‘A label for a lack of a label’: hear now berlin’s founder on playing genre-defying chamber music

We spoke with founder and flutist Kelly Watson Woelffer and violist Xina Hawkins about their upcoming concert and the challenges of holding rehearsals during a pandemic.

Photo (c) Dovile Sermokas.



hear now berlin is a chamber group that plays works by contemporary composers. Inspired by the music she loves playing and hearing, the sextet’s founder and flutist, Kelly Watson Woelffer, searched for five musicians who shared her vision: a violist from Australia, a cellist from New Zealand, and a trumpeter, violinist and clarinetist from Germany.

Though they are all classically trained musicians with orchestral foundations, the six are also skilled in a wide range of other genres, including singer-songwriter, big band, pop and jazz.

About 18 months after the group’s debut performance, we caught up with Watson Woelffer and violist Xina Hawkins about the challenges of holding auditions for a new group member during the pandemic and their upcoming concert on Sept. 7 at Kulturhaus Insel Berlin.

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