PURPUR is the result of a highly motivated group of musicians trying to do IT differently. PURPUR wants to give a modern answer to the concert halls running out of audience. PURPUR’s formats are made to change the concert experience for both the musicians and the audience. PURPUR is also an attempt to give answers on many open questions within the music business – necessary answers, how to attract the modern audience.
While looking for these answers, the demand for diversity played an important role. Therefore, many different formats developed quasi automatically. The European Union’s support in two project fundings built the required financial background for our experiments and research. Very soon we realized that it would not be enough to concentrate on special locations and rarely performed music. Instead, it is much more about doing EVERYTHING differently, namely regarding all superior genres of the “classical music”: Concert and opera, the so-called entertainment music, which has already found its way into the classical music. And a sensory transcending format that ranges in the field of synaesthesia.
Out of our experiments several PURPUR formats developed: PURE OPERA, which is characterized by a special approach to musical theatre, PURPUR MEETS ..., a concert format, which focuses on the soloist and his program, PURPUR IN JEANS, a musical approach to transform ethnic music with new arrangements into a virtuous orchestra language, and PURE CHOCOLATE, the sensorial cross-over, literally a festival for all senses. Whereas the roots of our work, namely the music itself, remain untouched and the chosen pieces are implemented like intended by their composers, PURPUR uses extreme interpretations to astonish also in this field. But, above the music not a single stone of the “traditional” concert hall is left standing. For this reason the PURPUR MEETS ... and the PURPUR IN JEANS formats have no break. The light design moves – as agreed upon with the respective promoter – into an almost physical focus. So, we visually transmit each concert to take the audience with us onto an impressive journey, which addresses as many senses as possible.
The PURPURISTI – so the PURPUR musicians call themselves – do not dress “as usual”, neither they enter the stage “traditionally”. Everything follows a planned dramaturgy that surprises and still is bound to historical roots. Additionally, there is the special choice of concert locations, which complete the formats’ respective over-all concept, as far as PURPUR is responsible for the implementation and does no guest performance.
The Orchestra Purpur, founded in 2011 in the context of the EU project “Purpur – European Sound Interchange”, consists of musicians from all over Europe. Decisive for the young orchestra’s compo and special sound is the closeness to many members of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. In many cases they are also responsible for the selection of the young musicians. The orchestra’s basis consists of 66 musicians, who perform permanently. Others are brought along to our productions by the conductors and/or soloists. And, additionally, our partner organisations like the Academy of Music „Hanns Eisler“ Berlin, the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris – CNSMDP, the London Royal Academy of Music, the Music Academy Zagreb, the Music Academy Ljubljana, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna etc. send us their best students. Since 2011, the Orchestra Purpur is the orchestra in residence of the Festival Kvarner in Opatija, Croatia. In the last years the orchestra was able to gather precious experience by doing concerts together with internationally well-known artists like the Croatian pianist Martina Filjak, “The Clarinotts” and several members of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. A highlight of the 2012 season was the “Armida” opera, which was performed scenically in Opatija and concertante at Festival Seviqc Brežice in Slovenia. In 2013, the Orchestra Purpur took part in the “Glagolica – A European Musical Language” EU project.
Between May 2013 and December 2014 the Orchestra Purpur was part of another EU project called “Purpur – A European Opera Sound”, which can be seen as the PurPur project’s follow-up. After the “Armida” production’s big success it was revised and restaffed and performed again as a concertante version. The Haydn opera “Orlando Paladino”, a “drama eroicomico” in three acts was performed concertante in Bleiburg, Austria, and Brežice in September 2013 and scenically in Ossiach, Austria, and in Gorizia, Italy, in April 2014. Further performances took place at the Festival Seviqc Brežice in Slovenia and at the Festival Kvarner in Croatia in late summer 2014. They were recorded and broadcasted by the national television – once even live!
Furthermore, the Orchestra Purpur had a guest performance with the “Purpur meets Clarinotts” program at the Teatro Verdi di Pordenone in November 2014. Conducted by Rudolf Piehlmayer, they were on stage together with the virtuous clarinettists Ernst and Daniel Ottensamer, members of the Vienna Philharmonics.
To give tribute to its close connection to the world’s music capital Vienna, Purpur was established as a Viennese association in 2015. Its name is Klangwerkstatt Purpur, based on its original organisation ad libitum Konzertwerkstatt in Villach.
The PURPUR idea would not have been realisable without the European Union's and the Culture Ministery's support. And without our loyal audience that trusted in and followed all of our productions PURPUR would be senseless, in the truest sense of the word. And also without the belief of a great Carinthian bank Purpur would have remained a vision only. We are talking about the BKS Bank. All of them we want to thank cordially! We hope to cheer them also in future.