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Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Our Big Swedish Winter Wonderland Guide

Karin Lekteus, flute, Víkingur Ólafsson, piano, and Jan-Erik Gustafsson, cello. Älvdalen Church, 2016. Photo: Martin Litens

Dalasinfoniettan and conductor Daniel Blendulf from the 2016 opening concert in Mora Church. Photo: Martin Litens

Forbidden Music at Vinterfest 2017, with artistic director Víkingur Ólafsson. Photo: Ryan Garrison

Forbidden music at a winter festival With first-class musical performances in the middle of Dalarna’s stunning countryside, this year’s Vinterfest presents a creative platform to explore the dynamics of music, politics and power. By Malin Norman

The international chamber music festival Vinterfest takes place 16-19 February in Mora, Orsa and Älvdalen. Born from a collaboration with Music in Dalarna and local cultural administrations, and hosted by the orchestra Dalasinfoniettan, it has been described by BBC Magazine as “one of Europe’s most enjoyable festivals” and praised by The Times as “a classical music festival that rocks”. Iceland’s rising star pianist Víkingur Ólafsson is artistic director and explains this year’s theme, Forbidden Music, which is a tribute to freedom of expression. “The idea of forbidden music has grown with me for a few years, as we have seen politics go into the extreme with nationalistic tendencies both left and right. Freedom of democracy and expression should not to be taken for granted, and I

wanted the festival to examine the theme of music as a political tool.” For over ten years, the festival has continued to provide inspiration through its innovative performances and intimate atmosphere. Ólafsson first played at the festival in 2011 and is now artistic director for the second year, again challenging the music scene with his creative visions. “Classical seems to imply something ancient, but music does not exist only in the past,” he says. “If you play a piece by Bach today with your own convictions, it’s completely new and fresh.” Visitors can expect a festival that is different from any other, set in a stunning winter landscape and with world-class musicians coming together for a few days to create magic. Concerts range

from Fanny or Felix, a tribute to the musical genius of women who fought for the right to make music, to Diabolus in Musica which celebrates the expressive powers of religion and the devil in music. Other highlights include the bittersweet pleasures of Forbidden Love and Forbidden Tango, and Triptyk Relay Concert x 3 with the controversial Swingjugend in Hitler’s Germany. Ólafsson recommends the opening concert Tabula Rasa with a mix of music, politics and power from Mozart’s struggle with the aristocracy of his time to Arvo Pärt’s eight-year self-imposed silence in the Soviet Union. “All our performances are very interesting with different aspects on the same theme, told through a number of stories,” says Ólafsson. “Come to the opening show to see how great it is, and you will want to see all the rest!”

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Issue 95  |  December 2016  |  37

Scan Magazine, Issue 95, December 2016  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish skiing ace Charlotte Kalla.

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