Introduction - full version

Tom writes:

"Though in many ways the Langvad Chamber Music Jamboree resembles many other summer music festivals it is, in some crucial ways, rather unique.  As elsewhere, there are concerts and rehearsals over a period of time each summer and people come from far and wide both to take part and to hear the concerts in delightful surroundings.  And make no mistake; there have been some astounding concerts over the years, enjoyed by a growing and increasingly loyal audience. 

But these fruits are the result of an energy first transmitted by the remarkable artist Kirsten Kjaer during the years she spent in Langvad - and later fostered over many more through the remarkable stewardship of Harald Fuglsang and John Anderson.  The building in 2008 of the splendid concert hall – John’s Hall – was the crowning glory of John and Harald’s many building projects for the museum.  It is an uplifting experience to listen or to play in this building with its flood of natural light and near perfect acoustics.  It is an inspiring and resonant centerpiece for the Jamboree.

Still palpable in the museum’s eccentric and disarmingly truthful atmosphere, Kirsten’s spirit is felt in the Jamboree’s motto: that people are at their happiest and most creative when allowed and encouraged to be most themselves.  Apparently running counter to the notion that being creative together might be about adhering to an agreed plan or the ‘pursuit of excellence’ or worse, cutting away the bits of oneself that don’t fit the pattern, the Jamboree operates more on the belief that the sensitive and creative individual will always contribute abundantly when encouraged and allowed.  Also that the last problem to worry about is that there might be too many ideas or too much invention. 

Those taking part give a full commitment of their time to the whole event and do not take any fees.  Where possible help is offered to those travelling long distances but beyond this the participants live and work in the museum’s guest accommodation.

Every year the invited group of fifteen or so musicians makes its own artistic and creative shape, living, working and playing together for some 12 days.   There are no teachers, gurus or masters - and therefore no pupils.  Indeed, there is no structure for the transfer of knowledge or wisdom from those who ‘know’ to those who don’t.  A master-class or master-course it is not.  Rather, each participant is cajoled, encouraged, and supported by the others.  A mixture of ages, nationalities, experience and background is sought each year to bring this most fluid of models to harvest.  A minimal structure of repertoire and rehearsals are arranged and set up each year.  But each group is different and each year is different.  All participants have found the Jamboree a deep and at times even an unsettling experience; but it has also been one with a great deal of fun and enjoyment and many have found it life changing. 

Over the years much repertoire of the classical canon has been played, from Bach to Bartok and Strauss to Schoenberg; but many new works have been created for the Jamboree and have received first performances here. 

Most years a ‘resident’ composer takes part, sometimes playing themselves in other roles; workshops on Jazz, free improvisation and even dance and Yoga have run alongside the concert repertoire.  There is too a profound belief in fun and humour, and in recent years the ‘Langvad Olympics’ have become a firm part of each Jamboree."