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Flute quartet Northern Breeze represented UiA in Leipzig

For the third time, one of UiA's chamber music groups was invited to the famous European Chamber Music Academy in Leipzig on the occasion of the music festival EKAL 2022.

Photo of Northern Breeze , flute quartet from UiA
UiA flutists Mengran Wu, Laura Nagyová, Thea Schubert and Marie Haugejorden Schau / Northern Breeze were invited to the well-known chamber music festival EKAL 2022 in Leipzig in September.

A trio with flute, cello and piano participated in 2019 and two years later a piano trio made the trip to Leipzig. This year UiA participated with the flute quartet Northern Breeze, consisting of Mengran Wu, Marie Haugejorden Schau, Laura Nagyová and Thea Schubert.

UiA professors Jørn Schau and Cordula Hacke at UiA’s Department of Classical Music and Music Ecucation consider it a great honor to be invited to the festival in the culturally rich city of Leipzig. They have a combined, large network within the European classical music world. This has contributed to UiA also being given the opportunity this year to participate in the high-profile EU-funded project of which EKAL 2022 is a part.

"The collaboration has been very successful. Our institute has become a partner institute and this has contributed to increased international publicity for us", says Cordula Hacke, who is project manager together with colleague Jørn Schau.

A great honor

The four flautists in Northern Breeze decided to establish the ensemble during their master's studies at UiA. The support from the institute became important as they began to focus more and more on flute ensemble music from different eras and countries. The international programmatic orientation also has a background in the international profile of the group, with members from China, Norway, Slovakia and Germany.

"It was a great honor to be allowed to play concerts in such a historically important city as Leipzig, and you could almost sense the historic whir of wings that surrounds the city", says Marie Haugejorden Schau.

"Meeting ensembles from all over Europe was also very inspiring. The trip to Leipzig has provided many new positive experiences that we as an ensemble can build on", she says.

Photo from rehearsal EKAL 2022

Northern Breeze played several concerts in Leipzig, including in the Mendelssohn Haus and in the music college's concert hall.

New motivation

"EKAL was a perfect start to the new academic year. Being surrounded by talented young musicians, getting feedback from professionals, spending a week in a city full of musical history and playing concerts for an international audience in an enthusiastic atmosphere not only brought new experiences, acquaintances and inspiration. Most of all, I am left with a motivation to continue with our own ensemble", says Laura Nagyová.

Thea Schubert describes the week in Leipzig as both exciting, educational, intensive and demanding.

"Above all it was a unique experience. We are happy that we had the opportunity to professionalize our collaboration in the ensemble and represent UiA at an international festival", she says.

Concerts and music history

The concerts are one part of the event, but the value of the project also lies in meeting the other ensembles and teachers in Leipzig. Among other things, the participants got to experience a guided tour to the most important music-historical places in the city, as well as seminars and social gatherings.

Northern Breeze played several concerts in Leipzig, including in the Mendelssohn Haus and in the music college's concert hall. The other chamber music groups involved came from Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and from the German colleges in Weimar and Leipzig.

The program for UiA's flute quartet consisted of the following works:

  • Edward Grieg: Holberg Suite
  • Anze Rozman: Aqua & Ventus
  • Marc Berthomieu: Arcadie
  • Eugène Bozza: Trois Pièces
  • Terje Mathisen: Suite for 4 Flutes

Video from Northern Breeze's final concert: