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Frontside Festival – January 9-12 2025

After five successful festivals, we are once again planning an exuberant festival, like a warm light in the middle of winter-dark January!

Our main stage at both events is Kronhuset in Gothenburg and in typical Frontside spirit, concerts are also placed in unusual places in surprising forms such as Walking Concerts, Coffee Concerts, Pub Nights etc.

We are pleased that Swedish Radio P2 is with us in 2025 as a partner, as their commissioned work will result in a premiere in our festival.

Program and artists will be updated gradually.

Last year’s programme – January 12–15, 2023


On January 12–15, 2023, Frontside celebrates its fifth anniversary and Göteborg its 400th! The festival’s tetralogy with the four points of the compass is a tribute to Göteborg’s international history, which now becomes complete with the theme DIRECTION 57° NORTH .  After 2019, with the theme m/s transatlantic, 2020 with Eastward, and 2022 with Southern Winds, our ears are now turned towards music from countries that have had a major influence on the formation of Göteborg, such as The Netherlands, Germany, Scotland, and England. It will be a rich program with music by Rebecka Clarke, John Ireland, Joseph Haydn, Jacob van Eyck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Judith Weir, James MacMillan, Ludwig van Beethoven, Oliver Knussen, Leoš Janáček, Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Britten, and many others. The Czech Republic will receive its fair share of the limelight with music by Bedřich Smetana, who lived and worked in Göteborg in the middle of the nineteenth century. We have the pleasure of having his two string quartets performed by one of Europe’s foremost chamber ensembles, the Zemlinsky Quartet from Prague. The Swedish soprano *Malin Hartelius, who regularly sings at the Vienna State Opera and the Zürich Opera House, visits Göteborg together with one of Great Britain’s most prominent chamber music pianists, Alastair Beatson from Scotland.
*We are sorry to announce that Malin Hartelius is ill. We wish her fast recovery and are welcoming Elin Rombo that replaces Malin on short notice.

Göteborg’s own eminent Trio Poseidon participates, as does the deputy chair of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, the organist Hans Davidsson (Camille Bloche replaces Hans Davidsson, who unfortunately canceled his participation due to illness), and Duo Granmo-Berg, also from Göteborg. This year’s winner of the Royal Academy’s Interpretation Prize, the recorder player Anna Petrini, will join Emilia Amper, well-known player of nyckelharpa (“keyed fiddle”), in performances of Swedish, Scottish, and Norwegian folk and baroque music. They will also grace the festival with a first performance of a piece by the Norwegian accordion player Frode Haitli.

It goes without saying that music by composers from Göteborg, such as Elfrida Andrée, Malin Bång, Lina Järnegård, Sven-Eric Johansson, and Wilhelm Stenhammar, will be performed. Paula af Malmborg Ward’s “Porter Suite”, for untuned piano, tuned porter bottles, and interactive audience in The Ballad of the Porter, is tailormade for Restaurant Porter Pelle and Waterfront Hotel. Another unexpected concert scene is the ship M/S Kungsö, where Palle Dahlstedt places his freshly composed “Finger Breath” for live electronics. These first performances of works by two of Göteborg’s most prominent composers are guaranteed to be spectacular!

Our much-appreciated Wandering Concerts metamorphose this year into an exciting journey through time and town, on M/S Kungsö, in the Litteraturhuset (“House of Literature”) and at the Språkcaféet (“Language Café”). Anders Carlsson, PhD in musicology, talks about his specialty, the history of music in Göteborg, at one of the stops on the wandering adventure.

Children are included in the homage to Göteborg with a specially composed concert. Ayla Kabaca, well known from the children’s tv program Bolibompa, and the guitar duo, The Gothenburg Combo, tell a lively tale in words and music about the people who have made Göteborg what it is. The children will be presented with a broad span of music that brings Göteborg’s motley history alive!

This and much more!
Please feel most heartily welcome to celebrate the international port and city of Göteborg with warming music in the middle of darkest and coldest January!

Please feel most heartily welcome to celebrate the international port and city of Göteborg with warming music in the middle of darkest and coldest January!

Karin Dornbusch, artistic director

Programme 2023

Get tickets to all concerts here

Thursday 12 January
18.30 Waterfront Hotel and Restaurant Porter Pelle
Ticket price: 200 kr
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Paula af Malmborg Ward (*1962)
The Porter Suite Word premiere!
A musical happening in 3 acts where the audience participates in the creation of a work under the direction of Paula af Malmborg Ward and Palle Dahlstedt.

Act 1 – 18.30 Waterfront Hotel, foyer by the fountain
Everyone in the audience is given a PDS (Personal Drinking Stick) made of three different materials e.g. wood, plastic, metal.
Around the edge of the fountain, porter bottles are set up, grouped harmoniously according to a musical idea. Paula leads the audience in a ”sound walk” around the fountain, Palle Dahlstedt is recording.

Act 2 – 19.15 – 20.15
Over 20 minutes (including the walk), the following acts unfold, each lasting 10 minutes:
Waterfront Foyer: Porter tasting with Björn Lager telling the history of the Porter.
Carnegie ”Hole”: Film: ”Time of the bottles” for tuned porter bottles and untuned piano World premiere
The Porter Flat Boat: Concert with music from Scotland, England, Bohuslän for recorder and nyckelharpa (key fiddle).
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper

Act 3 – 20.15
Food and drink at Porter Pelle with a closing interactive dessert concert! The audiences recorded porter bottle sounds from loudspeakers around the room,  forms a ground to the newly composed The Ballad of the Porter in X number of verses, performed for three voices by Paula, Karin and Palle. Different tables are given different instructions for the different verses and play using their PDSs (personal drinking sticks) according to a simple musical sketch.
Paula af Malmborg Ward, Karin Dornbusch, Palle Dahlstedt and the audience


Friday 13 January

19.00-20.15 Kronhuset
Ticket price: 250 kr
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Paula af Malmborg Ward
Open up! Frontside’s own fanfare for voice, clarinet, violin, percussion and optional parts, played this year on nyckelharpa (key fiddle).
Paula af Malmborg Ward, Karin Dornbusch, Tobias Granmo, Daniel Berg, Emilia Amper

Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927)
Allegro non tanto for piano trio
Trio Poseidon

Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)
Songs for soprano and piano
Elin Rombo, Alasdair Beatson

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
English songs for soprano and piano
Elin Rombo, Alasdair Beatson

Bedřich Smetana
Piano Trio in G minor op.15
Trio Poseidon


21.00-22.15 Kronhuset
Ticket price: 200kr
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Ann-Sofi Söderqvist (*1956)
Bagatelle in A for violin and marimba
Duo Granmo-Berg

Oliver Knussen (1952 -2018)
…Upon one note, Fantasia after Purcell for clarinet, violin, cello, piano
Karin Dornbusch, Trio Poseidon

Malin Bång (*1974)
Split Rudder for double bass recorder and electronics after Evert Taubes’ Briggen Blue Bird of Hull
Anna Petrini, Palle Dahlstedt

James McMillan (*1959)
Kiss on wood for violin and piano
Sara Trobäck, Alasdair Beatson

Emilia Amper (*1981)
In the dark night and songs for voice and nyckelharpa
Emilia Amper

Nocturnal improvisation on an old theme from the Netherlands for double bass recorder, nyckelharpa and live electronics
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper, Palle Dahlstedt

Paula af Malmborg Ward
causeries for violin, cello, piano
Trio Poseidon

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Night- Piece for piano
Alastair Beatson


Saturday 14 January

9.30 Kronhuset, second floor
Sandwich, coffee/tea, juice

Ticket price: 150 kr
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Georg Phillip Telemann (1781-1967)
Sonata for recorder and violin TWV 40:11
Anna Petrini, Sara Trobäck

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1927)
String Quartet in C major op. 59/3
Zemlinsky Quartet

11.00-11.40 Kronhuset
For children aged 5-12 accompanied by an adult
Ticket price: children up to 18 years free – adults 100 kr
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Well-known actress, singer and presenter from Swedish television, Ayla Kabaca and the guitar duo The Gothenburg Combo vividly tell the story of the people who have influenced the city of Gothenburg! Dutch, Scots, English, Visigoths, Turks, Germans, Americans, Bohuslän, Chinese and Norwegians-yes, people from near and far! It’s also the story of strong music personalities who have influenced musical life in Gothenburg, such as Elfrida Andrée, concert organist and Europe’s first female cathedral organist, and the Czech national composer Bedřich Smetana, who lived and worked in the city in the mid-19th century. Here, children will hear a huge range of vibrant music befitting Gothenburg’s international history: Dutch 17th-century music by flute master Jacob van Eyck, Scottish songs, Carl Micael Bellman, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Dietrich Buxtehude, Isaac Albéniz, Evert Taube, Wilhelm Stenhammar, Giacchino Rossini and Håkan Hellström, American folk music and music by Steve Reich with links to the great American ships and the Swedish emigrants, traditional Chinese music such as the Swedish East Indies sailors in the 18th century may have heard on their voyages and Spanish music they heard on the stopover in Cadiz. A tribute to the international port city of Gothenburg, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year!
Ayla Kabaca, The Gothenburg Combo


14.00-15.30 GERMAN CHURCH 
Ticket price: 250 kr
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Höchster was ich habe Cantata BWW 39 for soprano, alto recorder and organ
Elin Rombo, Anna Petrini, Camille Bloche

Matthew Locke (1621-1677)
from A consort for severall friends for recorder and organ
Anna Petrini, Camille Bloche

Torsten Sörenson (1908-1992)
Adorazione for organ
Camille Bloche

Joseph Czapek (1825-1915)
Andante religioso op. 31 for viola and organ
Petr Holman, Camille Bloche

Sven-Eric Johanson (1919-1997)
Preambulum and fugue for organ
Camille Bloche

Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929)
Camille Bloche
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Quintet for clarinet and string quartet in B minor, op. 115 (40′)
Karin Dornbusch, Zemlinsky Quartet


18.00-19.30 Kronhuset
Ticket price: 200 kr
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Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Adagio and Allegro op. 70 for violoncello and piano
Claes Gunnarsson, Per Lundberg

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) /Arr. Ingvar Karkoff( *1958)
Songs för soprano, string quartet, piano
Elin Rombo, Zemlinsky Quartet, Alasdair Beatson

Jacob van Eyck
(ca 1590-1657)
Trad. Boda/ Sweden When I was in my eighteenth year for recorder and nyckelharpa (key fiddle)
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)
String Quartet No. 2, ”Intimate letters”
Zemlinsky Quartet


20.30-21.30 Venue to be announced shortly
Ticket price: 150 kr
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Ludwig van Beethoven from The Diabelli Variations
Trad. Reel The Silver spear
Ragnhild Furebotten (1979) Klopper for recorder and nyckelharpa (key fiddle)
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper

Judith Weir (1954) Sleep Sound Ida Mournin’
Sara Trobäck, Tobias Granmo

Daniel Berg (*1971) Bird of Prey and Water
Duo Granmo-Berg

William Brade (ca 1560-1630) A Scottish dance
Trad from Hardanger Halling after Svein Lutro for recorder and nyckelharpa
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper

Trad form Sweden Songs from the West Coust
Emilia Amper & friends

Bengt Lundin (*1945) Due time and Promenade for violin and marimba
Duo Granmo- Berg

Nicola Matteis (ca1650- ca after 1713) Ground after the scotch humour
Emilia Amper

Emilia Amper Pelti Auki ’Spjelle opp!’ for recorder and nyckelharpa
Anna Petrini and Emilia Amper

Bedřich Smetana
Dance of the Comedies from The Bride’s Head for string quartet
Zemlinsky Quartet


Sunday 15 January

Ticket price: 300 kr (inkl boat trip)
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10.30-10.50 Stenpiren-Skeppsbrokajen Departure with m/s Kungsö
Bedřich Smetana String Quartet No. 2 in D minor
Zemlinsky Quartet

10.50 The audience is divided into 4 groups and walks under the guidance to 4 concerts, each lasting 15 minutes.
10 minutes walk between each place

1. Skeppsbrokajen, M/S Kungsö upper deck
Lecture-”Gothenburg’s music history in 15 minutes”
Anders Carlsson

2. Skeppsbrokajen, M/S Kungsö lower deck
Palle Dahlstedt (*1971)
Finger breath for live electronics
Palle Dahlstedt

3. Litteraturhuset (Old Warehouse)
Judith Weir Atlantic drift for two violins
Sara Trobäck, Tobias Granmo

Elfrida Andrée The Swan for soprano, violin, piano
Elin Rombo, Sara Trobäck, Alasdair Beatson

4. Språkcafèet (The Language Café)
Jacob van Eyck  Music for recorder
Anna Petrini

12.40-13.00 Skeppsbrokajen-Stenpiren Return journey with m/s Kungsö
Joseph Suk (1874 -1935)
Zemlinsky Quartet

Traditional folk music Songs from the West Coast of Sweden, Scotland, England for voice and nyckelharpa
Emilia Amper, voice and nyckelharpa

15.00-16.00 Kronhuset

Ticket price: 200 kr
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John Ireland (1879-1962) Fantasia for piano trio in A minor
Trio Poseidon

Louis Spohr (1784-1859) from 6 Deutsche Lieder (6 German songs) for soprano, clarinet and piano
Elin Rombo, Karin Dornbusch, Alasdair Beatson

Elfrida Andrée Piano Trio No. 2 in G minor
Trio Poseidon

16.30-17.00 Kronhuset
Free admission
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Lecture ( in swedish and english) In-depth discussion of Bedřich Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 in E minor – ”My Life”
Anders Carlsson, Petr Holman (Zemlinsky Quartet)


18.00-20.15 Kronhuset
Ticket price: 300 kr
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Daniel Berg Frontside for violin, clarinet, marimba
Tobias Granmo, Karin Dornbusch, Daniel Berg

Carl-Axel Hall (*1947) Intermezzo no 2 for violin and marimba
Duo Granmo-Berg

Frode Haltli (*1975) Duo for recorder and nyckelharpa, World premiere!
Anna Petrini, Emilia Amper

Max Bruch (1838-1920) from Acht Stücke for clarinet, cello, piano op 83
Karin Dornbusch, Claes Gunnarsson, Alastair Beatson
Claude Debussy (1918-1962)
Marche écossaise ( The Earl of Ross ”March”, after a Scottish tune) for four-hand piano
Alasdair Beatson, Per Lundberg

Lina Järnegård ( *1979)
London; with elements of beauty (when it is infiltrating) for clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello
Karin Dornbusch, members of the Zemlinsky Quartet

Ludwig van Beethoven
from 25 Scottish songs for voice and piano trio opus 108
Elin Rombo, Trio Poseidon
Bedřich Smetana
String Quartet No. 1 in E minor ”My Life”
Zemlinsky Quartet

Participating artists 2025

Artists for the 2025 festival will be presented shortly. 


2019, 2020 & 2022, 2023

During the first four years of the festival, we want to turn our spyglass to each of the four cardinal directions in turn outgoing from the harbour city Gothenburgs strategic location at the sea.With the first theme 2019, M/S Transatlantic, our gaze swung westwards. A red thread of American and American-inspired music ran through the festival. Inspiration came from the big ocean liners that carried emigrants to the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The theme also connected with today’s situation, when people are forced to become refugees and to create new lives for themselves in foreign lands. As final piece all artists and the Dream Orchestra with young refugees met in Terry Riley famous piece in C.

In 2020 the theme was Eastward. The note struck was now the Swedish East India Company’s voyages to Asia in the eighteenth century. During the festival, there where both old and new music by European and Asian composers who in various ways have influenced each other.

Swedish Radio P2 was there. Listen here

In 2022 FRONTSIDE will be carried by a warm breeze southward to the theme of Southerly Winds. Here we will fetch inspiration from Italy, Portugal, Spain and South America.

Because of the pandemic will Gothenburg celebrate its fourth centenary in 2023. FRONTSIDE will also postpone the complete programme Direction 57° North that would have been presented 2021. 2023 we will present music by composers from Gothenburg, but also music from countries that have strongly affected the development of Gothenburg, such as Holland, Germany, Scotland and England.

How it started

-Why start a music festival? -Because it’s a joy! Bob Kelly, initiator

After clarinetist Karin Dornbusch had successfully led the Båstad Chamber Music Festival for twelve years, she was contacted by entrepreneur Bob Kelly, who proposed creating an international chamber music festival at the art gallery Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg. A committee was formed with the well-known musicians Paula af Malmborg Ward, Daniel Berg and Tobias Granmo among others. After a year of intensive work, FRONTSIDE – Gothenburg International Chamber Music Festival – was inaugurated in January 2019 with innovative concert programmes in exciting surroundings. There was art music from different periods; well-known pieces and all-new compositions alternated with folk music and free improvisation. Young and old mixed both on stage and in the audience. People listened, watched, chatted and made new discoveries. The ship was launched!

One of the purposes of the festival is to demonstrate what a broad range of music there exists within the chamber format. Moreover, we wish to cultivate the great tradition of Western music while at the same time supporting creativity and artistic innovation. The most important purpose of the festival, however, is to offer enjoyment to people of different generations and from different countries. We want to enrich life with music from near and far, and with the aid of music help to build bridges between people. A festival For Open Minds!

The Board

Karin Dornbusch, Clarinetist and Artistic Director
Anders Wiklund, Chairman of the board
Tobias Granmo, Violinist and Commissioner​
Marielle Korend Larsson, Head of Pr / communications and security

+46 70 868 37 46

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