Morgenland Festival Osnabrück 2020

Bogdan Văcărescu © Sarah Emma Smith
Bogdan Văcărescu © Sarah Emma Smith


“The Balkans are one body with several hearts. An unfathomable world. Still, if you decide to immerse yourself in this universe, the right path goes through those hearts brimming with unbelievably diverse music.”
-Maja Vasiljevic, Artistic adviser of Balkans Beyond Brass-


Dear Friends of the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück,

in these unusual times, which demand an intensive degree of consideration and solidarity from us all, I am especially pleased to be able to present this year’s programme. Due to the current situation we have decided to offer two versions: In June we will present an online edition and in December, assuming it will then be possible, there will be a live edition. Both formats will be titled BALKANS BEYOND BRASS.

After celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Festival last year with many wonderful artists who are closely linked to the Festival, this year we are laying our focus on a new region. Once again Morgenland will set its musical sights towards the east, leaving aside all clichés. The “Orient” and “Balkans” seem to share the same fate when it comes to clichés.

Similarly to the Middle East, the Balkans is characterized by multiple ethnic and cultural influences and can be regarded as a mysterious face of Europe. Influenced by the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire, by the music of the Sephardim and the Roma the Balkans is a crossroads of western and eastern musical influences. Thus, the programme of the Festival BALKANS BEYOND BRASS takes us on an adventurous journey of discovery to musical treasures never previously heard: from orthodox chants to Bulgarian wedding music, from the music of the Roma and Sephardim from Moldavia to ancient songs from Serbia.

The MORGENLAND ONLINE EDITION took place on our YouTube Channel during the original period of the Festival from 18th to 27th June. Our musicians played in their own countries and enthral you with concerts and background information from Sarajevo, Belgrade, Thrace, Budapest and Thessaloniki. You can look forward to meeting Divna Ljubojević & Melódi as well as Bojana Nikolić & Serbian Voices from Belgrade, Amira Medunjanin, Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić from Sarajevo, Savina Yannatou from Thessaloniki and many more!

Come with us to discover a hitherto unknown Balkans, and discover BALKANS BEYOND BRASS – ‘online’ from 18th June to 27th and ‘live’ from 3rd to 6th December 2020 at various concert venues in Osnabrück.

We look forward to seeing you!

Michael Dreyer
festival director


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