Once Upon...Curiosity

about the project

The second edition of V Coloris’ new chamber music festival, under the overarching title “Once Upon…,” will be held from October 7th to 9th, 2023, at Koncertkirken in Copenhagen. The festival will focus on three individuals whom one should be curious to get to know. All three played significant roles in the music and cultural life of the 20th century, yet they did so without attracting the greatest attention. It seems that over time, awareness of these individuals and their accomplishments has diminished. Therefore, driven by curiosity and in collaboration with our audience and followers for the occasion of “Once Upon… Curiosity,” we aim to delve deeper into their stories. So, who are we talking about?

  • Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), who for decades taught and mentored numerous musicians and composers who would eventually shape the agenda of 20th-century music and cultural life.
  • Svend Christian Felumb (1898-1972), a Danish oboist who joined the Copenhagen Wind Quintet at an early age. He collaborated with Carl Nielsen and had Nielsen’s Wind Quintet Op. 43 written for the ensemble. Felumb demonstrated early networking skills, ambitious aspirations for art and music, and remarkable abilities in concert organization and other areas. At the age of 23, he established the music association Ny Musik, which became influential. Along the way, he acquired skills in conducting, arranging, composition, and teaching, benefiting many people with his creative mind.
  • Paul Sacher (1906-1999) provided invaluable support—financially, artistically, and business-wise—to numerous prominent composers and music personalities of the 20th century. One example among many is the composer György Ligeti, who would have turned 100 years old in 2023, and whom we will also celebrate at the festival.

During “Once Upon… Curiosity,” we will pay tribute to these three individuals for their unwavering love for music and their generous investment in others and their musical projects. A fulfilling life (with music) often results from being able to absorb and ride the waves set in motion by others in one’s youth, and later, with accumulated experience, to sow new seeds and pass the baton.

Building on the tradition of commemorating the anniversary of the first public performance of Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet Op. 43 on October 9th, 1922, we will explore new and different approaches with Nielsen’s quintet, contrasting it with the approach taken during “Once Upon… Infinity” from October 7th to 10th, 2022, where we aimed to recreate the concert of October 9th, 1922, as faithfully as possible. In 2023, Nielsen’s quintet will be analyzed and presented from fresh perspectives and challenged by the other works featured in the festival. Just as Nielsen composed his quintet inspired by Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante K.297b, we have asked composer Mette Nielsen to continue the series by writing a piece inspired by the aforementioned works of Nielsen and Mozart. This new composition will be premiered in the same concert where we perform Nielsen’s Wind Quintet.


Joining us artistically for “Once Upon… Curiosity” are pianist Marianna Shirinyan, violinist Anna Agafia, violist Dana Zemtsov, cellist Andrei Ionita, and harpist Zach Hatcher. They will assist us in conveying the curious stories of the three music enthusiasts in focus. Similar to the 2022 festival, an important aspect of the 2023 festival will be a family concert, which, like last year, will take place at Folkehuset Absalon and be hosted by Christine Skou. However