O/Modernt (Swedish for ‘Un/Modern’) is the innovative concept devised a decade ago by violinist, conductor and artistic director Hugo Ticciati. Combining old and new in unexpected ways, O/Modernt celebrates connectivity in and through the arts, aiming to bring about a heightened awareness of connections that span times, cultures and peoples. Our international programme of activities is focused on exploring artistic links between contemporary culture and the cultures of previous epochs, bringing together people from all walks of life, and re/connecting people with themselves by promoting active, imaginative engagement with music and the arts. Outward-looking, inclusive and passionate about breaking down boundaries, O/Modernt’s philosophy is encapsulated in our motto, borrowed from John Cage: Invent the past. Revise the future.
Taking the past as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists working in every creative field, the O/Modernt spirit of reinvention finds expression in an expansive array of performances, events and projects.
Invent the past. Revise the future. — John Cage
The combination of ‘old’ (Swedish omodernt) and ‘new’ (Swedish modernt) acquires an extra dimension with the introduction of the solidus (/) that adds old to new and new to old, and thereby proudly defines us as ‘(un)modern’. There are further hidden messages, however. O/Modernt is abbreviated as OM, which in Indian thought represents the primordial vibrational sound from which the universe emanated – a mantra chanted by millions the world over. The backwards, upside-down, lower-case E (ə, ‘schwa’, from the Hebrew shva via German Schwa) signifies the ego and is a gentle reminder for us not to cling to its persistent claims, but rather to turn back and rediscover ourselves in the ever-present rhythmic energy of the sounding now.
This is the vision and aspiration of O/Modernt – to awaken people’s curiosity, to inspire them to rediscover the magic of the present moment, and to challenge them to release their egos from conditioned habit.
The keystone of our music-making is the internationally renowned O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra expands to perform large-scale works and thrives in creative collaborations with classical, rock and jazz artists, as well as rappers, harmonic singers, Indian musicians and even rock balancers!
Complementing the chamber orchestra is the O/Modernt Soloists, a flexible ensemble that focuses on world-class chamber music programmes, dazzling audiences with their artistry, bubbling energy, spontaneity and endless creativity.
Staged in June at Ulriksdal Palace Theatre in Stockholm, Festival O/Modernt is the highlight of our season. We gather a wonderful array of artists from around the world to share the stage with emerging talents for a week of concerts and arts events. The weeklong journey takes its inspiration from a noted composer of the past, who is celebrated through imaginative programming and unexpexted artistic juxtapositions.
Since its inception O/Modernt has wholeheartedly embraced the world of New Music, collaborating with composers all over the world. As lead Commissioner we have co-commissioned more than forty new works to date, ranging from short pieces for solo harpsichord to fully orchestrated cantatas and symphonic works.
Since 2019 O/Modernt hosts an annual Composition Award, in partnership with distinguished institutions from Sweden and other European countries, to encourage young aspiring composers at an early stage in their careers.
O/Modernt Academy and O/Modernt New Generation are our educational platforms that nurture the development of young aspiring musicians. While the New Generation scheme provides outstanding musical tuition and performance opportunities, the Academy grounds the tuition in a truly holistic approach that harks back to the academies of ancient Greece. The artistic creativity of well-rounded individuals is conceived as being the heartbeat of a flourishing society.
O/Modernt critically acclaimed Recordings are produced and released in partnership with the UK label Signum Classics, with whom we continue to work on our ongoing themed series with scheduled releases in 2021 and 2022.
An independent award-winning Publishing Programme responsible for the annual festival booklet as well as stand-alone titles, all produced to the very highest standards.
Expanding O/Modernt’s horizons, we have developed successful Outreach Programmes in Sweden and India, as well as Musical-Culinary Retreats in Italy.
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O/Modernt is made possible by a wonderful family of friends and volunteers, young and old. The Friends Scheme provides you with a great way to support the O/Modernt Charity and to join a community of like-minded people, united by a passion for creativity without borders. As well as receiving exclusive benefits, you will become an integral part of the O/Modernt family and play your role in its exciting future.
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Meet our creative and dynamic team who embrace the world of art with curiosity, open-mindedness and a good dose of fun!