Since 2019, the transcultural Bridges Chamber Orchestra has brought predominantly freelance musicians and their instruments together from diverse regions of the European, Asian and American continents. The orchestra members are experts in European classical music, classical Arabic as well as Persian music, jazz, Eastern European folklore, and contemporary music.
The Bridges Chamber Orchestra is a unique entity in Europe: there is no comparable orchestra with such great diversity in musical styles and regions of instrumental origin when paired with the sustained collaboration of our fixed ensemble personnel and the frequency of performances. Another unique and innovative aspect is that 14 of the 25 orchestra members compose and arrange much of the orchestral repertoire themselves.
The Bridges Chamber Orchestra was named the Kronberg Academy's Orchestra in Residence in September 2022. In November 2022, it was named on the shortlist of the "Prize Innovation 2022" of the German Orchestra Foundation. In 2019, the Bridges Chamber Orchestra was celebrated as a national lighthouse project for exemplifying diversity and integration in practice with the reception of The Power of the Arts 2019. It is one of the winners of the Hessian Integration Prize 2022 and received the German Record Critics' Award 2/2021 (category "Grenzgänge") for its debut album "Identigration", which was published in 2021 in co- production with the Hessian radio (hr2-kultur).
The Bridges Chamber Orchestra has members from 15 nations and, in contrast to other international orchestras, does not play predominantly Eurocentric music. Instead, Bridges presents musical styles from a wide variety of traditions, as well as cross-genre works, on an equal footing in their concert programs. The musical traditions from which the members come, or with which they are involved, therefore shape the orchestra's program and form its unique, ever-evolving transcultural sound language.
Alongside the orchestra's usual sections of strings, winds, and percussion, a distinguishing element of Bridges is the additional section of plucked instruments, which has a profound influence on the sound of the orchestra.
Bridges has developed a contemporary musical sound that gives a voice to multiple identities – showing how the variety of different cultures can be brought together without giving up individual identities. In this way, Bridges shapes a musical style that reflects the diversity of the German society of today and enriches the tradition of orchestral playing.
Bridges leads the way forward in the necessary redesign of programming on conventional stages to include repertoire that reflects Germany as a country of immigration and the changes that brings about in society as a whole.
The Bridges Chamber Orchestra and its members are consulted throughout Germany and Europe as specialists in the development of a progressive, transcultural musical style. In addition to our own compositions, we also commission compositions from composers of various disciplines. Previous guest composers include Majid Derakhshani, Atefeh Einali, Jonas Krischke, Kioomars Musayyebi, Daniel Osorio, and Khadicha Zeynalova. The Bridges Chamber Orchestra collaborates with rotating guest conductors, including Bar Avni, Leo Hussein, Nicholas Kok, Gregor A. Mayrhofer, Corinna Niemeyer, Eva Pons, Harish Shankar, Nabil Shehata, Martin Wettges, and Yalda Zamani.
Scheherazade, op. 35 2nd movement
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Excerpts from L''Orfeo
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