Actually, it was supposed to be a festival of encounters with a program full of unexpected connections between various cultures and musical genres. Roughly thirty musicians from non-European countries – Egypt, Australia, and Israel, among others – were scheduled to perform this fall at the Tyrolean Klangspuren festival, but most of them are not allowed to enter Austria at the moment. In the face of rising infection numbers across the globe, the pandemic situation continues to be so unstable that we cannot predict what it will be like in Austria in September after the loosening of restrictions for summer vacation.

IMPROV #1–#6

The most prominent and internationally known representatives of the Austrian improvisation scene will take the stage in six back-to-back concerts on September 18 and 19, 2020, in an improv focus at the Klangspuren festival in Schwaz. From electronic music to chamber music improvisations to rich fusion sounds, audiences can hear the entire spectrum of the experimental scene. Special guest is Frank Gratkowski, whose turn as the Composer in Residence of the festival has been postponed until 2021 due to Corona, but who will be performing this fall as a duo with Elisabeth Harnik.

For these reasons, Klangspuren’s directors have decided to restructure the festival to take the Corona situation into account. The new motto is “Marking Time”. The idea was to put together a program that would, from today’s perspective, have not just a vague possibility but a high probability of being realized. To this end, almost all the musicians performing at this year’s Klangspuren festival currently live in Austria and are thus less likely to be hindered by travel restrictions.This gives us the opportunity to emphasize the enormous density of first-class, internationally recognized musicians from Austria – whether from the con-temporary composed music or free improvisation scenes. The crème de la crème of the experimental scene in Austria will come together in an improvisation focus on September 18/19, 2020. And during the course of the festival all four major Austrian contemporary music ensembles will perform in Tyrol: from PHACE (09/12), to oenm (09/13) and Studio Dan (09/17), to Klangforum Wien (09/20).



Internationality is of particular importance to the members of the Ensemble Modern, this also applies to the training and instruction of young musicians. In this respect, the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), which is held annually at Klangspuren festival, has been forced by the pandemic to make some bitter adjust-ments. Due to current travel restrictions, only musicians from Europe will be able to come to Tyrol, and rehearsals must be conducted in small groups, thus the Acade-my will assume an emphasis more oriented on chamber music. Moreover, Adriana Hölszky and Frank Gratkowski, who were supposed to be the Artists in Residence in 2020, will serve in this capacity in 2021. IEMA scholarship recipients will neverthe-less be participating in three Klangspuren projects in 2020: in the Musical Hike with “City Shorts” in Schwaz (09/12), in the Wandelkonzert (09/14), and in the traditional closing concert (09/16) at the Haus der Musik in Innsbruck.