Edition I

Artistic Theme

Music and Environment


As an opening subject MusMA will focus on “Music and Environment”, in the broad sense of the word, not only as the natural world but with all kind of surrounding influences included. All the artistic directors gather to deepen this topic and arrange the exchanges.

The idea of environment will thus be interpreted in different ways by every composers and therefore each festival will take on a different declination of the theme, ranging from cultural environment to primary environment, traditional environment or even ideological


The Musicians

Marcin Markowicz and the Lutoslawski Quartet in the KlaraFestival


On Thursday, 16 September, Polish contemporary composer Marcin Markowicz and the Lutoslawski Quartet Wroclaw, performed Markowicz’s compositions in a Late Night concert of the KlaraFestival in Bozar.

Markowicz has been concert master for the Witold Lutoslawski Philharmonic and Artistic Director for the Ensemble International Chamber Music Festival. He is a skilled violinist with a strong desire to compose pieces for his instrument, in spite of having no formal training in composition. One of his compositions received an award of distinction at the Panufnik Composers Competition in Krakow and his compositions have been performed at festivals in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and the US.

Marcin Markowicz’s compositions are framed in known musical formats and tinted with an interesting rhythmical dynamic and as such within easy reach of any listener; From the moment the ensemble struck their first note in the intimate surroundings of the lounge, the audience was absorbed. The composer himself was playing in the quartet and the interaction between the four musicians was delightful while drawing the crowd into their close circle.

The following day, Markowicz and the Belgian composer Thomas Smetryns met for a panel discussion moderated by Maarten Beirens. A lively dialogue of the composers’ backgrounds ensued and sources of inspiration were tabled for discussion. The two composers showed how they have very distinct inspirations and reasons for composing; While Marcin Markowicz believed that once he’d written his score, he could let it go and allow others to interpret it in the way they felt best, Smetryns preferred to write specifically for musicians with whom he could interact in the composition development.

In short, panel ánd performance: a remarkable encounter!


Before the festival seasons begin, a workshop encouraging the exchange and dialogue between composers, musicians and public of directors from radio stations and festival directors will take place. The composers get the chance to work alongside the musician(s), to breathe life into the piece.

In a way, it is going to challenge the different approaches of the composers to the same topic. It is the purpose to broach the subject of the yearly topic from a broader angle.

This kind of dialogue was shown to play a vital role in the evolution of the work of the contemporary composers, who generally walk their own and lonely path. In addition, journalists (and other interested people) may take part and record corresponding information like rehearsals, interviews and interactions.