In this JAM article Malgorzata Zamorska evaluates the success of the concert Kwartludium in Wonderland in opening a door to contemporary music for children.
The energy between musicians and audiences is central to the Kwartludium ensemble - a small contemporary ensemble of violin, clarinet, percussion and piano.
Formed in Poland in 2002, the ensemble works with improvisations, graphic illustrations of the music and good old-fashioned talking with the audience as a way of securing energy and understanding between the musicians and the listeners.
To find new ways of presenting music and to develop its relationship with its audience, Kwartludium joined the New Music New Audiences Project sponsored by the European Union (EU) Culture fund. The goal of NewAud is to test and demonstrate new concert forms of contemporary music in cooperation with music ensembles from 17 European countries.
Each ensemble participating in the project was to prepare, present and evaluate concerts dedicated to a new audience - people who rarely or never listen to music. Kwartludium is the only one participating in the project that prepared a concert dedicated to children. The two concerts (for different age groups) entitled Kwartludium in Wonderland took place at the most prestigious festival for contemporary music in Poland - Warsaw Autumn in October 2013. Performers included; Dagna Sadkowska (violin), Michal Górczynski (clarinet, bass clarinet), Piotr Nowicki (piano), Pawel Nowicki (percussion). The musicians created the concert idea, played contemporary compositions and prepared and ran all the workshop activities during the concert.
A very important part of the event was the evaluation research, which I ran with the cooperation of the ensemble. The research was devised to learn more about the young audience and was required by the New Music New Audiences Project.