Donaueschinger Musiktage: Festival for contemporary music

Donaueschinger Musiktage

October 18–21, 2018
September 12, 2018
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Tracey Emin, You came to me at night, 2017. Acrylic painting, poster image for Donaueschinger Musiktage.

Robots, media archeology, filter bubbles

The programme of the 2018 Donaueschinger Musiktage reflects on issues of the day
New music is subject to a constant process of change. Composers explore social, technical and social developments. This is reflected in the programme of the Donaueschinger Musiktage which take place between October 18 and 21, 2018: robots and filter bubbles, media archaeology and public violence all play a role here. The programme can be found online. Tickets can be ordered from now.

The orchestra in the filter bubble
In the opening concert of the oldest New music festival, Malin Bång examines the unstable balance of an orchestra. She explores the question of how a few can influence and manipulate the opinion of a collective. Ivan Feldele’s Air on Air works with the breath of the musicians, the emergence and dying away of sound. Marco Stroppa’s Concerto for Electronics and Orchestra is a tender declaration of love to the creatures of nature. The fact that the private is political is shown by Isabel Mundry’s premiere Mouhanad—a setting of an interview with a refugee.

Composed contemporary history
Also in Mundry’s second Donaueschingen world premiere, current events are the focus of attention: in Hey!, she explores the Munich terrorist attack of 2016 and the relationship between perpetrator and victim. In Enno Poppe’s world premiere Rundfunk für neun Synthesizer, the SWR Experimentalstudio looks at the history of electronic music and historical sounds—from the piganino to FM synthesis. Thinking Things for four performers, robotic extensions, video, light and electronics questions what we expose ourselves to when we surrender ourselves to robots and to what extent the differences between man and machine are still recognisable. Following “Machinations” and “Luna Park”, “Thinking Things” is the final part of Georges Aperghis’s machine trilogy. Under the direction of Peter Rundel, the SWR Symphonieorchester plays premieres by Jānis Petraškevičs, Hermann Meier and Benedict Mason in the Baar-Sporthalle on Sunday.

Into the interior of silence
In addition to the SWR Symphonieorchester and the SWR Vokalensemble, other renowned ensembles such as the Paris studio IRCAM, the Cikada Ensemble, the Neue Vocalsolisten and the Ensemble Modern can all be heard at the Donaueschinger Musiktage. The Klangforum Wien appear at the festival for the ninth time. During the NOWJazz session, Daniel Stern’s reflections on the moment and Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia take Swedish pianist and organist Sten Sandell “into the interior of silence”.

Relationships in music and the music of relationships
In Donaueschingen museums, sports halls, the Gewölbekeller and in the Alte Hofbibliothek, in the Fischhaus and in the Alte Molkerei, the festival is exhibiting sound sculptures and installations. The sound art programme presents works from four continents. In Thema Musik Live this year, Isabel Mundry, composer, Hervé Boutry, manager and Viktor Schoner, artistic director of the Stuttgart Opera discuss Vitamin B – Relations in Musical Life. It is moderated by Susanne Benda, music editor of the Stuttgarter Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, and Stefan Fricke, editor for new music at Hessischer Rundfunk.

Programme and tickets
The detailed program of the Donaueschinger Musiktage is available online at, tickets at or via the ticket hotline T +49(0)1806 700 733. You can also request the festival programme from the Kulturamt der Stadt Donaueschingen on T +49(0)771 857 266 or by e-mail: info [​at​] The 2018 Donaueschinger Musiktage is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation as part of its cultural institution of excellence programme. Other sponsors include the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the city of Donaueschingen and Südwestrundfunk (SWR).