[Go Green] Music Biennale Zagreb
The programme of the 2023 edition of Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) had a strong focus on sustainability, not only in the narrow ecological sense, but also in the structure and selection of the programme. Commissioned compositions were performed several times (through co-productions, partnering with various concert cycles or connecting composers and musicians who wanted to work together). Among the highest priority decisions was conscious programming where gender equity had an important role; supporting female artists as well as discovering and reproducing neglected music by female avant-garde composers (e.g. Zagreb born Austrian composer Luna Alcalay). We aimed for the maximum use of resources so that foreign guests stayed for several days or during the entire festival and actively participated in numerous segments of the programme. We decided not to invite overseas guests and to change merchandise to non-disposable products to lower the CO2 and waste footprint of the festival.
MBZ presents programmes that deal with topics related to science and the environment (various sound-installations and interactive projects, botanical walks…) as well as developing projects with a focus on reconciliation (Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart – a project with young composers from the countries of former Yugoslavia). A strong focus has been on younger generations through a thoughtfully curated children's and youth programme (www.kidz.mbz.hr). MBZ revitalises and accesses many spaces especially for the festival's programme, focusing some programmes outside the city centre itself, as well as outside the established concert locations.
The festival answered the need to support Ukrainian artists and refugees with projects that aimed at better visibility and awareness of the current political situation in the context of the Croatian cultural and political scene. The Ukrainian guest performances were paired with artist talks and educational materials. The whole festival was designed to make changes within social, performing and artistic sustainability, never neglecting its main purpose, which is presenting contemporary music of the highest quality.
More info: Music Biennale Zagreb
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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