Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Musical Cross-Border Dialogue – Laptop Orchestra Reworks Missa Choralis by Franz Liszt

03.06.2010, Berlin – Pécs – Osijek | In 2010, the Ernst Schering Foundation and MitOst e.V. for the third time organized a joint competition – this year under the title “” ( The competition is designed to promote cultural projects that foster the long-term relationship between neighboring countries and/or in border regions in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe. One of the winning projects is the “Musical Cross-Border Dialogue” of the Berlin Laptop Orchestra. The Laptop Orchestra transforms classical music into contemporary electronic music and thus tries to sensitize young people and young adults from the Duna/Dráva border region between Pécs, Vukovár, and Osijek to the social and artistic transformation processes of our times. Grenzdialog

Ever since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the people in this region are experiencing a severe identity crisis. For most of them, the tension between adhering to old traditions and searching for new directions is a burden rather than an opportunity. This manifests itself in the rise of right-wing extremist parties or the fact that many 25- to 45-year-olds leave the region for the urban centers of Central Europe. The global economic crisis, which has hit Eastern Europe particularly hard, is not the cause, as might be assumed, but rather a catalyst for these developments. Led by Christian Gracza and Bettina Lehmann, the project team wants to use unusual contemporary means to reach their target group.

The project consists of several parts: First, the Laptop Orchestra “Endliche Automaten” (Finite-State Machines) goes on a composition tour from Berlin to Osijek via Pécs. In Pécs, a regional composer will re-work and set to the music the Missa Choralis by Franz Liszt for the Laptop Orchestra. In addition, there will be a ten-day public orchestra rehearsal, which will give the orchestra the opportunity to rehearse the upcoming concert in Osijek, provide an artistic framework for dealing with the genre, and generate the platform for a workshop on the question of the region’s identity in the Europe of the 21st century.

The “Musical Cross-Border Dialogue” will conclude with the premiere of the re-worked Missa Choralis for Laptop Orchestra at the City Galleries of Osijek. In this way, German artists cooperate with a local Hungarian composer to create musical art for a Croatian audience.

Through this novel approach of combining the final phase of the orchestra rehearsals with a workshop, Christian Gracza and Bettina Lehmann want to spark the interest of young people and young adults who are eager to deal with the problems of our times. Contemporary classical music provides the means to this end.

An important goal of the project is to communicate the avant-garde in audio-visual arts to Central, Southern and Eastern Europe while at the same time communicating each region’s trends in musical art across its borders. Producers, mediators and recipients are put in a position to deal with their cross-border neighbors and are sensitized to recognize both European commonalities and differences. Following this core philosophy, the project pursues one of the guiding ideas behind the identity discussion in Europe: “living cultural unity and living cultural diversity.”


June 18–20, 2010
Lenau House, Munkácsy M. u. 8, 7621 Pécs, Hungary


June 21, 2010
City Galleries Osijek, Fakultetska 7, 31000 Osijek, Croatia

Award Ceremony of 2010

The two winning projects – “Musical Cross-Border Dialogue” and “Track Changes” – will receive their awards during the MitOst Festival in Perm/Russia (October 13–17, 2010).

Photos: 1 – Setup Venue, Timişoara, © Hagen Wiel | 2 – Travel Impressions, © Marek Brandt | 3 – Barutana, Osijek, © Hagen Wiel





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