Bartók Beyond Borders, Vol. 2 at Musikbrauerei / Thursday, 17.11 – Friday, 18.11.2016

On November 17th and 18th, ensemble mini returns to the magical setting of the Musikbrauerei with ‘Bartók Beyond Borders, Vol.2′. The ensemble founded by Joolz Gale and academists from the Berliner Philharmonic will once again shake up the classical music experience with its unusual concert format.

In reaction to the unfolding refugee crisis, and in conjunction with Bartók’s multicultural apporach to music, ensemble mini has invited reknowned Syrian composers to create new arrangements of Bartók’s work, lending it an Arabic touch. On both concert nights, the audience will be taken on a journey in the catacombs of the former brewery, with video art installation by the prominent Syrian artist Ali Kaaf, jam sessions before and DJ sets after the concert.

Bartók is considered Hungary’s leading national composer, representing the great cultural heritage of a people. Yet Bartók cannot really be considered Hungary’s ‘national’ composer at a time when borders were constantly being redrawn. Actually, this is the Hungarian composer from modern-day Romania. But moreover, Bartok himself was an artist constantly thinking beyond borders.

How “national” Bartók’s music is should therefore be as much a question of perception as of musical philology. He strongly believed that classical composition should reach a “multicultural hybrid”, a state of art that understands different cultures and musical roots. What he admired of Stravinsky so much, for example, was that he “was able to create a style almost Asiatic, almost exotic” style.

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”250″ iframe=”true” /]


70 years after Bartok’s death, nearly all arrangements in “Bartok Beyond Borders” are world premieres. Through the clearer and transparent sounds of the mini-orchestra, ‘ensemble mini’ brings a fresh approach to Bartók by laying bare his “multicultural hybrid”, allowing us a whole new perspective with through more intimate instrumentations.

But it is not just these new sounds that can make Bartok’s music more accessible. The 70-minute Late-Night Concert format includes award-winning moderation by Joolz Gale plus an after-concert “mini-Lounge”, allowing for a different, younger kind of audience. In “Bartok Beyond Borders”, the mini-Lounge includes not just Arab-influenced chamber works by Bartok (such as the 44 Duos) but also Syrian musicians performing traditional dance and folk songs of their country, accompanied by video installations of Syrian artist, Ali Kaaf.

(Please note that the concert on 18.11. will be filmed.)

Bartók Beyond Borders, Vol. 2

Thursday, 17th November – Friday, 18th November 2016 | 21:00 CET
Musikbrauerei | Greifswalder Str. 23A | 10405 Berlin/Prenzlauer Berg | Tickets @ ensemblemini | Event @ Facebook

You May Also Like