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Bruckner Casco Festival

The 3-day Bruckner Casco Festival, aims to bring new music to a wider audience. It does this by merging the inspiration of contemporary composers with one of the symphonic icons of the 19th century, Anton Bruckner.

Ten contemporary composers will each adopt one of Bruckner’s symphonies and write their vision for an ensemble of 7 to 20 musicians. You will hear new compositions, total reconstructions, adaptations, and the completion of the unfinished finale of Bruckner’s Symphony No.9. This festival will take you on a journey to the colourful world of composition where old meets new, daring meets classic and west meets east.

In the year that celebrates Bruckner’s 200th birthday, with Bruckner receiving significant attention from the public and media, we are using Bruckner as a springboard for a new generation of young composers. Bruckner Casco shines a spotlight on Dutch composers, showcasing how captivating, accessible, comforting, and festive new music can be. Bruckner Casco is a festival that aims to add something new to what already exists. “Something new” can be entirely new music, unprecedented combinations of artistic content, or ventures into uncharted artistic territories. With a diversity of creative energies and drawing from Bruckner’s foundation, the festival seeks to add distinctive depth to the experience of art, challenging and entertaining a broad audience to ultimately generate contemporary relevance for the performing arts.

During the Festival, Bruckner serves as a springboard to contemporary music. Bruckner as a starting point that inspires composers in various ways. For nearly all the composers, this will be their first deep dive into Bruckner’s work. Each composer has a completely different point of connection with Bruckner, leading to surprising effects on their compositions. For some, Bruckner suddenly emerges in their work; for others, he moves like a shadow; and for another, he gets a figurative tap on the fingers. The result will be ten very diverse compositions—some closer to Bruckner, others far from him. Conversely, listeners will hear certain Bruckner traits in the new compositions that they might not have noticed before.

Anton Bruckner has no lack of attention when it comes to his music. He is regularly performed as an iconic composer and tops the wish lists of conductors. This hasn’t always been the case. When Bruckner composed his music, it received extremely mixed reactions. He was often ridiculed and laughed at by many musicians, critics, and programmers. However, with his Seventh Symphony in Leipzig, the tide turned. Eventually, Bruckner composed ten symphonies plus a Study Symphony, three major Masses, a stormy Te Deum, an exceptional String Quintet and Quartet, and many beautiful choral works. It remains intriguing why he never composed anything for his main instrument, the organ.