Festival Ultraschall Berlin 2022

Festival for new music by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and rbb Kultur

Concert Festival

The cultural sector has rarely struggled more than it has during these months of uncertainty in planning. This makes all the more remarkable the vitality of contemporary music, which is in defiance of these ongoing issues with undiminished creativity and diversity of musical ideas and sounds, as well as positions beyond music, and even more: through an undiminished enthusiasm for invention and discovery along with novel flexible concepts, performance and broadcasting possibilities inspire and surprise.

The cornucopia of the new and latest remains undiminished and is reflected in the Ultraschall (Ultrasound) Berlin Festival, which takes place 19-23 January 2022. The festival stays true to its aspiration of presenting salient trends in contemporary music as modern art and culture – examining them and positioning them in new contexts. These world premieres and debuts are connected to more recent music and art history, whose works are newly illuminated in a present-day context.

From time immemorial, numerous protagonists of new music have grappled with current affairs, addressed problems and injustices in their works, and adopted a political stance through their artistic medium. And especially so now, as oppression and persecution of the arts by populist, authoritarian or dictatorial regimes have been intensifying. Ultraschall Berlin takes up such issues.

At radialsystem, Sergei Nevsky documents queer subculture in the Soviet Union of the 1920s, and George Lewis pens an hommage to the marginalised and persecuted, presented by Neue Vocalsolisten & Ilya Shagalov. The LUX:NM contemporary music ensemble berlin is one of the most successful contemporary music ensembles in recent history and puts on a series of world premieres. Ensemble Recherche presents the composer Yiran Zhao in a portrait concert at Ultraschall Berlin; Ensemble Adapter & Celeste Oram reflect on the significance of the medium of radio. In addition, radialsystem welcomes guests Rei Nakamura & Thomas Hummel and Ensemble mixtura & Damian Marhulets at Ultraschall Berlin.

The festival programme is accompanied by talks with musicians and composers as well as by the UltraschallReporter project for schoolchildren.

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