At Ostrava Days 2017, the ONO (Ostrava New Orchestra) will be formed as a resident symphony orchestra. ONO will consist of young European musicians (aged 18 to 35) whose interest is the performance of New Music. It will give an invaluable opportunity to young instrumentalists from different countries in Europe to work with some of the most respected composers and conductors living today.
Over the course of Ostrava Days, young ONO members will spend three weeks studying and rehearsing compositions for the festival and will perform at three or more symphonic concerts. In addition to pieces by the festival’s artists-in-residence (35 young composers) and lectors (10 established composers), ONO will also perform "canonical" pieces of modern art music.
The idea to form a new symphony orchestra consisting of young musicians is a response to the difficulties inherent in performing new and experimental works with "conventional" orchestras which often lack the necessary motivation, energy, and skills to perform contemporary music, especially compositions that are new in their concepts and execution. These works, often controversial, are at the core of the Ostrava Days concert program.
The ten day long Ostrava Days Festival unfolds during the last week of the 3 week long "Institute" and includes circa 19 concerts, seven of which are with Ostrava New Orchestra and Ostravská banda. The programming of the festival is independent of mainstream festival programs and has included major works by Salvatore Sciarrino, Alvin Lucier, Petr Kotik, Martin Smolka, Phill Niblock, Elliott Sharp, Bernhard Lang, Rebecca Sauders, Kaija Saariaho, among others. Classics of new music are also often presented. They include works by Morton Feldman, John Cage, Earle Brown, Luigi Nono, Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, Edgard Varèse or Galina Ustwolskaja, among others.
Since its inception 2001 the biennial festival and institute of new and experimental music Ostrava Days has made a significant contribution to the music of today. It is one of the largest events of its kind in the world.