VC INTERVIEW | Michael Dreyer, Founder and Creative Director of Morgenland Pageant Osnabrueck

(Photograph credit score: Liudmila Jeremies)


In 2016, the Morgenland Pageant Osnabrück, along with the Institute for Music of the College for Utilized Science (Hochschule) Osnabrück, began the Morgenland Campus.

Open to 30 college students from world wide, campus participation is freed from cost to these chosen. The week-long workshop gives college students the chance to work with musicians of the Pageant to study non-Western musical kinds akin to Arabian music and varied Asian genres. Tutors hail from Tehran, Beirut, and Damascus in addition to Paris, New York, and Cologne.

This yr, the competition is collaborating with the Stauffer Middle for Strings, which is able to host this yr’s Campus in Cremona, Italy.

The Violin Channel had the chance to speak to Morgenland Pageant’s founder and Creative Director, Michael Dreyer, to be taught extra.


In 2005, you based the Morgenland Pageant Osnabrück. Are you able to inform us in regards to the mission of the competition and your imaginative and prescient behind this challenge?

The Morgenland Pageant Osnabrück has devoted itself to the fascinating music tradition of the Close to and Center East, from conventional music, to traditional and avant-garde, to jazz and rock. Usually, when a program focuses on one area, cliché themes and pictures could be shaped. The competition has set itself the purpose of counteracting these photographs with genuine ones.

The primary concept for this competition was born once I acknowledged that every one my associates and colleagues who’re working as musicians, musicologists, and journalists, didn’t know something in regards to the musical scene within the Arab world, Iran, and Central Asia. If there was any protection, it was on the earth music scene.

On the identical time, we heard about political conflicts in a few of these area daily. It dawned on me that we knew so little in regards to the civil society and tradition of a area that’s so wealthy and essential!


How did you get launched to Arabian music and music from Asia?

I began touring the area in 2004 and doubtless made greater than 100 journeys to Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgisistan, Xinjiang, and the Caucasus.

I met musicians in bars, live performance halls, and music academies. I’m so grateful to the gorgeous individuals, who later turned dearest associates, for introducing me to their musical world.

The inspiration for the Morgenland Pageant got here from this publicity to a complete new and extremely wealthy musical world. We talked so much about post-colonialism and Europe-centrism, and its essential penalties. Nonetheless, it’s not centered on political correctness. Reasonably, the competition celebrates the superb music and sweetness that we merely have not heard earlier than. What a present to get to understand it!

In addition to that, I all the time thought that an actual dialogue between musical idioms, just like the maqam based mostly system and our chromatic system is a vital a part of musical avant-garde.


Why do you assume it’s essential for younger classical musicians to play non-Western musical kinds?

We reside in 2022, we have now entry to a lot musical materials and concepts. How may we not use them? How may we not be excited to study them? What’s musical avant-garde after 4:33 of John Cage, a bit that at this level is 70 years previous! I encourage younger musicians to ask these questions. 

One other essential level is that our societies in Europe and the U.S., have been multi-cultural for many years. The music that’s performed in the primary live performance halls is totally anachronistic. It ought to mirror our society and the multitude of our cultural influences, shouldn’t it?

And once more: what pleasure and pleasure it’s to study extra totally different musical languages. Possibly younger musicians can use them later in their very own musical work, perhaps not – however we have now the choice and we’re not restricted.


How did you determine to provoke the Morgenland Campus and what’s your purpose for musicians attending?

Throughout the competition, we host a lot of excellent musicians, so it made sense for them to supply workshops for college students. Shortly, it turned its personal challenge and in 2016, the Morgenland Pageant Osnabrück, along with the Institute for Music of the College for Utilized Science Osnabrück, began the “Morgenland Campus.” The purpose is to supply insights and encourage the scholars to widen their horizons.


For which musicians is it finest suited?

The Morgenland Campus addresses all college students of music institutes that goal to change into skilled musicians, aged between 18 and 30 years previous. This yr is a particular version provided explicitly to string gamers and we’re very excited to collaborate with the Stauffer Middle for Strings. 


How did the collaboration with the Stauffer Middle for Strings come about?

The founding director common of the Stauffer Middle for Strings, Paolo Petrocelli, invited me to Cremona a yr in the past. We shortly understood that we share many concepts about music, training, and tradition in our society. So we determined to affix forces and convey the Campus to Cremona in 2022. I believe this can be a actual win-win state of affairs and I’m very grateful for this collaboration.


What suggestions have you ever gotten from earlier college students?

We’ve obtained actually lovely responses within the final years, a lot of which point out that Morgenland Campus was “a life-changing expertise.”

Different items of suggestions embody that it’s “such an inspiring time, a wonderful alternative to dive in into one other musical world along with individuals who share the identical ardour.” 

One participant wrote that it’s about “opening new doorways not solely concerning new fashion of music however additionally of what it means to make music collectively and what an significance it has to encourage one another with new concepts.”


What are you most trying ahead to at this yr’s version of the Morgenland Campus? 

I’m thrilled to deliver the Morgenland Campus to such a unprecedented place, the Stauffer Middle for Strings. It’s so distinctive and the entire metropolis of Cremona is, after all, distinctive within the string world. Additionally. I’m very a lot trying ahead to working with Paolo Petrocelli and the gorgeous workforce that joins him at Stauffer Middle for Strings.