As part of the Month of Contemporary Music, field notes and the Akademie der Künste Berlin will be hosting a two-day Symposium on the 26th and 27th of September to reflect on intercultural cooperation, international networks, and artistic practices in global contexts.

Far-reaching, socially transformative processes such as globalisation, digitisation, migration, and mobilisation are transforming society and culture and therefore have an immediate impact on artistic working processes in contemporary music. Collaborative work processes, intercultural thinking and reflection on discourse and format have long been important components in the conception of concert projects, festivals, and funding programs, as well as in the development of networks. In an open space, individually-developed expertise will be collected for the first time and will be developed further.

Open Space

The symposium begins with an open space, which is a tool for self-organised exchange and knowledge transfer, bringing together professionals in contemporary music with a focus on international cooperation and intercultural exchange. The format relies on the expertise of the individual participants and, in keeping with the leading theme of the symposium, offers an opportunity for exchange free from hierarchies.

Topics and questions

Topics and questions emerge from the group in a self-organised process over the course of the day. The thematic framework includes concerns such as the establishment of international networks, the determination of necessary funding instruments, and the specific music-related clarification of what »intercultural competence« could be. Within working groups, fundamental terms such as »global« and »intercultural« in the context of contemporary music can be questioned and examined for possible asymmetries regarding aesthetic, political and/or financial aspects. The open space also leaves room for ideational determinations of the genre: How is the new music concept understood in a global context? Is there such thing as new music in an intercultural context or should one generally speak of contemporary music? How will new music or contemporary European music change when global cooperation becomes increasingly common practice? Will it eventually dissolve in the global? How far has the dissolution process in a cosmopolitan city like Berlin with many parallel scenes already advanced?

The open space is open-ended. However, the sum of the individual experiences of the participants provides insights into the diverse aspects of international and intercultural work. Based on the results of the day, actionable measures can be derived. Or not ...

We look forward to lively discussions.

Lisa Benjes and Julia Gerlach

With special thanks to the preparation round of the Open Spaces with Dahlia Borsche (Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD), Oliver Baurhenn (CTM), Elisa Erkelenz (VAN Outernational), Nina Ermlich (inm), Björn Gottstein (Donaueschinger Musiktage), Claudia van Hasselt (FemaleSingersUnited), Katja Heldt (Delegationsprogramm MdzM), Juliana Hodkinson (Komponistin), Chung Il-Ryun (AsianArt Ensemble), Taica Replansky (CTM), and Hannes Seidl (Komponist).


The second day provides a chance to learn about and exchange with organisations, festivals, and ensembles of the contemporary music scene in the Balkans. Initiatives, festivals, ensembles, and artists from the region will introduce themselves and the respective music scene of their country in short lectures. Afterwards, we invite you to get in contact with each other in a networking walk with an architectural tour through the Hansaviertel of Berlin.

Onassis Foundation, Athen

Onassis Cultural Center (Stegi) is a centre of arts in Athens created by the Onassis Foundations. Since 2010, it has shaped the artistic landscape of Athens with its productions and exhibitions. The OCC is a place of theatre, performance, dance, music, cinema, design, exhibitions, conferences and lectures, and hosts various festivals. It collaborates with international and local institutions, artistic teams, and social groups. Through its exhibitions, the OCC researches the relationship between art and technology and has hosted a few of the most important digital art exhibitions in Athens.

Speaker: Lorenda Ramou: Project Manager

Muzički Biennale Zagreb

During the Music Biennale held in April, Zagreb is transformed into a cultural centre towards which composers, music critics, excellent musicians, and contemporary music and arts lovers from the region and Europe gravitate. Dedicated to new music - including the »living classics« of contemporary music and the new generation of composers from all over the world, the Biennale programs include projects from symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, experimental musical theatre, contemporary dance, jazz, electronics, and the alternative music scene. Closely interrelated with other art forms, the festival has a significant and very distinctive position in the Croatian and regional cultural scene, with two ideas at the forefront: tolerance and a high standard of musical production and creativity.


Margareta Ferek Petrić, Artistic Director, Music Biennale Zagreb Program Committee

Nina Čalopek, Executive Producer, Music Biennale Zagreb Program Committee

No Borders Orchestra

The No Borders Orchestra (NBO) is a symphony orchestra comprised of excellent professional musicians from every country of former Yugoslavia. Originally inspired by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the NBO grew out of the desire to create a regional cross-border symphony orchestra of the Western Balkans, which delivers the highest artistic quality and calls for a new kind of communication in order to overcome nationalism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and the bloody legacy of the past.

Speaker: Premil Petrovic Artistic Director and Conductor, NBO

Sploh, Ljubiliana

Sploh Institute is a not-for-profit arts organisation, established in 1999, which engages in music and performing arts production, publishing and education. With its wide variety of activities, the institute has become an important internationally-minded node for research, networking, collaborations, education, and creativity not only in the field of music but also in dance, poetry, theatre, and multimedia arts. It supports not only the development of young artists but also of different audiences, with the latter apparent in the institute's focus on children and marginalised groups.


Tomaž Grom, Artistic Director of Sploh and curator of the festival Sound Disobedience

Špela Trošt, Producer and Artistic Director of Performing Arts

Networking walk with an architectural tour through the Hansaviertel
During the walk, which offers an opportunity for exchange among the participants, Anne Boissel will guide us through the Hansaviertel and its Jewish past, and talk about the idea of inside and outside, nature, democracy, and internationalism in the post-war architecture concept.

26. September 2019

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz (Plenarsaal, 2. Floor)

9.30 am

Arrival of the registered participants, coffee & tea

10.00 am

Welcome Lisa Benjes (field notes) und Julia Gerlach (Akademie der Künste)

10.10 am

Introduction of Open Space Method, collection of topics and session planning

11.15 am

Open Space (I)

12.30 am


1.30 pm

Open Space (II)

2.45 pm

Coffee & tea

3.00 pm

Open Space (III)

4.15 pm

Reflection of session rounds and perspectives

6.00 pm

Reception, club room and terrace of the Akademie der Künste

7.30 pm

or 6.00 pm

Opening BAM! Festival für aktuelles Musiktheater (Volksbühne Berlin)

KONTAKTE Festival (Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg)

27. September 2019,

Akademie der Künste am Hanseatenweg, Clubraum

10.30 am

Arrival of the registered participants, coffee & tea

11.00 am

  • Sploh Institut (Ljubiliana)
  • Onassis Foundation (Athens)
  • No Borders Orchestra
  • Muzički Biennale Zagreb

1.30 pm


2.30 pm

Network walk with a guided architectural tour through the Hansaviertel

4.30 pm

Final discussion

6.00 pm


KONTAKTE Festival – Kötter & Seidl, Akademie der Künste

BAM! Festival für aktuelles Musiktheater


You can register for the symposium at (up to and including the 1st of September 2019) free of charge. Coffee and tea, snacks, and lunch are provided. Concert tickets must be provided by the participants themselves.


Akademie der Künste

Pariser Platz 4

10117 Berlin

S-Bahn Brandenburger Tor

Akademie der Künste

Hanseatenweg 10

10557 Berlin

S-Bahn Bellevue

Concert Program

In the evenings and the following weekend, there is a wide range of concerts in the context of the Month of Contemporary Music. Two major festivals give insights into the Berlin music scene:

  • BAM! Berlin Festival for Contemporary Music Theater 26.9-29.9.2019
  • KONTAKTE '19. Biennale for Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art 25.-29.9.2019

Create your concert program!

Monat der zeitgenössischen Musik

The Month of Contemporary Music presents the many facets of Berlin's contemporary music scene and invites you to discover current works by Berlin ensembles, artists and composers – in established concert halls and opera houses as well as independent venues.

Info + Program:

BAM! Berliner Festival für aktuelles Musiktheater 26.9–29.9.2019

The festival of Berlin’s independent music theatre scene is entering its second year. Once again, BAM! is four days full of different perspectives on the new music theatre of our time. The 2019 festival will be anchored in the Berlin Volksbühne. Acker Stadt Palast and Ballhaus Ost complement the festival space as satellites.

With: Björnsson/Marx, Derossi & Celestino, Hauen und Stechen, Johannes Kreidler, Novoflot, DieOrdnungDerDinge, Opera Lab Berlin, Sirje Viise u.a.

26.9.2019, 7.30 pm Opening BAM!

Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Acker Stadt Palast und Ballhaus Ost

Info + Program:

KONTAKTE '19. Biennale für Elektroakustische Musik und Klangkunst 25.–29.9.2019

For five days, the building on Hanseatenweg will open its doors to become an experimental laboratory for music and a meeting place for artists, professionals, music lovers, and music fans. KONTAKTE '19 explores the possibilities of the performative elements in electro-acoustic music and focuses on new productions characterised by their search for new forms of communication and participation. A wide range of concerts, sound installations, performances, artist talks, and films, featuring numerous premières and first performances, will allow the audience to experience a lively, experimental music scene and talk to the artists at the Akademie der Künste. KONTAKTE '19 will mark the end of this year's month of contemporary music in Berlin.

With: Feedback Studio & Ensemble Garage, Kammerensemble Neue Musik, ensemble mosaik, Turntablisten-Marathon T.I.T.O.

25.9.2019, 5.30 pm Opening KONTAKTE | 7pm Lange Feedbacknacht

Akademie der Künste am Hanseatenweg

Info + Program: