The dream of European unification, peace and international understanding was already an inspiration for Ludwig van Beethoven. In 2020, the 250th anniversary of his birth. For a young generation of Europeans, the time of borders and barriers was long gone – until the corona pandemic painfully reminded us that open borders in Europe cannot be taken for granted. The KOG sees itself as part of a European community of citizens working to deepen European integration on the ground. To offer young musicians – regardless of their origin – the opportunity to participate in shaping the cultural landscape of our internationally shaped home region as part of a whole, fills us with joy and distinguishes us from comparable, regionally active ensembles.
An orchestra for the greater region
Big things always come from small things – we have adopted this slogan of the Saarland in many ways. First and foremost, we’ve chosen Merzig, the city at the border triangle of Germany, France and Luxembourg as the KOG’s home.
Providing rural areas with art and culture, intensifying networks in the local scene and ensuring concert experiences beyond the “QuattroPole” region pose challenges for culture providers. As a chamber orchestra, we would like to respond to this challenge and create an offer that is open to all citizens, including those rooted in rural areas:
live classical music in its immediacy as a natural part of social and cultural life.
Venturing a post-pandemic awakening
Transitioning from study to work is a challenge in any profession. It’s a special one in the music profession as well.
Particularly in recent years, the main focus of professional activity for many has shifted away from lifelong permanent positions in opera or radio orchestras and towards broad-based freelance work. This concept of freedom might well lead to diverging responses. However, the pandemic has shown: if concerts and performance opportunities disappear, this freedom sometimes becomes even more difficult to define and shape.
Against this background, it’s no coincidence that the KOG was founded during this period. We want to live a vision in which the cultural sector turns back to its nucleus, society, opens up to it and creates offerings that promote deeper integration.
As an ensemble of professional musicians and top students, we’d like to set an example: that a situation can be improved by means of energy and creative will, and that we can unite people from differing geographical origins – and musical as well – in order to bring the music that comes from our hearts into the world together.