An atmosphere of sadness, anger and uncertainty dominated this year's Donaueschinger Musiktage. The passing in November 2014 of Armin Köhler, the artistic driving force behind the festival for the last 23 years, has left a hole that will be hard to fill. Meanwhile, due to state budget cuts Donaueschingen's orchestra-in-residence, the SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg und Baden-Baden, paid what will almost certainly be their final visit. Musically, however, it was business as usual, with the programme featuring a wide variety of world premieres, several of works that will certainly be heard many times again, alongside much experimentation of varying interest and executional success.
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