18 March until 29 March
­MaerzMusik 2021:
We will be there­

In this remarkable year, the Berliner Festspiele are realizing MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues as an online edition from 19 to 28 March. The artistic director Berno Odo Polzer conceives a festival with a wide variety of formats from concert stream to VR experience to binaural audio.
The program (as of today) is now online.

Last year’s MaerzMusik edition on the theme of “The Beginning of Time”, had to be cancelled due to pandemic, but now merges with the edition planned for this year on “End of Time”. Some of last year’s projects will be presented in a new form, many of the productions are world premieres, some are gifts of the circumstances and challenges we are currently facing worldwide. 

MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues 2021 aims at providing a variety of online experiences on Berliner Festspiele on Demand: from state-of-the-art 360° camera and 3D sound technology to regular single and multiple camera techniques and everyday online meeting platforms. Live streamed concerts, audiovisual performances, lectures and talks, binaural audio streams as well as pre-produced concert films, music videos, documentaries and other film formats are connecting the physical locations Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie, Zeiss-Großplanetarium, SAVVY Contemporary, silent green, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Université du Québec à Montréal, Schloss Rheinsberg as well as private apartments and studios around the world where music, language and moving images are being and have been created for this festival.


The opening project “Environment” bears clear traces of this ongoing pandemic: planned as the opening of MaerzMusik 2020, the musicians of the ensembles PHØNIX16 and the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos (OEIN) from Bolivia got caught up in a nearly 3-months-long forced quarantine at the Musikakademie Rheinsberg after the festival was cancelled. There, documentary and experimental films as well as a multimedia stage performance were created, which will have their premiere at MaerzMusik 2021 (19. & 26.3.).

The results of a long-term collaboration with SAVVY Contemporary on the Egyptian-American composer, electronics pioneer, musicologist and teacher Halim El-Dabh will flow into a project series with forgotten works by the composer, numerous world premieres, lectures and films (20. & 23.3.).

The New York formation Bang on a Can produce a special MaerzMusik edition of their “Marathon Live Online” – a several hours concert, flowing together from a multiplicity of artists’ flats and studios (21.3.).

French sound pioneer Éliane Radigue’s three-hour work “Trilogie de la Mort” will be presented as a binaural audio livestream from the Zeiss-Großplanetarium, accompanied by a new portrait film about the artist produced for MaerzMusik by French filmmaker Eléonore Huisse and sound artist François J. Bonnet (22.3.).

The composer, scientist and multi-instrumentalist George Lewis – currently a guest at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – has developed a concert programme with the Ensemble Modern and two panels on the theme of “Afro-Modernism in Contemporary Music” (24.03.). 

The Canadian Quatuor Bozzini produces the world premiere of Jürg Frey’s one-hour new String Quartet No. 4 as a concert film for MaerzMusik in Montreal (25.3.). Ensemble Mosaik presents the film version of Manuel Rodríguez Valenzuela’s multimedia instrumental theatre “time.cage” (26.3.).

The grand finale of MaerzMusik, THE LONG NOW, is a format in transformation and will turn into a 30-hour livestream experience of shared listening and an altered perceptions of time (27./28.3). The line-up will be published in February, as will the programme of THINKING TOGETHER, which is dedicated to various themes from the festival programme.­­­­