A classical chamber music festival with a modern flavour.

expect the unexpected

-We are many enough to create powerful musical experiences. At the same time, we are few enough to be flexible. Therefore, we can afford to experiment with both the music and the venues.

That’s what Karin Dornbusch, the artistic director of Frontside, says.

The driving force in my way of working is to constantly explore new paths. I want to combine both well-known and unknown works in new and unusual ways. I want to expand the repertoire so that we don’t get stuck in old patterns.

Broaden the horizons for everyone who comes and listens. I want to keep up with the times. This involves a lot of extra searching and thinking about what might fit and what might not. It’s also about placing works in different and sometimes unusual environments. But I am aware that there are more or less successful combinations. Here, it’s important to think on several levels. It’s fun and inspiring when you suddenly discover how well an entirely unexpected combination of work and place fits like a glove.

I want to give experiences to the audience and place the music in context, for example thematically, historically, or geographically. It’s an extra experience to hear Smetana’s string quartet bouncing on the M/S Kungsö with the Czech Zemlinsky Quartet, the audience in raincoats with coffee and buns, or the audience high up in the old attic spaces of Kronhuset, listening to new electronic music by Ida Lundén with speakers placed on the old wooden planks that can tell long stories from the past.

All this also demands something from the musicians, who may have to combine different types of music in environments they may not be used to. So you could say that many of the Frontside programs become thrilling for everyone. But it should never come at the expense of the musical level. Music is, after all, central!

With Frontside, I also want to highlight the simple encounter and convey that chamber music is not something difficult for only the initiated. You can laugh, you don’t have to understand, you don’t have to like everything.

But you can be curious, you can get close to the musicians, you meet others in the audience. It’s fun. It feels important, perhaps more than ever now in our visual, virtual world. The meetings between people with curious eyes looking forward.

Karin Dornbusch

Artistic Director Frontside Festival