Tag Archives: alsion

Guest blog: The 7 Prophets

This post was written by Anette Linnea who went on holiday in Sønderborg with her son. Anette is a busy blogger and traveller. Go to her blog and read (in Danish) her blog posts from their visit:

She also wrote a great post about a sculpture named The 7 Prophets by Zeng Chenggang that she was kind to let us translate it for this blog.

Sønderborg 2013 – De syv profeter

The summer holiday also included a visit to Sønderborg. Here we are by a statue next to the university, Alsion.

The statue is placed with its back to the university and front towards Als Sound, where sailors have the nicest view of the statue. It will stay there only till September – too bad that it is moving away again – I think this is the perfect spot for it.


Let’s take them in sequence – first we have Socrates.

Confucius (I believe)

Laozi (I believe)


The round stone in the background represents Muhammad – who we know can not be not be depicted – instead he is present without being shown. Clever.

I didn’t realise this when I took the picture, which is why two prophets got in the same shot 😉




Karl Marx – I’m not sure he would be happy to be called a prophet 😉


It was a good thing we could scan QR codes, otherwise we would have missed out on important information:

Infomation about the sculpture



This is when we realised the low rock with a footprint that you can step into and become one of the great thinkers.

The role was done with great concentration by the youngest 😉


“Bird pooping on prophet”

Even the birds appreciated the statue 😉

Just before we got on the train the last day we had to stop by the 7 prophets to give them a farewell.

Anette from the blog Linneas Univers blogs about creative works, geocaching, travels and a lot more.

Define Festival this weekend

Music versus photography

It’s time again for the annual, cross-border, electronic Define Festival and this year they have a really interesting lineup. From partyman Bjørn Svin to a full on symphony orchestra there should be some great music and beats in store for people. And it’s cheap – about 50DKK per session.

2 days, 3 locations, lots of music
The interesting thing about this festival is that it is not confined to one location but takes place in a number of locations. You can go to one location, or you can travel around to the venues. The other years there was a cheap bus taking people from Sonderborg to Flensburg but I can’t find it mentioned this year.

Underground @ 8pm Friday Kuhlhaus, Flensburg
Young talents from the Tonespace education in at the music conservatory in Esbjerg show their latest creations: Alexander Holm, Thomas Vedel, David Nordentoft og Louis Lennert.

Electronic Movement @ 11pm Friday Kuhlhaus, Flensburg
Electronic dance music with Rainer Weichhold , Johann Nielson and Hit Asmussen.

Symphony Orchestra @ 4pm Saturday Alsion, Sonderborg

First Run Time Error @ Alsion a site-specific performance for joystick-controlled video. Second an ouvertures for the classical Chinese instrument ghuzeng, samples and orchestra. Both creations by Simon Steen-Andersen, a Danish composer who is getting a lot of international attention lately.

Underground @ 5.30pm Saturday Alsion, Sonderborg
Young talents from the Tonespace education in at the music conservatory in Esbjerg show their latest creations: Alexander Holm, Thomas Vedel, David Nordentoft og Louis Lennert.

Fuzzy & Bjørn Svin @ 8.30pm Saturday Alsion, Sonderborg
Fuzzy (Jens Vilhelm Pedersen) has a wide range from jazz to film music to experimental electronic music. He has music for cartoons and avant garde exhibits.
Bjørn Svin (Bjørn Christiansen) is a self taught composer and producer who has been active on the electronic stage for many years.

Wet and Dirty @ 10pm Saturday Zanzibar, Sonderborg
Electronic dance music with Rainer Weichhold , Wet and Dirty DJ team and Hit Asmussen.

chamber music at Alsion

PRO MUSICA – Free concerts in Sønderborg

ProMusica will host it’s last concert of the 2011/2012 season at Alsion concert hall this Sunday. We asked Jorunn Solløs for a short introduction of the concept and the concert.

Hi everyone,

My name is Jorunn and I am Norwegian girl, working as a flutist in Sønderjylland Symfony Orchestra. I want to write a little about our own chamber music series that we do just for fun :).

A job in a symphony orchestra is a full time job, but 6 Sundays a year, me and 3 of my colleagues arrange free concerts and all the musicians plays for free :). We get some financial support from Sønderborg kommune to be able to advertise in the newspapers and so on. I would say that it is a win-win situation; The musicians get to play great chamber music together (which we do not do so much as orchestra musicians) and the audience gets to listen to great music for free.

The next Pro musica concert in Alsion is on the 3rd of June (this Sunday). As a special thing this time we have invited Kolding Kammerkor to perform a piece with us. One of my ensembles, Kirin Winds just went on a small tour with Kolding Kammerkor to 5 different churches in Jutland and we really enjoyed to work with them so we invited them to come and perform with us again in Alsion.

So, if you want to get a free cultural experience in Sønderborg on Sunday this week, just come to Alsion at 3.00 pm.

The program for this concert will be:

W. A. Mozart: Quartet for flute, violin, viola and cello
H. Dutilleux: Sarabande et Cortege for bassoon and piano
M. Bojesen: “Kærestefolket i nye klæder” for choir and wind quintet.

Hope to see you there to a great musical experience in our beautiful concert hall 🙂

Best regards from Jorunn

Ann and I have been to a ProMusica concert before and it was really amazing. So find shelter from the rain this Sunday and join us at Alsion

Review: Danfoss Orchestra Spring Concert

Danfoss Orkestret, though not an orchestra technically, is a 38-man brass band that is quite well-known in this area. Towards the end of March we had written with information on how to get tickets to the Danfoss Orchestra Spring Concert. Did you check that out? I really hope you did.

The music selected for the spring concert was mainly British, with some famous ones such as Yellow Submarine and When the Saints Go Marching In, to some unknown songs to us. There was also one Danish song, keeping everyone feeling involved.

But on to the exciting stuff. During the concert we had a congo line brass band making its way onto the stage, a ‘disorganised’ abandonment of the stage and, last but not least, a conductor in a kilt. And, yes, he confirmed that the rumours about kilts is true! We even had a bagpipe and drum group join and close the show with the orchestra.

I did not know what I was expecting, but I was certainly not expecting this. What was missing in quality (and that was not much), was more than made up for in enthusiasm, fun and just sheer joy of the players (and the audience). I now know exactly why tickets are said to be grabbed within hours of being made available to the public. The standing ovation the orchestra received at the end was more than well-deserved.

Danfoss Orchestra Spring Concert

Danfoss Orkestret is a 38-man brass band linked to Danfoss. Despite the amateur status it is known for the high-quality, and entertaining, concerts it puts on.

One of the highlights of the Danfoss Orchestra season is its spring concert. This year the concert will be held at Alsion on the 17th of April at 20:00. Another important thing about this concert is that it is free!

Tickets can be picked up at Sonderborg Tourist Office tomorrow (Friday 30th March) at 3pm. You might think that this means that it is easy to get tickets. Unfortunately not! Since it is a very sought-after concert, we are told that people often queue for hours to get tickets. So if you want those tickets don’t leave it too late!

chamber music at Alsion

Free Concerts at Alsion

With Alsion boasting a world-class hall, as well as being the home of the South Jutland symphony orchestra, one may indulge in numerous excellent concerts throughout the year. However, if money might be a bit tight at the moment, fear not! Alsion also offers a series of free concerts throughout the year – and you don’t even need to compromise on quality!

ProMusica concert series

chamber music at Alsion

ProMusica is side-project of some members of the South Jutland symphony orchestra that gives the orchestra players the opportunity to perform chamber music. On the day we attended they performed a variety of pieces, from solos to sextets, and in different styles. There was a pleasant variety and it seems that the pieces are selected to also please a general audience rather than solely experience listeners. Concerts are always on Sundays at 15:00 in the Alsion concert hall. The remaining concerts this season are on the 4th of March, the 22nd of April and the 3rd of June.

Solisterier by Dansk Solist Forbund

Solisterier is a series of concerts of Danish popular music. The cafe area is all decked out with chairs and tables and a podium is set-up at the far end. We attended the first concert earlier this year and were surprised to see a full house, even though I was by far the youngest member! If you like Danish popular music from years past you will probably love this concert. Otherwise? I’m not sure it will be your thing! The 2nd concert in the series is on the 24th of March at 13:00.

Singalong in the Cafe

Another series of free concerts in the cafe, this time organised by Sonderborg’s music council. We haven’t been along to this one as yet, but the upcoming concerts are on the 3rd of March, 31st of March and 28th of March between 12:00 and 13:00.

sonderjylland symphony orchestra

Review: A Night at the Symphony #7/99

A Night at the Symphony was a concert of symphonic rock classics with the Sonderjylland Symphony Orchestra. Having been to similar events and really enjoyed them I was very excited to get tickets for the night. This is what I thought of the experience.

sonderjylland symphony orchestra

Ticketing System
Since this was meant to be a treat we opted for the highest-priced bracket tickets. For some reason the online booking system does not allow you to select your own seat within the price bracket you select. However, as ticket availability for this price bracket was showing as good we didn’t think this would be a problem. However, when we arrived at the hall we found out that our tickets were at the back and to the side (end of row, next to the wall).  I am really not sure how this classifies as top bracket tickets! One positive thing I can say is that there are discounts for people under 25, which comes in handy.

The Concert
As you might expect, finding our seats wasn’t the best start to the concert! Unfortunately, the rest of the concert also left much to be desired for me. The concert was perfectly enjoyable, but I wasn’t impressed.

The concert was advertised as a concert with the symphony orchestra. However, I felt that the orchestra definitely drew the short straw on this one. Rather than being allowed to shine, they were very much there in a support role; the spotlight was very clearly on the singers and the non-orchestral players (guitars, piano).

I was particularly disappointed in this as the conductor was described as someone who specialises in such events. In that situation I would have expected him to be a bit more adventurous and not rely as much on electric guitars. It was also surprising that the concert didn’t build up to a last song which saw you off home excited – the last song was one of the more middle-of-the-road ones from the evening’s selection.

These are, nevertheless, my views. The performers did get two encores from the rest of the audience. I guess I just need to go with lower expectations. As often happens, high expectations are rarely reached, while low ones are often surpassed.

In Hindsight
First of all, I would definitely recommend going down to the hall to book your tickets personally. Like that you can make sure you are really getting the seats that you think you are.

As for the concert itself, I definitely want to give the symphony orchestra another chance. The orchestral players obviously have the capability to make brilliant music, as could be seen from their rendition of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King‘ from Peer Gynt (Edvard Grieg). When they were allowed to shine, they were brilliant!

Sonderborg accommodation

Review: Bed and Breakfast in Sonderborg

As we could only move into our apartment on the 1st of December we needed temporary accommodation in Sonderborg for around 2 weeks. After looking at the options our choice fell on Bed and Breakfast Sonderborg mainly for its location and facilities.

Sonderborg accommodation

The B&B is the red building in the top centre


The B&B is located on a road overlooking Als Sund. It is easily reached from the town (around 10 minute walk from the bus station, and just across the water from the train station i.e. around 10 minute walk).

Our room was then on the top floor of the building, making it quite a bit of a climb. If this is a problem for you do make note, though otherwise it should be OK if you are in good health. Nevertheless, there are also rooms in the ground floor if needs be.


The first thing of note on entering the apartment, particularly our room, is the amazing views onto Als Sund, taking in Sonderborg Castle, King Christian X’s bridge, Dybbole Molle and Alsion. The big windows along one wall framed this view perfectly.

View from our room at the B&B

The set-up inside is just as pretty, particularly our room: spacious and clean, with lovely wooden beam features. The only downside of the room is that it doesn’t have a wardrobe, though some shelves and drawers are available. However, there are some coat hooks both inside the room as well as outside, which helped.


Having a small kitchen area where we could cook our own food was a deciding factor in picking our place. Particularly when living here for more than a few days – eating out in Denmark is not cheap!


Another thing we look for is, of course, wireless internet. The wifi is decent most of the time, though it does seem a bit busy when more people are using it. We did, however, have some problems on a number of days when the router seemed to completely give up. On the other days, however, we did make skype calls of good quality, so it is more than sufficient for us.


I would have no problem staying here myself again or recommending it to family or friends. However I would suggest asking for the top floor room with the view if possible – the view is definitely worth the climb, and you know you need the exercise anyways!


Review: Singh & Goldschmidt at Alsion Concert Hall

A month ago Michael had written about a cross-cultural Middle Eastern/Arabic influence concert happening at Alsion on our first weekend here to be preceded with an ethnic bazaar. This seemed to be an event that would hit the right spot for us so decided to venture out for our first concert in Sonderborg.


The ethnic bazaar consisted of a variety of performances, from African dancing, to ballet dancers and Middle Eastern music. There were also some musical instruments and accessories for sale, and three girls giving out a tasty (Middle-Eastern?) meat-filled pastry (though I am sure they could have easily asked people for a donation or a small fee and people would not have questioned that!).

As the bazaar came to a close it was then time for the main concert. As I expected from musicians of their calibre the music was of high standard and the performers, particularly Goldschmidt, seemed to be really enjoying themselves.


Coming from the (mostly) prim and proper theatre audiences in London it was a relief to also see an audience participating and feeling at home in the theatre. It seemed that the audience was also not your typical concert-going crowd, so kudos to the organisers for getting them into the theatre and the performers for interacting with them successfully.

However I do think that maybe this audience felt a bit too much as though they were in their own living room! The chatting and walking around the (seated) theatre to chat with friends was a constant occurrence throughout the performance, as were phone calls and calls to catch people’s attention.

This did not completely mar my first experience of theatre in Sonderborg, however! The music was excellent and I would definitely pay to go see the performers again…maybe with a different audience, however, that would allow me to appreciate the music a bit better!

Singh & Goldschmidts akademi for mellemøstlig musik

Photo from singh-goldschmidt.dk

Celebrating diversity and cross cultural inspiration

As Sønderborg and the rest of Denmark gets into a Christmas frenzy, Alsion Concert Hall will host a celebration of other cultures on November 20th.

Photo from singh-goldschmidt.dk

The day will be hosted by Singh & Goldschmidt, a duo with roots in the Middle East Peace Orchestra. They will bring with them a childrens choir, Mizgin Özdemir as a soloist and a 5-man strong backing band. The tunes will be an warm, eclectic mix of klezmer, Middle-eastern and Arabian music that cross borders, religion and cultures.

The concert starts at 4pm but there is also a bazaar before the concert in the lobby at Alsion thanks to the multicultural communities in Sønderborg. The place will be sizzling with food, dance and music from India, Africa, Middle-east and Denmark from 3pm.

Henrik Goldschmidt is the principal oboist of The Royal Danish Orchestra and a very active performer of traditional jewish klezmer music.

Anders Singh has Indian roots and is playing Balkan and gypsy music. He has won the title “Accordion Champion of the World”.

Mizgin Özdemir was born in Kurdistan. She plays the saz and sings, and leads a cross cultural band with members from four countries.

The children’s choir from Singh & Goldschmidt’s academy is a new choir from Copenhagen that sings in Arabic, Hebrew, Danish, English and a couple other languages.

Tickets are DKK130 for adults and DKK70 for kids and can be bought online or at the door.

UPDATE 21/11/11: We went to the show and you can read the review here.

Photo from Singh & Gildschmidt. (Via Sonderborg Kommune)