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A symphony born in the moment

How can music be created spontaneously and in contact with the audience? Where do improvisation and composition meet? Could even an entire symphony be improvised?

Groove - movement - eye contact. The aim of the #improphonie is to capture the magic of collective, free improvisation in its spontaneity and to give it its own space as an independent work. With this, the individual characteristics of the musicians become the driving force behind the piece, and communication becomes the actual composer.

Unlike most of Stegreif's programmes, the #improphonie is not centered around the recomposition of an existing symphonic work, but is based exclusively on improvisational concepts. Alongside the musicians, the audience journeys through the movements of a wholly unique symphony that can be experienced only once, as it is created in the same moment that it is being heard.

FAZ, 27.09.2022

»The most striking overall impression was the atmosphere: away from the spectacular, theatrical, merely entertaining; towards attentiveness, humility and appreciation.«

Header image: Navina Neuschl


Artistic director
Juri de Marco & Lorenz Blaumer

Composition, arrangement and conception
Bertram Burkert

Direction, Choreography
Lea Hladka

Costume and stage
Anja Kreher

Like a classical symphony, the #improphonie consists of 4 movements in which different musical elements are presented and developed. The first three movements of this work each deal with the aspects of melody, harmony and rhythm. These are collectively and individually examined from different angles by the orchestra. While the first movement toys with the contrasts between individual melodic voices and full orchestral sound, the second movement focuses on solos within a harmonic soundscape. In the third movement, the orchestra connects through rhythms, energy and movement. The concluding fourth movement does not follow any fixed form, so that it can be completely reshaped with each concert. Unlike in a classical symphony, there are no pauses between the movements; instead, the transitions are marked by sung choruses.

As such, the border between composition and improvisation is blurred in this constantly shifting concert programme. Throughout the performance, Stegreif’s full palette of sounds is on impressive display, ranging from traditional classical and jazz playing styles, over exciting extended instrumental techniques, to collective singing and intense silence. This magnificent mixture is accompanied by a choreographic improvisation, taking place directly amongst the free-moving audience, which is interactively involved as a core element of the performance and is invited to sing and dance along.


#Improphonie is supported by: