Monday, April 23, 2012

On spring, multitasking, and mountains

In spite of the occasional snowfall, it feels as though we can finally say it with confidence: spring has come to Stockholm. Nothing seems as warm and light as the first days of sunshine.

But it's not only outside that we feel summer approaching. Inside the tiny festival office, the to-do-lists are, once again, suddenly becoming twice as long. From programming details and and schedules to PR decisions and newsletters, from layout feedback and programme notes to tax forms and statistics. As the list grows, so does an almost imperceptible feeling of expectation. Though sometimes partially obscured by massive piles of paper, it's there - a knowledge that we'll soon see this year's ideas and plans materialize during a vibrant, intense week.

To be sure, multitasking and seeming mountains of paperwork can be a little overwhelming - which is why it's not a bad thing to get to climb a real mountain from time to time. Last weekend, in Alsace, on a conference with REMA, the European network for early music festivals, we took the opportunity. An early morning, clear air, silence, and a mountain. Steep paths that posed quite a different challenge to our everyday mental climbing. But a view from the top somehow similar to the feeling of standing ovations after a concert.

We're getting closer to the festival! Run the final stretch with us - it starts now.

/the SEMF team

Monday, February 13, 2012

Time for more night music

SEMF is getting ready to launch the spring season 2012 with the concert series Early Music LIVE!

After the Christmas Edition's much appreciated Early Late Night Concert, this spring's series presents three cozy concerts with a nocturnal touch. Once again the audience will have the opportunity of leaning comfortably back on a mattress or in a sofa with live early music right next to them!

The concerts will take place in the Clara Schumann hall at Musikaliska on 3 March, 7 April, and 5 May. Brilliant violinist Ann Wallström with friends offer music by Marais and Buxtehude on 66 vibrating strings, vocal ensemble Purifive performs ravishing renaissance polyphony, and recorder quartet Woodpeckers plays Bach in snooze mode.

Looking forward to continuing the Early Late Night Concert adventure and hoping to see you there!
/the SEMF team

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A new early music year

Before beginning to write about all the things going on for 2012, SEMF would like to warmly thank all listeners, volunteers, participants, sponsors and friends who followed and supported the festival's activities in 2011!

The 2011 festival was a musical adventure spanning from Icelandic sagas to Bach evergreens – in between there was time for renaissance polyphony, French troubadour songs, wilful viol harmonies, a mad maestro di capella, vocal and instrumental jokes, Spanish baroque dances, thousand-year-old Persian music, and a singing wishing-well. The Early Music LIVE concerts presented bird-watching adventures as well as legendary castrato repertoire. The first concert of the series’ fourth season was also part of the opening festival of the new concert hall Musikaliska at Nybrokajen 11 in Stockholm.

Another adventure was the very first SEMF Christmas Edition, which was held on 3 December at Musikaliska. This was also the premiere of SEMF’s Early Late Night Concert – late evening concerts where the audience could lean comfortably back in armchairs or on mattresses and enjoy early music by candlelight. A much-appreciated concept that will appear in the programme again!

With a wonderful, eventful anniversary year ended, we now look forward to a new year of early music experiences. Preparations for the spring season and for this year’s festival, which will take place 6-10 June, are in full swing. Keep an eye out for news here on our blog and on! You can also follow the festival’s work on Facebook and Twitter.

/the SEMF team