Sven Holm of Novoflot

Novoflot is an independent opera company based in Berlin. It was founded in 2002 by director Sven Holm, conductor Vicente Larrañaga and performance artist and dramaturge Sebastian Bark. The team’s productions of Ernst Krenek’s The Belltower and Tommaso Traetta’s Antigona received widespread attention and recognition. Novoflot’s production and performance venues have been Hamburg State Opera, Ultraschall festival, the festival Warsaw Autumn, Théâtre National du Luxembourg, Trafó in Budapest, Transmediale, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Hamburger Bahnhof, Akademie der Künste, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and Gare du Nord Basel, Walcheturm Zürich and the Schauspielhaus Zürich/Schiffbauplatz, Matucana 100 in Santiago de Chile, Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Nationaltheater Weimar as well as Haus der Statistik Berlin.


1: The desert grows: Woe to him in whom deserts hide! (Friedrich Nietzsche)

2: My wife, my daughter and I.

3: My home country Thailand where I was born.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Coming together with an ensemble of exquisite musicians and enjoying the element of surprise. There’s always a process of transformation away from the original concept, of course. This typical Novoflot get-together of classical and jazz musicians, philosophers, performers, video artists, and dancers keep the composition and dramaturgy in flux.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was five and listened to Maurice André playing the trumpet.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations (1955)
Herbie Hancock at the Jazzfest Berlin 1987
Vladimir Horovitz – Beethoven, 3rd piano concert, Waldstein and Moonlight Sonatas
David Bowie – Heroes
Beatles – Abbey Road

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Bürgerpark Pankow and Akademie der Künste am Hanseatenweg.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Go to hell.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Nils Wogram und Conny Bauer – Duets

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
With God. Working on an improvisation project.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Thinking of last year, first thing of many that come to mind: the T-House-Tour by Novoflot in Santiago de Chile.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Totally unimportant.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have two older sisters who regularly attend my performances.

Novoflot’s current production Wir sind so frei #1 Fidelio will be performed at Festival ‘Labor Beethoven’ at Akademie der Künste Berlin throughout March 2020.

Photo © Novoflot