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Photo: Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival / Andreas Turau
A Call to Listen
The Austrian poet Stefan Zweig lived his life in a period of high political tension in Europe. Nevertheless, he was unshakable in his belief in a European project, individual- ism and how art and culture have a crucial meaning for how we see each other and our own selves, and how we can live together and conduct ourselves towards each other.
In a time when the news is dominated by growing nationalism, music’s borderlessness and utopian potential are possibly more important than ever. The last movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is understood to be the composer’s notion of the kind of world he desired to live in. An image of humanity where the glue is the individual’s connection to everyone else – not generals or religious leaders: ’All people become brothers’. Beethoven’s vision is just as relevant today, and is indeed a jumping- o point for this year’s Ultima Festival.
Music is in a constant dialogue between past, present and future. The nature of listening is to connect the past with the future in an instant. To listen is to open yourself, to subject yourself to new impressions, insights and knowledge.
With a programme stretching across ten days and more than 50 events, both indoors and out, including concerts, performing arts, installations, lm screenings and talks, Ultima o ers experiences for big and small, for the connoisseur and for the musically curious.
This year we are also delighted to be taking part in The Big O initiative, where Ultima is collaborating with leading, innovative culture institutions and enthusiasts in Oslo. The Big O is about music, literature, performing arts, fashion, food, lm, art, architecture, urban development and more, all gathered under the Oslo region’s challenging vision: ’The best lies ahead of us.’
Welcome to Ultima and Oslo – Scandinavia’s music capital!
Lars Petter Hagen