Bayreuth Discourse

World premiere of “The Loop of the Nibelung” and series of talks “Here it’s all about art”

“Diskurs Bayreuth” is the podium of the Bayreuth Festival for premieres, discussions and concerts. In 2020 the programme will be presented online. The video work “The Loop of the Nibelung” by Simon Steen-Andersen will premiere on 29.7.2020 and can be experienced online. The discussion series “Here it’s all about art” – Wagner, music and politics with Daniel Barenboim, Thea Dorn, Sir András Schiff, Martina Gedeck, Barrie Kosky, Dörte Schmidt, Dieter Grimm and Björn Gottstein, Julia Spinola and Bernhard Neuhoff will be online from 28th July.

Video „The Loop of the Nibelung“

28. July 2020

Discussion series „Here it’s all about art” – Talks on Wagner, music and politics

28. July 2020

„Here it’s all about art” –
Talks on Wagner, music and politics

The series of talks “Diskurs Bayreuth” is about current questions: Can, must, should art be a be an opinion on politics and current affairs? Isn’t it always? What can art do? Shouldn’t it be free of everything for itself, be autonomous? What role in democracy, what task, what are the obligations of artists and cultural institutions? Do works of art have a (social) function, are they “systemically relevant”?

“It’s all about art here” – In the history of Bayreuth, the quote from the “Meistersinger” art and the political were repeatedly relegated to different spheres: in 1924 in the nascent National Socialism and 1951 in Neu-Bayreuth after the 2nd World War were open political proclamations on the hill not desired. But the commandment itself can be considered… political act.

Can art become politically effective?
Daniel Barenboim, Thea Dorn

Wagner’s music theatre and politics
Barrie Kosky, Julia Spinola, Moderation: Bernhard Neuhoff (BR)

Does an artist have to take a political stand? Can art develop freely?
András Schiff, Martina Gedeck, Moderation: Björn Gottstein (SWR)

Art autonomy and/or social function
Dörte Schmidt, Dieter Grimm, Moderation: Bernhard Neuhoff (BR)

Simon Steen-Andersen:
The Loop of the Nibelung

Video, 36 minutes,
Commissioned by the Bayreuth Festival
World premiere online: 29.7.2020, Bayreuth Festival /Bayerischer Rundfunk

An audiovisual exploration of the mythical Bayreuth Festival Theatre: Simon Steen-Andersen, composer and media artist, takes musicians of the Bayreuth Festival into a “Chain reaction machine” in the Festspielhaus, which becomes both an instrument and a stage set.  Simon Steen-Andersen combines sound and image in his works in a sophisticated way. Outgoing of his concept “Run Time Error”, which refers to particular places, he stages Puzzles with offset sounds and images. In his video work with singers and musicians of the festival orchestra he encounters historical place of Wagner’s work. The unheard-of, the unseen, the unfamiliar becomes a fast-paced one, sensual performance down to the “mystical abyss” of the Bayreuth trench “and beyond”.

Simon Steen-Andersen, concept, composition, direction and performance
Peter Tinning, camera performer
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Nadine Weissmann, mezzo-soprano
Olafur Sigurdarson, baritone
Musicians of the Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival

Composition commission financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
A production of the Bayreuth Festival as part of “Discourse Bayreuth

Simon Steen-Andersen was born in Denmark in 1976 and studied from 1998 to 2006 composition in Århus, Freiburg, Copenhagen and Buenos Aires with Karl Aage Rasmussen, Mathias Spahlinger, Bent Sørensen and Gabriel Valverde. He has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation 2017, Mauricio Kagel Music Prize of the Kunststiftung NRW 2017 Prize of the SWR Symphony Orchestra 2019 and 2014, Berlin Art Prize of the Academy of Arts as also the Carl Nielsen Prize 2013, the Kranichsteiner Music Prize (2008), the Tribune international des compositeurs 2010. He was also a guest of the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme of the DAAD. Since 2018 he is professor in the department of composition and Théâtre musical at the academy Berne. He lives in Berlin.

Mann mit Trompete
Treppenhaus mit zwei Personen und Geigen
Zwei Personen in einer Halle mit Musikinstrumente
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