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Documentary “We are on Air!” ready for delivery

Author: Accentus Music

Accentus Music has completed post-production on its documentary celebrating the 100th anniversary of radio orchestras in Europe.

  • Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin | Copyright: © Rundfunkarchiv RSB

    Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin © Rundfunkarchiv RSB

  • WDR-Archiv | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    WDR-Archiv © Accentus Music

  • Probe des MDR Sinfonieorchesters mit Dennis Russell Davies | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    Probe des MDR Sinfonieorchesters mit Dennis Russell Davies © Accentus Music

On October 1923, the first "Funk-Stunde" starts in Berlin. The zero hour of radio entertainment not only stands for the technical advancement of broadcasting, but it also paves the way for a new body of sound: the radio orchestra.

To this day, the core tasks of a radio orchestra include music education projects and concert tours in the broadcasting area, as well as regular performances of contemporary orchestral works. From the very beginning, composers such as Stravinsky, Hindemith, Varese and Busoni have written commissioned works for the ensembles.

This founding mission still plays an important role. But what other demands are placed on radio orchestras? In recent years, many orchestras have fallen victim to mergers or even closures due to increasing pressure to legitimize themselves and save money. How can orchestras continue to justify their existence?

The 52-minute documentary "We are on Air – 100 Years of Radio Orchestras in Europe" is the first comprehensive look at the development of radio orchestras – a cultural history from the technological age closely linked to the history of the 20th century. At the same time, it explores their vision for the future. A film about tradition and innovation, identity, new music and the radio itself.

A 4K Production of Accentus Music
In Coproduction with MDR/Arte and ORF
A film by Magdalena Zięba-Schwind

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