KLANG is Denmark's largest festival for contemporary music. KLANG attracts foreign and Danish ensembles and soloists, collaborates with symphony orchestras and produces opera and embraces music from after World War II, with main focus on the latest music of today. This has been the case since 2009, when the Athelas New Music Festival grew out of the Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen under the then artistic director Anders Beyer. The festival retained the name Athelas New Music Festival and its close connection with the Athelas Sinfonietta until and including 2012 with Anders Beyer as artistic director throughout the years. Although the festival changed its name to KLANG and severed the very close ties to Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, the ensemble is still a significant part of the festival with a spectacular concert every year. From 2013-2015, Rune Glerup and Christian Winther Christensen were the artistic management of the festival, where it consolidated in its new form, and from 2015 onwards, the festival management has consisted of Christian Winther Christensen and Regin Petersen.
In the spring of 2021, Regin Petersen stopped to continue his mission elsewhere. The former festival producer Filip Melo took over Regins role as constituted leader, and later got the position as new administrative leader of the festival.
During its lifetime, the festival has grown. Every year, the festival includes a project aimed at children who collaborate between the festival and other institutions in Copenhagen, such as Tivoli. As it was from the beginning, KLANG's programming balances between the Danish and the international; composers from all over the world are presented together with the youngest Danes, as well as their older colleagues.
“The festival's intention is to gather new music in a distinctive setting so that it gets some attention. We want to be in people's consciousness and be an event that people look forward to every single year.”
Since the movement within contemporary music never rests, the same goes for KLANG Festival.
The ambitions and ideas of the festival is to let the festival be developed with what is going on. Today, the festival stands as an annual celebration of the new music. To create a festival that has a place in people's consciousness and that you look forward to, as artistic director Christian Winther Christensen says above, there are also specific goals for the festival: “The festival must fuse the Danish scene with the international scene. This means that the Danes open their eyes to what is happening in the world, and that the world opens its eyes to what is happening in Denmark. We want to be a platform that allows you to generate larger projects than you would otherwise be able to do. Of course, this must be realized through large collaborative projects with both Danish and international actors.”
The balance between the global and the local is also challenged in the fruitful way with specifically Nordic projects and collaborations with foreign festivals, and finally KLANG also focuses on presenting the live composers' music to children and young people. Christian Winther Christensen mentions that one of the success criteria for KLANG is a large audience, and the work of meeting the audience at a young age helps to ensure this in the long term. Among the success criteria is, in addition to of course the artistic quality of the individual concerts, also that works and events at the festival create attention, open up for discussion and push boundaries with the audience.