LUDWIG was founded in 2012 by six Dutch orchestral musicians. The collective was named after cultural entrepreneur avant la lettre – Beethoven. In the past years LUDWIG has grown into a fearless collective of musicians, artists, scientists, care professionals and innovators developing a wide range of projects together within three main narratives:
LUDWIG’s programming is as thoroughly thought out as it is adventurous. Artistic director Peppie Wiersma effortlessly brings together composers from different time periods, styles, and backgrounds. The musicians perform the greatest music to the highest possible standard but free from the organisational and management norms of conventional ensembles and orchestras. And distinctive it certainly is: the musicians often interact directly with their audience, play from memory, experiment with different forms of presentation and collaborate with makers in other disciplines in order to change the way people experience a concert, and have staged a number of legendary appearances with leading soloists.
LUDWIG maintains a close collaboration with the innovative conductor/singer Barbara Hannigan. In 2017, after an extensive tour of Europe, they recorded their first album ‘Crazy Girl Crazy’, which was awarded a Grammy in January 2018. In 2020 followed the second album ‘La Passione,’ winner of the Record Academy Award in the Contemporary Music category. In spring 2019 Barbara Hannigan and LUDWIG toured with nine different programmes, among which Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress, which was performed in venues including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Paris, Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and Ojai Festival (California).
LUDWIG & THE BRAIN
Why is it that people with dementia seem to connect to music when most other forms of communication seem to deteriorate? And why does music offer solace in times of loss or pain? How and why do we connect to certain types of music more than others? Is it good for very young infants to be exposed to many different styles of music? Since the beginning of LUDWIG, we have been intrigued by the effects of music on the human brain.
In a series of Brainwaves LUDWIG explores the world of Music and the Brain in live music symposia to create context, invoke discussion and initiate research. In 2016 we presented Brainwave 1 Music and Identity, in 2017 Brainwave 2 Music as Medicine, in 2018 Brainwave 3 Music and the Future. In 2019 we premiered Brainwave 4 The dancing Brain, a collaboration with Professor Erik Scherder and Cuna Knegt (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Currently, this programme is being further developed on a national level to inspire people to start moving and dance to their favourite tunes of LUDWIG’s Ballroom Band. A cd with LUDWIG’s Ballroom Band with special guests Barbara Hannigan (soprano), Lucienne Renaudin-Vary (trumpet) and Jess Gillam (saxophone) will be released in the autumn of 2021.
LUDWIG & THE WORLD
We use the power of art to expand our creative powers to connect with the planet on which we live. As artists and relative outsiders we can reflect on the problems the world is facing today in order to invoke progress and encourage change. Verdronken Land (Drowned Lands, 2019) was our first project on climate change: in June 2019 several artists and more than 25 speakers shared their knowledge about water in our pop-up museum and exchanged information for possible collaborations in the future. Later, we initiated WaterWalks: an international project to raise awareness about the state of our rivers through art, citizen science, data visualization and science. WaterWalks is a growing database gathering both scientific water-quality measurement and subjective impressions of the rivers. Check out the latest news and upcoming walks on waterwalks.nl
LUDWIG is part of the UNESCO Global Network of Watermuseums.