating and light, poetic and changeable, etheric and enigmatic. Debussy seemed enigmatic to other people. He wanted to give audiences a sensual experience – and in the delicate sensations of his music, he caught the spirit of his times. Shadows and Shapes mirrors this ambition of creating a musical and poetic prose without rhythm or rhyme, so strong and flexible that it follows the lyric movements of the soul and the wave-like leaps of the mind. Debussy and Proust meet in this spiritual space of text, sounds and colours, in the varied patterns of the performance, in an artistic interlacing of forms and figures.”

Ellen Hillingsø – reader
Toke Bjarke – reader

Kirsten Dehlholm – concept, director
Morten Svenstrup, Kristian Hverring, Kirsten Dehlholm - musical dramaturgy
Beatrice Rocchi, Jesper Kongshaug – lighting
Kristian Hverring – sound
Anne Mette Fisker Langkjer, Lisa Saraceni – space, set design

Nanna Abell, Andreas Rasmussen - scent
Siri Vilbøl – costumes

Piotr Zelazny  – viola
Svend Melbye – flute
Mette Franck – harp
Jakob West – piano
Stéphane Tran Ngoc – violin
Miranda Harding – cello

Ida Speyer Grøn – viola
Pia Kaufmanas – flute
Nina Schlemm – harp
Ida Andersson – piano (cello sonata)
Laurits Dragsted – piano (violin sonata)
Sigrid Kongshøj-Munch – violin
Iiris Tötterström – cello


Shadows and Shapes
– 1st performance – commissioned by Athelas New Music Festival

Concept and Director: KIRSTEN DEHLHOLM, based on an idea by Anders Beyer

Music: CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1864-1918):
Cello Sonata (1915)
Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1915)
Sonata for violin and piano (1916–1917)
Texts from MARCEL PROUST (1871-1922): Remembrance of Things Past


xSaturday 19th May, 10:00pm, Festivalcafé


Satie in a new soundscape

Starchild #2 presents The Ambient Satie Remixes

Starchild #2 creates a new musical and visual universe inspired by the "furniture music" of the eccentric French composer.

Satiesfaction – A Late Hour of Ambient Satie – this is Starchild #2's headline for this performance concert where selected piano works by Erik Satie will be cut up and put together again to form a new whole which will reveal the composer's affinity with contemporary music.

Erik Satie was the contemporary of Debussy and Ravel without being their follower in any sense. He was a lone wolf whose strange compositions bore titles such as Three Pieces in the Form of Pears or Bottle-Shaped Prelude (dedicated to a dog). No-one at the time would have foreseen that his piano pieces Gymnopedies and Gnosiennes with their trance-like and ear-catching simplicity would become some of Classical Music's most enduring evergreens  – or that Satie many years after his death would inspire two of the most important musical movements of the 20th century: Minimalism and Ambient Music.

It is precisely as the progenitor of the Ambient genre that Starchild #2 pays hommage to Erik Satie. Ambient or ”surrounding” music is Brian Eno's expresion for the electronic musical genre he created in the 1970es – music which is meant to blend in with the surroundings, elevator music – or to return to the expression of Erik Satie: Furniture music, Musique d’ameublement.

Starchild #2 is the alias of the musician and writer Henrik Marstal when he works with ambient remixes. Together with a hand-picked group of musicians Marstal will "take the ambient qualities in Erik Satie's at their face value" – e.g. by playing some of the music sitting behind a screen like Satie suggested. Visuallly too, the concert will be inspired by Satie – his relationship with the avant-garde at the time of World War One and his stature as one of the first icons of music history, famous for his bowler hats and umbrellas and identical suits which were far too big – and for his grotesquely humourous remarks in the scores. This unique sense of humour plays an important part in the presentation by Starchild #2.

Henrik Marstal – barytone guitar, soundscape, glockenspiel
Søren Møller – piano, glockenspiel
Anna Lidell – vocals, soundscape, 



Satiesfaction – A Late Hour of Ambient Satie

STARCHILD #2 presents The Ambient Satie Remixes

Music by ERIK SATIE (1866-1925)
1. Musique d’ameublement, third set
2. Pieces froides No. 2
3. Gnossienne No. 3
4. Trois morceaux en forme de poire, ’En plus’
5. Trois sarabandes No. 3
6. Le fils des etoiles (excerpts)
7. Carnet d’esquisses, ’Harmonies’
8. Avant-dernières pensées No. 1
9. Avant-dernières pensées No. 3
10. Gymnopédie nr. 3
11. Gymnopédie nr. 2
12. Gymnopédie nr. 1
13. Musique d’ameublement, second set

xSunday 20th May, 2:00pm, DANSEhallernes foyer, Pasteursvej 20

Host Guest Ghost #5

Art, experiment and haute cuisine

The world-renowned pianist Rolf Hind is in charge of the entertainment at Dansehallerne's workshop – in collaboration with actors, percussionists, a dramaturg, a teacher of meditation and a cook!

Host Guest Ghost is a concept where Dansehallerne invites an artist to be the incentive of an artistic event. The artist takes part in a workshop lasting two weeks together with the other participants. Thereafter the event is launched – and there is no way of predicting what is going to happen.

Rolf Hind is one of the most sought-after musicians in the field of contemporary music and is featured prominently at this year's Athelas New Music Festival. His sense of experiment and innovation makes the English master pianist and composer the perfect choice as the artist-in-residence for Host Guest Ghost #5.

Only one thing is settled in advance: An delicious soup will be served to the audience – specially invented for this occassion by the cook Mauro Carinci Cara of Café & Bistro Elefanten.

But apart from that, we are in for a surprise!

Host Guest Ghost is produced by Dansens Hus and supported by the Danish Arts Council and the Augustinus Foundation.

The event takes place at 2, 3 and 4 pm.
Duration: 45 min. Max: 60 people pr. event.
Place: DANSEhallerne.
Free entry and soup.

Please note: We kindly request audiences to remain silent for the first part of the event which takes place in  silence.

For more information please visit dansehallerne.dk

Rolf Hind & Artistic Lab


Host Guest Ghost #5

Event created by Rolf Hind and the participating artists.
Produced by Dansehallerne in collaboration with Athelas New Music Festival.

xSunday 20th May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Man Money Maracas

Percussion and performance

The virtuoso percussionist Mathias Reumert draws a performance-portrait of Modern Man through sounds, movements, pictures and moods.

"An avant-garde performance concert" – this is how Mathias Reumert describes Man Money Maracas. "I have chosen six very different works which each throw light on the themes mentioned in the title:

Man – e.g. identity and body
Money – money and other values
Maracas – music, movement, percussion."

Vinko Globokar's ?Corporel is an auditive and visual close-up of the male body. The sounds of the body are explored in the extremely detailed, anatomically specific score. A language is introduced in which the soft parts of the body are vowels and the bones are consonants. Skin is being rubbed, hair is being ruffled, teeth are chattering, there are caresses and there are blows.

Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg's Michroma is abstract music at its most poetic. A sound universe consisting of everyday objects which have become musical instruments through the use of technology.

The Greco-French composer Iannis Xenakis is known as the creator of a series of avant-garde works utilizing the computer, but in Rebound the instrumentation consists simply of traditional drums and woodblocks which engage in an intense rhythmic dialogue.

Niels Rønsholdt's Gloomy Room is a dream-like performance noir. The music emerges from the natural sounds produced by a man who is looking for something.

Temazcal is an ancient aztekisk word meaning "burning water". Maracas is an important part of folk music in all of Latin America, but in Alvarez' piece they become virtuoso solo instruments competing with a contrasting electronic sound track.

Pierre Jodlowski's Time & Money is an interrogation about the modern society and the way we deal with time and money. It involves an empty table, real time motion capture (where the computer screen accurately reproduces human movements) and electronica with added loops of radio signals and bits of film dialogue which refer to the title of the piece.

Mathias Reumert – percussion etc.
Vincent Meyer – video


Man Money Maracas – en avant-garde performancekoncert

VINKO GLOBOKAR (b. 1934): ?Corporel

HANS PETER STUBBE TEGLBJÆRG (b. 1963): Michroma – 1st time in Denmark

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Rebonds
NIELS RØNSHOLDT (b. 1978): Gloomy Room

JAVIER ALVAREZ (b. 1956): Temazcal
PIERRE JODLOWSKI (b. 1971): Time and money –
1st time in Denmark

Michroma og Gloomy Room er bestilt af Mathias Reumert.

xSunday 20th May, 9:00pm, Festivalscene

På sporet af lyd

Lydenskab explores sound

Lydenskab invents new ways of presenting the music in five musical mini dramas which combine classical music, installation art and performance art.

The six classical musicians in Lydenskab specialize in breaking away from the formalities and conventions which surround classical music. This enables us to hear the music afresh – and to see it, for Lydenskab also pays attention to the visual presentation of the music. At this concert Lydenskab will be performing five unusual works which all benefit from the ensemble's special approach.

Den fyrste song eg høyra fekk (The first song I got to hear) by the Norwegian composer Eyvind Gulbrandsen is a concert-installation where Lydenskab meets the Mannequin Sextet and ”fragments of identity get dressed in uniforms”.

Gardens of the Beloved – God Is My Final End by the Danish-Cuban Louis Aguirre is dedicated to the flutist of Lydenskab, Karolina Leedo, and inspired by the Persian 13th century poet Rumi and the mad French actor Antonin Artaud's ideas about the total theatrical expression in the book The Theatre and Its Double.

Henrik Budde describes his work Terribly Cold and Nearly Dark as a ”Gesamtkunstwerk” (a work of art uniting elements from all the arts) about light and darkness, life and death, where the visual and the spatial are part of the overall musical expression.

Katrine Møllebæk's Instrumental Man is a series of portraits of today's men which are all played by a woman – the Danish-Philippino performance artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen who is Lydenskab's special guest star at this event.

The composer Nikolaj Busk and Lydenskab on Sound Creation: ”Do not try to pigeonhole Art. Art wants to be free! Sound Creation is not about one designation, one act, one expression – we leave it open for the audiences to create their own images, moods and stories. Welcome to Music!”

Mikkel Ib – percussion
Sofia Olsson – cello
Thea Vesti – guitar
Karolina Veedo – flute
Jeppe Uggehøj – trumpet
Eskild Winding – piano

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen – performance


EYVIND GULBRANDSEN (b. 1977) & Lydenskab: Den fyrste song eg høyra fekk – first performance

LOUIS AGUIRRE (b. 1968): Gardens of the Beloved – God Is My Final End – fra Five Tropes for solo alto flute in G, skrevet til Karolina Leedo

HENRIK BUDDE (b. 1982): Terribly Cold and Nearly Dark for ensemble, sampler and performer

KATRINE MØLLEBÆK (b. 1983): Instrumental Man – first performance, commissioned by Lydenskab
– performance: Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen & Lydenskab

NIKOLAJ BUSK (b. 1982): Sound Creation part I + Sound Creation part II – first performance

xSunday 20th May, 10:30pm, Festivalcafé

Sange på et ukendt sprog

The Virtuoso Voice of Donatienne Michel-Dansac

Récitations is a milestone in avant-garde music – an examination of the endless possibilities and expressiveness of the human voice from High C to hoarse whispers.

Georges Aperghis worked on Récitations for 11 years, from 1977 to 1988. In the course of 14 movements, the beauty of the Soprano voice and the vertiginous high notes alternate with coughs, mumbling, breathlessness and stray words. The work is also a piece of music theatre where the body of the singer becomes an integral part of the artistic expression.

Récitations is often regarded as difficult music, not only in the technical sense – but there is also a playful aspect to it. This contrast is characteristic of the music of Georges Aperghis, a French composer of Greek origins – whether it is chamber music or an opera.

Donatienne Michel-Dansac is known for her interpretations of Mozart and Handel as well as for her love of contemporary music. Since she took part in the first performance of Aperghis Sextours in 1993, she has been an indomitable champion of his music. She made the premiere recording of Récitations in its entirety and she has appeared in several of his operas.

Aperghis has said of Récitations that the various difficulties of each individual movement paradoxically make the work more easily accessible for audiences, because they "create little musical and theatrical situations ... we witness somebody who can't speak properly, someone who is very nervous, restless or haunted, etc." Donatienne Michel-Dansac agrees: "I think that we all know the mental and physical states expressed in this music."

It takes a world-class singer to perform Récitations and make the difficult seem easy and playful – Donatienne Michel-Dansac has got what it takes.

Donatienne Michel-Dansac – soprano




GEORGES APERGHIS (b. 1945): Récitations (1988)

xMonday 21st May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Byens hemmelige haver

Blue Notes from TM+

The concert will be transmitted live by DR P2 Klassisk

Star soprano Raphaële Kennedy and TM+ on musical wanderings through language, night and dream – and the colour blue.

The ensemble TM+ is among France’s finest interpreters of contemporary music. Since the 1980es they have given numberless first performances of new works. At this concert, we shall hear a handful of works in which the soprano soloist becomes one with the ensemble.

In two pivotal works, Raphaële Kennedy gets an opportunity to test the limits of what the human voice is capable of: Vocabulary II by Niels Rosing Schow explores the interplay between the voice and the musical instruments, between notes and actual lingual sounds.

In the Greek-French composer Georges Aperghis’ La Nuit en tête, it is as though the vibrations of the soprano voice blends in with the sounds of the six musical instruments. The voice speaks to us and we do not understand it – but as in a dream, it does not seem to matter.

When Danish composer Niels Rosing-Schow composed his work for TM+, he was inspired by a dream: The composer found himself on a town square in an Italian town and was tempted to go down a narrow street to a secret garden – from which he is led on to a second and then a third garden, one more fertile than the next: ”At the time of the dream I worked hard to complete this piece, and I knew that the dream was about the piece. In an inexplicable way, the dream was the piece – hence the title: I Giardini dietro la cittá [Gardens behind the city].

Laurent Cuniot is the leader of TM+ since 1986 when he founded the ensemble. In his To deep and deeper blue, we move through different soundscapes which gradually emerge and then dissolve – returning at the end to where we started. In the beginning of the second movement a quote is heard from Anton Webern’s opus 7 which becomes one of the building blocks of the work. For Cuniot the methods of the avant-garde is not an end in itself but the means to a new form of poetic and melodious content.

The concert is part of a collaboration with the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the record company Dacapo.

The concert is made possible by support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Ile-de-France / Conseil Général des Hauts de Seine / Mairie de Nanterre / Maison de la musique de Nanterre / Mécénat Musical Société Générale

Laurent Cuniot – Conductor

Raphaële Kennedy – Soprano

Frank Scalisi – clarinet
Jean-Luc Ayroles – piano
Gianny Pizzolato – percussion
Jean-Pierre Arnaud – oboe
Anne Ricquebourg _ harp
Maud Lovett – violin
Marc Desmons – viola
David Simpson – cello
Gilles Burgos – flute

Host: Peter Filtenborg, DR

The concert can be heard at dr.dk/lyttilnyt subsequently


NIELS ROSING SCHOW (b. 1954): Vocabulary II (1997)
GEORGES APERGHIS (b. 1945): La nuit en tête (2000)
NIELS ROSING SCHOW: Giardini dietro la cittá (2011)
LAURENT CUNIOT (b. 1957): To deep and deeper blue (2010)


xMonday 21st May, 9:00pm, Festivalscene

Skønhed og perfektion

Rolf Hind spiller Cage, Debussy and Satie

This concert will be broadcast live by DR P2 Klassisk

From the exquisite sound world of Impressionism to the sound world of the prepared piano. The British star pianist in recital.

Rolf Hind is among the leading interpreters of contemporary music but at this concert he also plays some of the classic works which ushered in the sounds of modern music and which still inspire composers today.

In the year of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Claude Debussy, his music has become such an established part of the standard repertoire that we tend to forget how original and barrier-breaking it must have sounded in Debussy's own time. In his preludes and etudes for piano, he employs whole tone scales, five tone scales and bitonality – with the aim of creating sounds and harmonies which the world had never heard.

Erik Satie was the contemporary and close friend of Debussy, and like the music of Debussy, Satie's music was also highly original – but it wasn't until decades after his death that his modest production of mostly piano pieces both inspired new currents in the avant garde and gained mainstream popularity.

A landmark event in the posthumous reception of the music of Satie took place on the 9th of September 1963 when Vexations, a short piano piece by Satie, was played 840 times in a row – an event which became the start of the Minimalist movement in the music of the following decades. The man who took Satie's instruction in the score at face value and arranged the concert, was John Cage.

But Cage had already changed music history before that, with his Buddhist-inspired aleatoric music – i.e. music which is determined by chance rather than by the will of the composer – and with his pieces for prepared piano – a piano where various objects are attached to the strings. The preoccupation with chance as well as the altering of the sound of various musical instruments are an integral part of today's avant garde. In seven compositions by John Cage for prepared piano, we get a chance to hear how it all started.

In this concert of classic works, Rolf Hind cannot abstain completely from performing entirely new music. He has a special affiliation with Danish music with several first performances and CD recordings to his name – and this concert will include the first performance of a work by the young composer Christian Winther Christensen: six festival overtures [constructed in a poor romantic prelude style] for solo piano and Max/MSP – a title which is at the same time an apt description of the work.

Rolf Hind – piano

Host: Peter Filtenborg, DR

Listen to the concert at dr.dk/lyttilnyt subsequently.


ERIK SATIE (1866-1925):  Gnossienne No.1
JOHN CAGE (1912-1992):  Sonata No. 4 for Prepared Piano

Sonata No. 2 for Prepared Piano
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Preludes from Book II –nr. 7 La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune, nr. 8 Ondine
JOHN CAGE: Sonata No. 5 for Prepared Piano
Sonata No. 6 for Prepared Piano
six festival overtures [constructed in a poor romantic prelude style] for solo piano and Max/MSP first performance – commissioned by Athelas New Music Festival, supported by Statens Kunstfond.
JOHN CAGE:  Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano – Interlude No. 3
CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Etudes from Book II – nr. 7 Pour les sonorités opposées, nr. 10 Pour les degrés chromatiques
ERIK SATIE:  Préludes flasques (pour un chien)

Gnossienne No. 3
JOHN CAGE: Sonata Nos. 14 & 15 (Gemini) for Prepared Piano

xMonday 21st May, 10:00pm, Festivalscene

Rolf Hind art talk

The master pianist on music

After tonight's concert with Rolf Hind, here is a chance to hear the pianist in conversation with cellist Zoë Martlew about playing, composing and experiencing music.

Rolf Hind is one of the central figures of this year's Athelas New Music Festival. In four very different concerts, audiences get an opportunity to experience what it is that has made the British pianist one of the most sought-after soloists in the field of contemporary music. Rolf Hind also has a growing reputation as a composer of note – his piano concerto Maya Sehsa has won international acclaim.

After the concert where Rolf Hind performs Debussy, Cage and Satie, audiences have the chance to hear him in an informal conversation with another remarkable British musician – the cellist Zoë Martlew who is a visiting artist in Copenhagen at the moment, invited here by DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artist).

Some of the topics of conversation will be John Cage, the project Host Guest Ghost #5 in which both artists participate, and ways of opening perceptions and experiencing music in a new way.

Art Talk is arranged by Dansehallerne and Athelas New Music Festival in connection with their joint event HOST GUEST GHOST #5 which takes place at 2:00pm on the 20th of May with the participation of Rolf Hind and Zoë Martlew.

Anyone with a ticket for HOST GUEST GHOST #5 or one of the concerts at the Athelas New Music Festival are welcome at the Art Talk.


Rolf Hind and Zoë Martlew in conversation

xMonday 21st May, 10:30pm, Festivalcafé

Portræt af stilheden

Trio ZOOM takes the stage

Six bull's-eyes from China, England, France and Denmark. Trio Zoom delivers a distillate of today's music.

Trio Zoom's programme for this concert covers a lot of ground – musically as well as geographically – presenting us with a wide array of musical modes and moods.

The unusual combination of instruments – saxophone, piano and percussion – is a sure sign that the trio has no intention of playing it safe by sticking to the traditional repertoire – for such a repertoire does not exist. What does exist is a number of new works which the trio plays with an equal measure of impeccable technique and infectious enthusiasm – and often with more than a hint of humour.

Karsten Fundal's A Portrait of Silence is written especially for Trio Zoom and explores a paradox: The portrait of silence is drawn by means of the contrasting sounds of the instruments – thus deepening our awareness of the beginning and end of silence.

The English composer Graham Fitkin's Hard Fairy has become a popular showpiece among saxophonists. The energetically rhythmic piece is ”non-programmatic” according to the composer, so the attempt to make sense of the absurd title is bound to fail – although the cover of the CD recording of the work does depict an old-fashioned fairy, complete with wings, magic wand – and a pair of cool sunglasses!

Niels Rønsholdt's Hammerfall is a piece of performance or music theatre where traditional music making gives way to whispering and breathing, the sound of the pianist's nails across the keys, the breaking of glass and the whiplashes of the percussionist, directed against objects wrapped in black plastic.

In Guo Wenjing's Drama, all three members of the trio become percussionists for a while, for the piece is a display of the manifold means of expression of Chinese cymbals.

There are three versions of Christian Winther Christensen's Being Apu Sarkar – a mini opera, a version for the performance collective Dygong, of which the composer is a member – and then the Zoom version for prepared piano, percussion (glass) and saxophone. In the opera, Apu Sarkar is being eaten by the protagonist because he wants to be like him – but not to worry: the cannibalism is a symbol of something completely different: meeting people with an open mind.

Christian Lauba is a French composer of Tunesian origin. He uses the alias Jean Matitia when he writes jazz and ragtime, and his Devil’s Rag is a genuine rag, fast and funny, for saxophone and piano.

Trio Zoom
Stefan Baur – saxophone
Tanja Zapolsky – piano
Ying-Hsueh Chen – percussion


KARSTEN FUNDAL (b. 1966): A Portrait of Silence (2011)
GRAHAM FITKIN (b. 1963): Hard Fairy (1994)
NIELS RØNSHOLDT (b. 1978): Hammerfall (2006)
GUO WENJING (b. 1956): Drama, 6. Sats (1996)
CHRISTIAN WINTHER CHRISTENSEN (b. 1977): Being Apu Sarkar (2009)
JEAN MATITIA (b. 1952): Devil’s Rag

xTuesday 22nd May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Ravels efterkommere

From Boulez to Glerup

Four generations of composers: Athelas and chief conductor Pierre-André Valade present a hundred years of music history in a nutshell.

Maurice Ravel was – like his friend and rival Debussy – instrumental in heralding Modernism in music with his use of timbres and scales which suspend the traditional major and minor keys. His oeuvre comprises a mere 60 works because of the perfectionism which made Stravinsky refer to him admiringly as "the Swiss watch-maker".

Introduction et Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet was commissioned by the harp manufacturer Érard, after the competing firm Pléyel had commissioned Debussy to write a piece for harp. All speculations as to what harp model is the best has long since been rendered obsolete – but two masterworks for the instrument did come out of it. Maria Boelskov, the harpist of Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, performs both works at this year's festival.

At the age of 87, the still active composer and conductor Pierre Boulez is a living legend. As a conductor he is considered unsurpassed in the music of Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, among others. But to the young Boulez in post-war Paris, none of his predecessors seemed sufficiently radical: He booed Stravinsky, declared that Schoenberg was past it – and as a composer, Boulez went even further than the Vienese master by composing music where not only pitch but also rhythm, dynamics and timbre are determined by serial principles.

Serial principles are employed in both the ensemble piece Dérive 1 which is governed by the number six on every level, and the concise work for solo piano Incises which will be performed by the "special guest star" of this year's festival, the eminent British piano virtuoso Rolf Hind.

Philippe Hurel feels a close kinship with the spectral music of the 1970es – in his music, he is exploring sound phenomena in an almost scientific but also playful manner. According to the composer, ... à mesure (little by little) is a series of ”short, pulsating rhythmic sequences alternating with accelerating and decelerating rhythms from a different kind of musical universe.”

With Rune Glerup's Dust encapsulated #2, we arrive at the youngest generation of composers. The mysterious title is not meant to describe the contents of the work, he says: ”Every individual forms his or her own impression of the music, and it would be wrong for me to dictate how I think people should experience the music.” This openness is characteristic of Rune Glerup's approach to music: “I am constantly wondering about what music really is.”

Pierre-André Valade – chief conductor
Maria Boelskov – harp
Rolf Hind – piano

Kenny Larsen – flute
Anna Klett – clarinet
Darragh Morgan, Emily Fowler – violin
Marie Louise, Broholt Jensen – viola
Toke Møldrup – cello
Jonas Olsson, Rikke Sandberg – clarinet
Ying-Hsueh Chen – vibraphone


MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Introduction et Allegro (1907)
PIERRE BOULEZ (b. 1925): Incises (1994/2001)
PHILIPPE HUREL (b. 1955): ... à mesure (1996)
PIERRE BOULEZ: Dérive I (1984)
RUNE GLERUP (b. 1981): Dust encapsulated No. 2 (2009)

xTuesday 22nd May, 9:00pm, Festivalscene

Frie figurer

Grisey, Ruders and Hurel

Music which is stricly about sound and rhythm – and music which tells a story. The Esbjerg Ensemble performs spectral experiments and modern romances.

Gerard Grisey is one of the central figures in spectral music. Since the 1970es, he has created music based on the study of sound phenomena – often utilizing the computer as an important tool but also taking his cue from predecessors like Debussy, Ravel and Varèse and their preoccupation with timbre.

”Spectral music is not a style or a system but an attitude,” says Grisey – and the attitude is that ”music is ultimately sound evolving in time”.

Talea is a Latin name for a repeated rhythmic structure in Medieval music. Grisey calls the first half of the piece ”a machine which produces the freedom that emerges in the second half ... like wild flowers in the cracks of the machine.”

Philippe Hurel's Figures libres also explores the tension between a set of rules and freedom. ”The title signifies that there are certain emblematic figures which escape the limitations which are determined form the start  – just as it is possible for an artist or an athlete to find his or her own freedom within pre-exisiting limits.”

With Romances for viola and piano, the new work by the Danish composer Poul Ruders, we enter another world. The title alludes to the 19th century romances in poetry and music as well as to the word "roman" (which means novel in Danish, French and many other languages): This is music which tells a story – but it is the imagination of each individual member of the audience which determines which stories they are being told. The movements have titles such as Portal, Even Song, Ballad and Dirge (Lament). The concluding duet ends suddenly before the two voices actually make contact – ”truly an open ending,” says Poul Ruders.

Rei Munakata – Conductor

Kerstin Thiele – flute
Ron Chen-Zion – clarinet
Rachel Bullen – oboe
Sakari Tepponen, Niels Christian Øllgaard – violins
Michelle Camille - viola
Peter Hörr – cello
Henri Sigfridsson – piano
Christian Martinez – percussion


GIRARD GRISEY (b. 1946): Talea – ou la machine et les herbes folles (1986)

POUL RUDERS (b. 1949): Romances. Six Short Pieces for viola and piano (2011) – 1st time in Denmark

PHILIPPE HUREL (b. 1955): Figures Libres (2000)

xTuesday 22nd May, 10:30pm, Festivalcafé

Nye danske sange

With Bloch and Westergaard

The concert will be recorded by DR P2 Klassisk

Euphoric and hard-hitting. Four Danish composers have written songs especially for this concert.

Since Franz Schubert wrote 600 songs in his short life and revealed the infinite possibilities of the interplay between a singing voice and a piano, songs or Lieder has been an important genre in classical music.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen celebrates his 80th birthday in 2012 while his career as a composer is still at its peak. Since his debut in 1955 he has been inspired by music regardless of genres, from Carl Nielsen to the folk music of the Pygmies, and by other art forms such as painting and literature, so that he is truly "beyond category" (to use the phrase coined by Duke Ellington). Grene grå [Branches Grey] are songs to poems by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, a poet who also draws on various sources of inspiration – not least musical ones. She has recently written a book on Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's music.

Martin Palsmar has chosen texts by a contemporary of Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, a poet who is universally known in Denmark, Klaus Rifbjerg. The texts are from his early book of poems with bird motives, Voliere – which is as much about human beings and language as it is about birds and nature. "It is a cycle of songs where the birds are mythological images of the different stages of human life," says Palsmar, "the idea was to write character pieces in different genres which have been in vogue in Rifbjerg's lifetime – The Swan is inspired by Charles Ives and Poulenc, while The Cuckoo is a bit like Darius Milhaud, The Peacock gets a pinch of Messiaen, and The Blackbird is reminiscent of The Second Viennese School and Hans Werner Henze."

Nicolai Worsaae and Niels Rosing-Schow have set poems to music by foreign poets of the past who have one thing in common – namely that even though they are regarded as classics, their poetry still seems wild and experimental.

Nicolai Worsaae has set a poem by the French-German Dadaist Jean Arp – Et frappe et frappe et frappe: ”The poem describes briefly and brutally everything that he feels like hitting. It is a rebellion against formalities and the conventional way in which we are taught to deal with the world. The poetry is hard-hitting and direct, and it is this energy which is transformed into a sound universe which calls to arms against the Lied-genre's bourgeois iron grip around music,” says Worsaae.

In Niels Rosing-Schow's Bald sind wir aber Gesang, the source of inspiration is the mad and visionary German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin. His poems encompass both the Classicist fascination with the ideals of Antiquity and the Romantic eternal longing for a utopian golden age. Hölderlin lived in seclusion for the last 36 years of his life – incurably mad.

Listen to the concert on dr.dk/lyttilnyt

Jakob Bloch – bass barytone

Christian Westergaard – piano


NIELS ROSING-SCHOW (b. 1954): Bald sind wir aber Gesang. Hölderlin Fragmente für Stimme und Klavier – poems by Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) – first performanceI) Der Himmlischen
a) L'hiver
II) Und Manchen möcht' ich laden
b) La vue
III) Des Göttlichen aber empfiengen wir
c) Le printemps
IV) Leichtathmende Lüfte

MARTIN PALSMAR (b. 1970): Four songs from: Rifbjergske fugle [Rifbjerg Birds] – lyrics from Voliere by Klaus Rifbjerg (b. 1931) – first performance
1. Swan
2. Cuckoo
3. Peacock
4. Blackbird

PELLE GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (b. 1932): Grene Grå [Branches Grey] – Five songs to poems from Ursula Andkjær Olsen's Skønheden hænger på træerne (f. 1970) – first performance

NICOLAI WORSAAE (b. 1980): Et Frappe – poem by Jean Arp (1887-1966) – first performance


xWednesday 23rd May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Cello Chamber Dance

Virtuoso Music and Movement

Concert and dance performance in one: A vertiginous tour de force for solo cello followed by Dansk Danseteater's spell-binding Chamber Dance.

Toke Møldrup is a first-rate cellist, both as a member of Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen and as a soloist. In Philippe Hurel's dense composition for solo cello, D’un trait, Toke Møldrup gets an opportunity to exercise the full range of the cello's expressive possibilities.

Reflecting on D’un trait, Philippe Hurel quotes his composer colleague Gérard Grisey: ”Music is situated somewhere between numbers and drama, between frenzy and structure.” Hurel calculated the parameters for the structure of the piece on the computer – but he was also driven by a sense of urgency and tension and even "animality”.

In the second half of the concert, the 13 dancers of Danish Dance Theatre enter the stage and the Athelas Chamber Players play the music for Tim Rushton's Chamber Dance.

The music is by the Lettish composer Peteris Vasks, who gained international recognition when Gidon Kremer championed his music in the 1990es, after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

The award-winning British choreographer Tim Rushton, MBE, has been the leader of Danish Dance Theatre since 2001 and has created a number of successful shows which have won acclaim both at home and abroad. In his shows, Rushton expresses human emotions and combine music and movement in ways which capture audiences and critics alike all over the world.

Toke Møldrup – solo cello

Anne Marie Fjord Abildskov – piano
Emily Fowler – violin
Andreas Birk – viola
Adam Stadnicki – cello

Maxim-Jo Beck McGosh
Stefanos Bizas
Fabio Liberti
Luca Marazi
Emily Nicolaou
Björn Nilsson
Milou Nuyens
Erik Nyberg
Ana Sendas
Alessandro Sousa Pereira
Minna Berglund
Stina Malmgren
Joel Fritzon



PHILIPPE HUREL (b. 1955): D'un Trait (2007) for solo cello

Chamber Dance (2011-12)
Choreography: TIM RUSHTON (b. 1963)
Music by PETERIS VASKS (b. 1946):
Quartet for violin, viola, cello and piano

Charlotte Østergaard – costume design
Jakob Bjerregaard – production

xWednesday 23rd May, 9:00pm, Festivalcafé

Skyers tale

Cikada Trio in Musical Poetry

From Middle Eastern inspirations to the illusions of puzzle pictures. Cikada Trio samples the abundance of contemporary music.

The title of the French composer Bruno Mantovani's L’ere de rien approximately translates as The Era of Nothing, but at the same time it is a pun on l’aire de rien – meaning nonchalant, in an off-hand manner. The music is about integration and co-existence. In the three main sections, the music is inspired by music from the Midde East, Asia and Africa, respectively – bridged by interludes in the idiom of Western music with the piano at the centre.

Mélodies arméniennes for solo flute is also a meeting of cultures for Mantovani is inspired by the Armenian wind instrument doudouk and by the local folk music, but at the same time what we hear is obviously a piece of Western, modernist music.

Vexierbileder II by the French composer Gérard Pesson is inspired by the American poet Wallace Stevens. The three movements or ”puzzle pictures” are titled Speech of Clouds, Negation and Rondo. It is a work which lays bare the traditional musical rhetoric – like when you see the knots on the reverse of an elaborately woven piece of cloth. At certain places the tone clusters should sound like ”sacks of grain falling to the ground”.

There are also two first performances by young Norwegian composers on tonight's programme: Prologue is a solo piece for clarinet by Ørjan Matre who has created quite a stir the past five years with compositions such as Händel Mixtape where the music of Handel and Matre is intertwined in a collage, and the orchestral work Attempted Birdhouse where the culturel reference is something else altogether, namely an episode of The Simpsons where Homer presents his unsuccessful attempt at making a birdhouse as a work of art.

Ruben Sverre Gjertsen's Variations and Leftovers can be seen as the latest incarnation of a work in progress, since the work Leftovers for alto flute, bass clarinet and piano was premiered in 2001 and revised in 2006. What we we will hear at this concert is a first performance of a new set of variations based on the earlier work and created by Gjertsen in collaboration with the Cikada Trio.

This concert is made possible by the generous support of Stikk.no and the Foundation for Danish-Norwegian Collaboration.

Anne Karine Hauge – flute
Rolf Borch – clarinet
Kenneth Karlsson – piano & harmonium


BRUNO MANTOVANI (b. 1974): L'Ere de rien (2002)
ØRJAN MATRE (b. 1979): Prologue – for clarinet – first performance
BRUNO MANTOVANI: Mélodies arméniennes (2010)
GÉRARD PESSON (b. 1958): Vexierbilder II (2003)

RUBEN SVERRE GJERTSEN (b. 1977) & CIKADA TRIO: Variations and Leftovers (2001/2006/2012) – first performance

xThursday 24th May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Forspil, fremdrift og uskyld

Debussy, Nørgård and Bruun

2012 is the year of Per Nørgård's 80th birthday – and the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy. Århus Sinfonietta celebrates the birthday boys and invite their younger colleagues Niels Rosing-Schow and Peter Bruun to join the party.

Per Nørgårds second cello concerto is written for Jakob Kullberg. The composer and the cellist have been working together for more than ten years and are very much on the same wavelength – so much so that they have been experimenting with leaving spaces for improvisation in the concerto. Momentum signifies a forward thrust in the music: In an almost meditative sequence, the concert takes us from the perspective of the individual to that of the human community and in the last instance, towards the cosmos. The titles of the four movements are Monologue, Together, Multiplicity og Infinity.

Claude Debussy's 24 preludes have been part of the piano's core repertoire ever since they were first published a hundred years ago. Debussy was a contemporary of Late Romanticism, but he created his own unique sound world based on whole tone scales (which suspend the usual major and minor modes), pentatonic scales (i.e. five tone scales as in folk music) and bitonality (where two modes are heard simultaneously in one chord).

Niels Rosing-Schow has transcribed 14 of the preludes for sinfonietta, and the results are "simply marvelous" according to the critic David Hurwitz who admired the many surprising effects from the swinging trumpet solo in Des pas sur la neige (Foot Prints in the Snow) to the double bass clarinet's depiction of the fog in Brouillards.

The concert ends with another distinguished solo concerto, Peter Bruun's flute concerto Innocent Mind and Mayday. The title derives from a poem which is both erotic and religious, by the English 19th century poet and Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose has been a continual source of inspiration to Peter Bruun. In the poem the line ”There is nothing so beautiful as Spring” is repeated like a mantra: you must seize and enjoy the spring of youth – ”Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy” – before it passes.

The flute soloist Hélène Navasse has been an ardent admirer of contemporary music since she was 10 years old and according to Bent Sørensen this has made her "a major inspiration for us composers who queue up in order to have our music performed by her.”

Søren K. Hansen – conductor
Hélène Navasse – flute
Jakob Kullberg – cello

Charlotte Norholt – flute
Henrik Husum – oboe
Vibeke Kærsgaard Lembcke – clarinet
Jørgen Rahbek Knudsen – bassoon
Klaus Gottlieb – horn
Judy Hunskjær – trumpet
Niels-Ole Bo Johansen – trombone
Helen Poulsen, Simon T. Pedersen – percussion
Erik Kaltoft – piano
Joost Schelling – harp
Signe Madsen, Ina Tagmose – violins
Birgitte Bærentzen Pihl – viola
Jens Lund – cello
Peter Prehn – double bass


PER NØRGÅRD (b. 1932): Momentum – Cello Concerto No. 2 (2009)

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918), arr. NIELS ROSING-SCHOW (b. 1954): Preludes (1910-13 / 2000)

PETER BRUUN (b. 1968): Innocent Mind and Mayday – Flute Concerto (2008)

xThursday 24th May, 9:00pm, Festivalscene

Skygger og Skikkelser #2

Debussy, Proust and Performance

The music of Debussy and the words of Proust are united when Atelier Hotel Pro Forma and Kirsten Dehlholm stages a concert of light and shadow, colours, scents and textural sensibility. Everything is in motion.

”The music has started as the audience enters but stops suddenly as if it were meant to continue. The music is by Claude Debussy – the three last sonatas that Debussy composed before his death. Six musicians and six shadow musicians appear. The musicians and their instruments are duplicated on the stage. The sound moves from the stage out into the room and back again while the light changes in a floating way, making objects and shapes move like coloured shadows. The two groups of musicians are by turns clearly visible and dark silhouettes, playing their instruments by turns and imperceptibly taking over each others' musical parts.” These are the words of Kirsten Dehlholm, founder and leader of Hotel Pro Forma. Together with Atelier Hotel Pro Forma, she has created this performance.

The starting point is the music of Debussy – three intense chamber works written in the last years of his life: The violin sonata, the cello sonata and the sonata for flute, viola and harp – the only ones he completed in a proposed cycle of six sonatas. When the music stops, an actress and a boy read excerpts from Remembrance of Things Past – the great series of novels about the nature of memory by Debussy's contemporary, Marcel Proust..

Dehlholm continues: ”Everything appears to be floating and light, poetic and changeable, etheric and enigmatic. Debussy seemed enigmatic to other people. He wanted to give audiences a sensual experience – and in the delicate sensations of his music, he caught the spirit of his times. Shadows and Shapes mirrors this ambition of creating a musical and poetic prose without rhythm or rhyme, so strong and flexible that it follows the lyric movements of the soul and the wave-like leaps of the mind. Debussy and Proust meet in this spiritual space of text, sounds and colours, in the varied patterns of the performance, in an artistic interlacing of forms and figures.”

Ellen Hillingsø – reader
Toke Bjarke – reader

Kirsten Dehlholm – concept, director
Morten Svenstrup, Kristian Hverring, Kirsten Dehlholm - musical dramaturgy
Beatrice Rocchi, Jesper Kongshaug – lighting
Kristian Hverring – sound
Anne Mette Fisker Langkjer, Lisa Saraceni – space, set design

Nanna Abell, Andreas Rasmussen - scent
Siri Vilbøl – costumes

Piotr Zelazny  – viola
Svend Melbye – flute
Mette Franck – harp
Jakob West – piano
Stéphane Tran Ngoc – violin
Miranda Harding – cello

Ida Speyer Grøn – viola
Pia Kaufmanas – flute
Nina Schlemm – harp
Ida Andersson – piano (cello sonata)
Laurits Dragsted – piano (violin sonata)
Sigrid Kongshøj-Munch – violin
Iiris Tötterström – cello



Shadows and Shapes
– 1st performance – commissioned by Athelas New Music Festival

Concept and Director: KIRSTEN DEHLHOLM, based on an idea by Anders Beyer

Music: CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1864-1918):
Sonata for cello and piano (1915)
Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1915)
Sonata for violin and piano (1916–1917)

Texts from MARCEL PROUST (1871-1922): Remembrance of Things Past

xThursday 24th May, 10:30pm, Festivalcafé

Glemslens territorier

Rolf Hind's Voyage of Discovery

Tristan Murail and Anders Brødsgaard have created piano works which are as grand in their scope and ambition as the greatest works by the Romantic pianist composers.

Rolf Hind is a world-class pianist. But he leaves Chopin to others in order to focus on his great love for contemporary music – which he plays with such superlative skill that a critic posed the question: ”How many hands does Rolf Hind have?”

At this concert, he plays two major piano works which are ambitious reconnaisances of the inexhaustible possibilities of the piano.

For Tristan Murail, music is first and foremost an exploration of the physical qualities and possibilities of sound – he is one of the major representatives of Spectral music. In Territoires de l'oubli, Murail lets the pianist explore the resonances of the piano. The sustaining pedal is constantly in use and the fact that hammers must hit the strings to produce sound in a piano is seen almost as a necessary evil  – the hammers leaving "scars" in the music's continuum of resonances. In the silent as well as the noisy passages, it is the suspended reverberations which are the focus of attention.

The title of Anders Brødsgaard's great piano suite is a palindrome in Latin – a sentence which may be read in the same way in both directions. In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni means ”We go wandering at night and are consumed by fire”. Like the title, the seven movements of the work combine complicated systems and intensely poetic moods. In the course of the work, Brødsgaard alludes to the music of Scriabin, Debussy and Messiaen, and the third movement Requiem is dedicated to the memory of the composer's father. The other movements bear the titles Joker, Attacca, PyroMania, Bacchanal, 7-9-13 and Hymn.

Rolf Hind – piano 


TRISTAN MURAIL (b. 1947): Territoires de l'Oubli (1977)
ANDERS BRØDSGAARD (b. 1955): In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (1990-94)

1. Bacchanale
2. Hymn
3. Joker
4. Pyromaniac
5. Attaca
6. Requiem
7. 7-9-13

xFriday 25th May, 7:00pm, Festivalscene

Den danske forbindelse

From Dowland to Nielsen

This concert will be broadcast live by DR P2 Klassisk

Per Nørgård’s Borderlines is a contemporary masterpiece. Here is a chance to hear it together with music from the preceding 400 years of Danish and international musical history, performed by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and star conductor Andrew Manze..

It is as a composer of world renown that Per Nørgård celebrates his 80th birthday in 2012. His second violin concerto will be performed at this concert byhere by Peter Herresthals who is thoroughly at home in Nørgård’s demanding and rewarding musical universe.

The violin concerto bears the title Borderlines because the soloist inhabits a borderland between to radically different tone-temperaments: the wellknown scale of 7 whole tones and 12 semi-tones – and on the other hand the unfamiliar sound world of micro-tones, according to Nørgård ”as foreign to the ear as is the dark side of the moon to the eye ... In these perilous surroundings three movements unfold: the first is restlessly searching, the second is introvertly listening and the third is expansively forward thrusting.” But at the same time the concerto is an exploration of borders in a wider sense, says Per Nørgård: ”There are natural borders: rivers, mountains and seas – and then there are the human-made borders ... even though these can be said to be illusory, they often have a profound impact on people’s lives.”

Like Nørgård, the other works on the programme also remind us that Danish music has always been international as well. This is true, of course, when it comes to Carl Nielsen, one of Nørgårds inspirations, whose Little Suite for Strings was written as early as 1888 when Nielsen was 23.

But it is also true when it comes to John Dowland from England and Buxtehude from Germany who were both connected with Denmark. The Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude was actually Danish and spent his childhood and his first tenure as an organist in Elsinore before he became an organist in Lübeck. And John Dowland was a court musician to King Christian IV for eight years where one of his duties was to sit in a cellar  Rosenborg Castle and play his lute music which would then reach the ears of the king through ingeniously constructed  sound shafts.

Andrew Manze has transcribed Buxtehude’s Klaglied and two pieces by Dowland for orchestra. Dowland’s melancholy titles can be translated as Tears of the Past and Always Dowland, always sorrowful.

Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Peter Herresthal – violin
Andrew Manze – conductor

HRH Crown Prince Haakon is the patron of Stavanger Symfony Orchestra

The concert can be heard at dr.dk/lyttilnyt subsequently


JOHN DOWLAND (1563-1626)/ Arr. ANDREW MANZE (b. 1965): Pavan: Lachrimae Antiquae
Pavan: Semper Dowland Semper Dolens
PER NØRGÅRD (b. 1932): Borderlines – Violin Concerto No. 2.
CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931): Little Suite for Strings Op. 1

xFriday 25th May, 8:00pm, Festivalcafé

Reception for Nørgård

Tribute to the Great Composer

Per Nørgård is one of Denmark's greatest composers and has long since gained international recognition.

2012 is the year of his 80th birthday – on the 13th of July – and this will be celebrated in Danish concert venues all through the year. During the festival you will have the opportunity to hear two of his concertos, the violin concerto Borderlines and the cello concerto Momentum for cello.

In collaboration with Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Athelas New Music Festival 2012 gives a reception in honour of Per Nørgård.

xFriday 25th May, 9:00pm, Festivalscene

Strygere i fokus

A tour de force from the JACK Quartet

This concert will be broadcast live by DR P2 Klassisk

JACK Quartet plays five modern quartets with pinpoint precision and redhot commitment.

The word fearless has often been used to describe the JACK Quartet – a rather unusual word in connection with a string quartet. But the JACK Quartet plays the new and technically challenging repertoire with a furious energy and an effortless virtuosity which make audiences forget about how difficult the music is supposed to be and just enjoy it.

Jexper Holmen's Intend is scored for amplified and distorted string quartet. The musicians play the extreme registers of their instruments, the highest and deepest notes which are at all possible to play, so that the music expresses struggle and extacy and "burns right through the surface of the instruments" as the composer says.

For Allain Gaussin, composing is an exploration of the formal aspects of music, but at the same time it is a voyage of discovery of the self and the imagination. In this way, Chakra is an exploration of the technical possibilities of the strings and at the same time an exploration of the human mind – Chakra is the Hindu and Buddhist word for the spiritual energy system of the human body.

Joël-François Durand's string quartet can also be seen as a journey. It has been said about the music of Durand that it is like a an initiation of the listener who is led through landscapes where light and shadow changes, towards an unknown goal. It is music brimming with an intensely lyrical atmosphere.

Simon Steen-Andersen's second string quartet is written especially for the JACK Quartet and for this occassion. Steen-Andersen who lives in Berlin, combines very different impulses in his music, from European modernism to Chinese folk music and music theatre – but a common trait of his works is the uncompromising modernist stamp.

Tétras by Iannis Xenakis is at the core of the JACK Quartet's repertoire. Xenakis was one of the protagonists in the avant garde of the 20th century  – as a pioneer within the field of electronic music and because of his use of mathematical systems in music. His string quartet is powerful and concentrated – densely woven sound layers alternating with vertiginous glissandi. Tétras is the Greek word for the number four – but in this case,  it is as though the four voices of the string quartet become one.

JACK Quartet (USA)

Christopher Otto – violin
Ari Streisfeld– violin
John Pickford Richards – viola
Kevin McFarland – cello


JEXPER HOLMEN (b. 1971): Intend (2000/2002)

ALLAIN GAUSSIN (b. 1943): Chakra (1984)

JOËL-FRANÇOIS DURAND (b. 1954): String Quartet (2005)

SIMON STEEN-ANDERSEN (b. 1976): String Quartet #2 – for strings with prepared and amplified bows – commissioned by Athelas New Music Festival and Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik with the support of Statens Kunstfond – first performance

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Tétras (1983)

xFriday 25th May, 10:30pm, Festivalscenens foyer

Faire la fête

The festival goes out in style

A week of highlights from contemporary French and Danish composers – and in the year of Debussy's 150th anniversary, music from him and his contemporaries who laid the foundations for today's music.


There is a lot to celebrate, a lot of great events to look back on – so naturally the bar stays open after the last concert, and DJ Oliver Hoiness delivers the party music.