• For Open Minds

    Photo Credit: SOIC

  • Welcome!



    FRONTSIDE aims to move you with matchless music played by superb international artists in concerts of captivating format: night concerts, wandering concerts and happenings such as The Grand Arrives and a torchlight procession.


    After FRONTSIDE’s successful premiere in 2019, when we turned west towards the USA with the theme M/S Transatlantic, the theme for 2020 is Eastward.


    The concerts will take place at Röda Sten Konsthall, on the ships Ostindiefararen Götheborg and Älvsnabben, as well as in Sjömagasinet, Sankta Birgittas kapell (the Chapel of St. Bridget), 3:e Våningen and Waterfront Hotel.


    The theme has an undertone which sounds the unique capacity of music to build bridges between continents and people. To communicate this to inquisitive listeners of all ages is our sincere concern.


    All concerts are free for children and adolescents up to the age of 18, and one concert is intended especially for families.


    You are most welcome!


    Karin Dornbusch, artistic director






    The history of Göteborg with its East India Company and trade with Asia is one of the sources of inspiration for the theme Eastward. We will pay due attention to the problematic aspects of colonialism, but our focus will be the positive musical exchanges that have occurred and still occur today.


    During the festival, we will play both old and recent music by European composers who in different ways were influenced by Eastern cultures, such as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Franz Schubert, Jenny Hettne, Klaus Hinrich Stahmer and others. We will also present contemporary music inspired by both Western and Eastern musical traditions, e.g. by the well-known Tan Dun from China and Soo Yeon Lyuh from Korea.


    We are proud to be able to give the first performances of two brand new works by two composers who both studied composition at the Göteborg Academy of Music and Drama: Lei Feng Johansson’s new quartet for sheng, clarinet, cello and percussion, “Dream of the Far East,” and Leilei Tian’s duo for violin and marimba, “The Butterthief.” The latter work, which will have its premiere at the children’s concert, is inspired by the Krishna of Indian mythology and depicts the unconditional love of parents for their child.


    To this year’s festival we welcome especially the South Korean string quartet Esmé Quartet, which makes its first appearance in Sweden; Wu Wei with his fascinating Chinese mouth organ sheng, which he will play not least during a unique concert on board the ship Ostindiefararen Götheborg; and Çağatay Akyol, who enthrals audiences with the sound of his harp when playing, for instance, folk music from Anatolia.


    The list of featured artists is on the highest international level and we look forward to colourful concerts and unforgettable musical experiences!

    Towards 2021


    The scale of the 2020 festival will be from Thursday to Sunday, January 16–19. In 2021 it will reach its full scale, when Gothenburg celebrates its 400th anniversary. Then we are planning for the festival to have two weekends, like the two bridgeheads of the bridge that soars above the venue, filled with concerts and public talks. We are looking forward to featuring master classes in the weekdays in between, in collaboration with the Gothenburg Academy of Music of Drama, evening concerts and late-night surprises.




    How it all started



    Swedish clarinetist Karin Dornbusch, having completed twelve successful years as artistic director of a well-known chamber music festival in Båstad, Sweden, felt a strong desire to develop further the chamber music format, the repertoire and the range of artists on the Swedish chamber music scene.


    When the entrepreneur Bob Kelly got in touch with her and suggested she create an international chamber music festival in the Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg, these ambitions began to solidify. A work group formed in the winter of 2017 and became in March 2018 the board of FRONTSIDE Chamber Music Society. The aim of the society was to launch and sustain FRONTSIDE – Gothenburg International Chamber Music Festival, the city’s first international chamber music festival, with visionary ideas and innovative programs at the highest musical level, starting 17–20 January, 2019.




    The Board



    Karin Dornbusch, Clarinetist and Artistic Director
    Paula af Malmborg Ward, Composer
    Daniel Berg, Marimba soloist
    Tobias Granmo, Violinist
    Marielle Korend Larsson, Expert on PR, Communications and security

    Caisa Hanserud, Tickets & Finances

    Jonas Anderson, Strategic Development


    1 RÖDA STEN, 414 51 Göteborg
    070-868 37 46