Chamber group hear now berlin aims to reach new audiences with genre-crossing, emotional compositions

hear now berlin is challenging how audiences experience classical chamber music through unique instrumentation and genre-blending performances. We talked to three of the group's members about making music more accessible for all listeners.

Photo by Burkhard Scheibe

 

It was August 2018 when Kelly Watson Woelffer, a Berlin-based flutist originally from the U.S., heard “Music in Circles” by American composer Andrew Norman and something in her ignited.

“I’ve been a little bit artistically starved for the last five years or so because I have three tiny humans at home,” said Watson Woelffer. “I have been playing and teaching, of course, but have not led something of my own in about five years…I was just listening to [“Music in Circles”] and I had a sudden decision finally that I knew exactly what had to be next for me, artistically.”

From this inspiration, the chamber group hear now berlin, a sextet that challenges classical music paradigms, was born. The group — comprising Kelly Watson Woelffer (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Alexander Glücksmann (clarinet, bass clarinet), Damir Bacikin (trumpet), Meike Lu Schneider (violin), Xina Hawkins (viola) and Edward King (cello) — had their debut concert on March 14.

Ahead of their next show on April 3, we talked to Watson Woelffer, Hawkins and King about the genre of indie classical and making music more accessible for all listeners.