Contemporary Leader Edward Kass

Conteporary Leader Edward Kass on the creation of the new "Forward" Festival.

What is your approach to new music?

I try to approach each new piece with open ears. What story do these sounds tell? Who are they telling their story to? Music is a form of storytelling, even when it’s completely abstract or experimental. The only way to really understand a story is listening without judgement, so that’s always where I try to start with new music.

Can you tell us what new music means to you in one word?

Adventure

What is your connection to Lucerne Festival?

Lucerne Festival is one of my favorite places to make music. I participated in the Lucerne Festival Academy from 2014 through 2017. Coming back to perform with the LFA Alumni Ensemble in 2019 felt like coming home!

What especially appeals to you about Lucerne Festival Forward?

“Forward” gives agency to the musicians – Lucerne Festival Academy alumni – and lets us determine what direction to take the festival. This means we’re able bring together many perspectives to make sure we’re always looking forward to the future of music: new voices, new composers, new experiences, and new sounds.

How do you feel about the co-curation process?

There’s been a learning curve for sure, but I think we can be really proud of what we’re presenting. It’s a difficult balance figuring out how to ensure that everyone gets to share their thoughts while also making sure we actually make decisions and move forward. After all, there are 18 of us! That said, everyone is so committed, passionate, and thoughtful that I always leave our meetings inspired and full of new ideas.

What can viewers expect from their participation in the webinars on 23 and 30 July?

Both webinars give you a chance to learn more about the process and concepts behind Festival Forward. At the first webinar you’ll hear about the overall themes, planning process, and who we are. At the second webinar you’ll get an in-depth view of a few specific pieces and how they relate to the festival’s main themes.

Find out more and register for the webinars here.

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