mandolin | upgrade | guitar | bağlama 2015

The Mandolin Festival in Berlin

Concerts with international and german musicians, lectures, music exhibits and master classes at Villa Elisabeth, Berlin-Mitte.

The mandolin, developed from the treble- lute, received recognition over centuries, first in Europe and then all over the world. Vivaldi, Händel, Mozart, Beethoven, later Mahler, Schönberg and Henze among many others have composed music for the mandolin. Today the mandolin as a rather gentle sounding instrument, seems to have gotten a bit out of the public view. However, as we intend to show, the instrument is capable of expressing virtually all musical styles. Upgrade (to bring up-to-date) is aiming at offering a meeting place in Berlin which will ideally lead to the renewal and revitalization of the instrument.

mandolin | upgrade | guitar | bağlama 2015 - with the help of regional and international artists - intends to demonstrate the versatility of the instrument. Well-known names like Avi Avital (Israel/Berlin), Steffen Trekel of the Duo Trekel-Tröster (Germany), Brian Oberlin (USA), Marijke and Michiel Wiesenekker (Netherlands) as well as Carlo Aonzo (Italy) speak for themselves. The HeavyClassic Ensemble (Germany) impresses with its crossover style. New contemporary applications are shown, which will point to future directions. Intent of the festival is also to connect musical networks and to create new ones in order to firmly establish Zupfmusik (music on plucking instruments) in the public eye as a musically appealing art experience.

The festival is intended to create a high quality programme in which orchestras of Zupfmusik are integrated with American Swing, Pop and Rock music. This will be shown by solo, ensemble and orchestra performances (an orchestra workshop and at least one orchestra concert). Master classes and specialty lectures for mandolin and guitar (like groove techniques) will be offered for music teachers, participants in the competition Jugend musiziert and other interested musicians in Germany as well as internationally.

Also we intend to combine existing networks, so the Bağlama-Platform e. V.. This Festival will be a world première combining Bağlama, Mandolin and Guitar. Famous soloists from Istanbul, like Ali Kazim Akdag, Efgan Rende and Sinan Ayyildiz (all bağlama) shall perform in the concerts, and Dr. Tolgahan Çoğulu (microtonal guitar) and Sinan Cem Eroğlu (fretless guitar) will play as a duo and will give an interesting workshop. Also the Turkish Conservatory Berlin is involved with Haydar Kutluer (Bağlama, Berlin).

In the months leading up to the festival, our team and our partners Das Klingende Museum in Berlin e.V. and Bağlama-Platform will offer concerts, professional presentations and a chance for school kids and their parents to actually touch a plucked instrument, since stimulation and enticement to listen to concerts and to create sounds on an instrument themselves will help develop youngsters into critical and socially fit people and - as a by-product - also make them future concert listeners.
This festival will be a very special event for Berlin, even a world première with mandolin and bağlama on the same stage, and will hopefully be followed up by many more. While there have been quite a few guitar festivals in the past, mandolin festivals are relatively few and far-between. The mandolin|upgrade|guitar 2015 is seeking local and international recognition by helping to set trends and becoming a permanent feature.