Quasar Ensemble will be resident at the Kasárne/Kulturpark in 2013

During their residency at the Kasárne/Kulturpark, the ensemble will mediate to Košice the top quality of the world’s contemporary music scene. Chamber concerts of the first half of 2013 will be held at the VojtechLöfflerMuseum, and then the concerts will move to the premises of the Cultural Centre after its reconstruction. The residential ensemble intends to create a permanent venue in Košice for a quality performance of chamber music of international standards.

Ján Sudzina, director of Košice – 2013, n.o., sees many positives in the performances of the chamber ensemble: “From my point of view, three aspects are important in relation to the residency of Quasar Ensemble. The purpose of the Kasárne/Kulturpark’s residential ensemble, that is the prestigious chamber band Quasar Ensemble, is to create a space for artists to work in Košice, to have the will and desire to return to Košice and create in this city and region.

An equally important aspect is that Košice does not have a performing art school, or a vivid and vibrant community. Therefore, Quasar Ensemble might fill this gap by creating educational projects, workshops for students and composers-novices. Thus we would like to substitute what is common at world-class universities, to achieve in the city the formation of a permanent audience of the residential ensemble.

The third aspect is that there were many musical works created in Košice in the past, and these can be reborn and presented not only in Slovakia but also abroad thanks to Quasar Ensemble.”

Chamber grouping Quasar Ensemble originated from the inspirational impulse from composer Ivan Buffa back in 2008. In five years, Quasar Ensemble has established as an internationally recognised act and performer of contemporary classical music. The ensemble is a regular guest at prestigious international festivals (Ost-West-Podium Kassel, Villa Concordia Bamberg, Musica Viva Lisabon, Festivais de Outono Aveiro, Forfest Kroměříž, Ostravské dni (Ostrava Days), Čtvero ročních období Ostrava (The Four Seasons Ostrava), Svatováclavský hudební festival Ostrava (St. Wenceslas Music Festival Ostrava), Krakow Composers Festival, Arcus Temporum, Varna Summer International Music Festival, etc.) where it successfully represents our country.

A unique feature of Quasar Ensemble is that it deals with contemporary classical music to the same extend as to the music of earlier eras, and gains international respect for their courageously built dramaturgical concepts that never lack the music by Slovak composers. The ensemble’s priorities, however, include the juxtaposition of the Baroque repertoire, Classical-Romantic era and new compositions (e.g. the project “Bach in the context”, etc.), as well as the performance of significant ensemble works of the 20th century.

Conductor and artistic director of the ensemble, Ivan Buffa, says of Quasar Ensemble: “Quasar Ensemble – Kasárne/Kulturpark’s residential ensemble – is way up to become a leading Slovak musical ensemble that has performed at the most prestigious national and international festivals, such as the legendary Summer Holiday Courses in Darmstadt, Germany, or Warsaw Autumn.

It is an important partner of the international music scene in contemporary and traditional classical music. Its long-standing effort to make accessible to the Slovak audiences the never-before-performed significant works of the 20th century music, together with performances with distinguished guests from all around the world, can assist significantly in arousing the interest of the Košice audience in a wider spectrum of musical arts. The chamber ensemble medium has dominated in the late 20th-century and early 21st-century compositions by contemporary authors, and stands at the intersection of chamber and orchestral music in the entire varied colour palette that the instruments can play.

Chamber music sessions have had a long tradition in Košice. Its revival, as a reminiscence of the unforgettable experience from the concerting legends such as Prokopieff, Bartók, Richter, Kremer or Ysaÿe, is more than real today. Most members of the ensemble come from Košice or the region of East Slovakia, and therefore they naturally blend in the region via concerts, other educational projects, workshops, and meetings with artists and composers of a world-wide reputation.

The residential project will also provide the necessary artistic background for the ensemble, Košice will once again have the only permanent artistic grouping of its kind in Slovakia, which, however, has worked in all developed and cultural countries of Europe,” concludes Ivan Buffa.

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