Elbphilharmonie Offstage #08 – The Concert of the Future

Will the concerts of tomorrow take place in virtual reality? Pauline and Julian discuss this question with Joosten Ellée, the young director of PODIUM Festival Esslingen.

Please note: This podcast is only available in German.

In the second season of the Elbphilharmonie podcast »Offstage« we are looking to the future. After spending the first episode philosophising about what the future even is and how our narrative about it comes about, things are now getting far more concrete.

Our special guest is Joosten Ellée, the young festival director of PODIUM Festival Esslingen, who, both as a musician and as an event organiser, is always pushing the boundaries of what a concert can be. The perfect person, then, to help us discover how the concert of the future will sound and how the Elbphilharmonie is already playing its part in shaping that process.

The Concert of THE FUTURE

Alongside the discussion about systemically important roles, a prevailing topic during the coronavirus lockdown period was the constant availability of digital concerts. Having previously been a niche product in the world of classical music, the flood of streams kindled a heated debate about the future of the concert, the like of which we haven’t seen for some time. Putting aside the initial hysteria, it quickly became apparent that streamed concerts only achieve the magic of a live concert in the rarest of cases. And projects that deliver the added value of interactivity through the online medium also remain the exception, rather than the rule.

At a time when most people are delighted to be returning to “normal”, in which direction is the future of the concert going? That’s what we’ll be finding out in this episode. What lessons should be learned from the pandemic period, and do we really have to reinvent the wheel in order to get the classical concert ready for the future?

This episode was recorded in August 2021.

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Step by Step

For Joosten Ellée, a good concert depends on a number of factors that can all come together on the night. First, the perfect synergy of venue, communication with the audience and the contextualisation of different styles can turn perfectly performed music into a truly great concert experience.

And that’s precisely what it’s all about for Ellée when it comes to the concert of the future. An honest look at the situation and no virtual reality glasses. So it could all be so easy.

Joosten Ellee © Daniel Dittus

About Joosten Ellée

Joosten Ellée, who was born in Leer, East Friesland, in 1992, is a classically trained violinist, ensemble founder and artistic director of PODIUM Esslingen. He plays with the Hamburg-based ensemble reflektor, which he co-founded in 2015. He is also the ensemble’s concert master and concert dramaturg. He is a vocal advocate of more diversity in concert programmes!

In early 2022, he was appointed the artistic director of the progressive festival PODIUM Esslingen, where he now takes the future of the concert into his own hands not only as a musician but also as a curator.

Text: Julian Conrad, last updated: 18 March 2022

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