KoncertKirken on Blågårds Plads
KoncertKirken on Blågårds Plads is Denmark’s first Concert Church. The brain child of Paul Ostrup, director of LiteraturHaus and Björn Ross, artistic director of Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival, KoncertKirken opened in October 2009.
Since then KoncertKirken has been a popular cultural destination for local, national and international music lovers and Danish and international musicians and other artists.
Between October 2009 and December 2014 Koncertkirken hosted around 350 events including choirs, organ recitals, baroque, renaissance and medieval music, World music, cross over, music by modern composers, modern classical music, symphonies, opera, rock, klezmer, jazz, electronic music, improvisation, cararet, lieder, sound art, literature readings, visual arts, cross-cultural concerts, noise, concerts for children and families, bigband, folk, dance and performance art.
In 2015 we set a new record of 200 concerts and other events such as film screenings, conferences and workshops. The range and variety of activities is developing all the time and now also include tango and salsa evenings, yoga, lectures and secular funerals.
KoncertKirken’s aim is to present all sorts of music of the highest quality; actively encouraging borrowing and recombining across genres.
At the same time it is our vision that the church can be used for recording, teaching and workshops, masterclasses and meetings.
KoncertKirken should be known for excellence, professionalism, great service, quality information and innovation.
KoncertKirken’s main space was built to give people a special sort of experience, and it is our vision to create cultural events that maintain that tradition in a creative and modern way.
Copenhagen – like other European cities – needs it’s own concert church with a programme of music of high quality on an international level and which, at the same time, has strong roots in the locally – here in Blågårds Plads and the Nørrebro district.
The local environment
KoncertKirken is situated centrally in the Nørrebro district and right in the centre of Blågårds Plads. KoncertKirken has already developed good relationships with the local residents, organisations and societies in the area.
Thus well anchored in the local society, KoncertKirkens contributes a positive and stabilising effect on the dynamic multicultural environment – an environment that is rich both in human and cultural resources, but which also has problems that are rooted in the social, economic and cultural setting.
The so-called gang-related problems have received massive coverage in the media which unfortunately colours many people’s picture of the area around Blågårds Plads. In our opinion, the situation is exaggerated; the area is not dominated by the gang or conflicts, but, on the contrary, that the historical and cultural mix reflects a diversity and richness with a huge creative potential. It is part of KoncertKirken’s work to harness this potential.
The idea is that local residents should also use KoncertKirken as a meeting place and a space to use for activities.
KoncertKirken works together with many partners; local, national and international. For example; SYNK, Tomorrow Festival, Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival, LiteraturHaus, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Nordic Network for Early Opera, Danish Radio, The Danish Composers Union, the Royal Danish Music Conservatory, 48 Timer Festival, Frost Festival, Musica Ficta, Figura Festspiele, Lydforeneningen Gong, Early Music Network (REMA), Athelas Sinfionietta .. and many others.
Since January 1st 2015 KoncertKirken has been a cooperative: KoncertKirken Blågårds Plads A.m.b.a.
The board members are: solicitor, Birgit Lemvig; composer, Bo Holton; editor, Steen Frederiksen and Paul Ostrup and Björn Ross.
KoncertKirken sells shares in the cooperative at 1000 kr each. Currently 200 people have bought a total of 800 shares between them.
Since January 1st 2014 Björn Ross has been KoncertKirken’s general manager. There are no employees.
KoncertKirkens activities are supported by Statens Kunstråd, Copenhagen City Council and many private foundations and partners.
The purchase of Blågårds church
In April 2013 Blågårds church was put up for sale on the open market. In June 2013 KoncertKirken and six others made closed bids, all of which were rejected because they were too low.
In the Autumn 2013, KoncertKirken began negotiations with the church’s owners, Kirkefondet and estate agents, Colliers International. The process ended in the summer of 2015 and KoncertKirken now owns the building. After a long fight, many years of hard work and perseverence we succeeded!
Sincere thanks to all who supported the project over the years and who have helped to make it a success.
Now we begin the next phase: to upgrade and restore the building with loving care and help from Realdania’s project, UNDERVÆRKER and others. More news next year!
Björn Ross and Paul Opstrup, December 2015