Morgenland Festival Osnabrück 2020

Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić © Marko Ercegović
Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić © Marko Ercegović

“The Balkans is 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,

Due to the Corona pandemic it was not possible to stage a live version of the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück 2020. However, some of the planned concerts were recorded and were made digitally available in June, reaching an audience of over 50,000 people. The Live Edition, which was set to take place in December, also had to be cancelled at the last moment due to the pandemic. Only one concert, the “Hommage à Dinu Lipatti” with Markus Schäfer and Mihai Ungureanu, was recorded and filmed without an audience in the Radio Bremen concert hall. Excerpts will soon be available on our YouTube channel.

After celebrating the 15th Festival Edition in 2019 with many wonderful artists, all of whom have been closely associated with the Festival over the years, we turned our attention in 2020 to the Balkans. Once again, Morgenland presented a musical view of the East, without any of the usual clichés. It would seem that “Orient” and “Balkans” suffer the same fate.

Just like the Near East, the Balkans is characterised by multi-faceted ethnical and cultural influences and proves itself to be the somewhat mysterious face of Europe. Influenced by the Byzantine Empire and an over 400 year membership of the Ottoman Empire, as well as by the music of the Sephardim and the Roma, the Balkans is a veritable crossroads of music from the East and the West. Thus, the Festival programme of BALKANS BEYOND BRASS led us on an adventurous journey of discovery to seldom-heard musical gems: from Orthodox chants to Bulgarian wedding music, from the music of the Roma and Sephardim from Moldavia to the ancient songs of Serbia.

The MORGENLAND ONLINE EDITION took place from 18th to 27th June 2020 on our YouTube Channel. Our musicians recorded their music in their home countries and sent about 85GB of audio and video material. This was then edited to form the six episodes of the Morgenland Online Edition.

These contributions from Sarajevo, Belgrade, Thrace, Budapest and Thessaloniki are still available on the Festival’s YouTube channel. You can hear music by Divna Ljubojević & Melódi, as well as Bojana Nikolić & Serbian Voices from Belgrade, Amira Medunjanin, Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić from Sarajevo, Savina Yannatou fromThessaloniki and many more!

Thank you for being there. I hope we will meet again in 2021, this time in the analogue world. The Festival will take place in Osnabrück from 9th-17th July 2021.

Greetings, Michael Dreyer
Festival Director


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