Maiburg Ensemble

By combining classical, jazz, and world music, the musicians of the Maiburg Ensemble bring their individual artistic influences and experiences to reinterpret classical pieces in an innovative and exciting way. This results in new dimensions of tonal colors, rhythms, and improvisations, breathing fresh and contemporary life into classical works, enabling a vibrant and modern exploration of classical music.

As the project leader and flutist of the Maiburg Ensemble, Anette Maiburg coordinates the various elements of the programs. She works closely with authors, dancers, and artists from other disciplines to develop unique and innovative projects. By integrating literature, dance, or intercultural encounters, the ensemble creates an interdisciplinary platform that fosters exchange and collaboration between different artistic realms. This gives rise to fascinating and inspiring events that transport the audience into a world of creative diversity.

Portrait Anette Maiburg
Photo: Harry Vorsteher

Anette Maiburg

Flute and project leader

Portrait of piano player Pascal Schweren
Photo: Johannes von Barsewisch

Pascal Schweren


Pascal Schweren studied classical piano at the University of his hometown, Cologne, and jazz piano at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. He was soon recognized at the International Jazz Workshop in Weimar. He completed his piano training under Rudolf Serkin's student Peter Orth, Ludger Maxsein, and in master classes with Daniel Höxter, Glen Wilson, and others. Since 2003, he has been regularly commissioned for accompaniment work at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, where he taught as a lecturer for piano and music theory until 2015. He has released three CDs to date: "Dance Preludes," "Missing Persons," and "Poema."

Bassist Caspar van Meel
Photo: Klaus Stevens

Caspar van Meel


Caspar van Meel, the Dutch bassist, arranger, and composer, currently resides and works in Germany. He studied philosophy and double bass at the Maastricht Conservatory and furthered his bass education at the Folkwang University under John Goldsby, the bassist of the WDR Big Band. He has received numerous awards, including the Future Sound Competition and the Jazzpreis Ruhr. He has collaborated with the WDR Big Band, as well as musicians such as Philip Catherine, Götz Alsmann, Gerd Dudek, and others. He has also composed music for children at the Düsseldorf Tonhalle.

Percussionist Fethi Ak in concert
Photo: Klaus Stevens

Fethi Ak


Born in Gelsenkirchen, Fethi Ak began playing the darbuka at Turkish weddings as a child. He has since become one of the greatest virtuosos in Germany, making him highly sought after in the Turkish, Kurdish, and world music scenes for both studio recordings and concerts. With the Transorient Orchestra, he has won the "Creole" World Music Competition twice and the WDR Jazz Prize in 2017.

Current programs


The Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid, poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke and Joachim Ringelnatz on the theme of transformation, serve as the starting point for an imaginative composition of music, readings, choreography, and lighting, in which Australian dancer Eleanor Freeman captivates audiences worldwide with her mesmerizing performances.

It is a poetic and musical reflection on the mutability of art, culture, life and nature.

Press photo of Eleanor Freeman
Photo: Kerou-Pics

Eleanor Freeman


Throughout her career, Eleanor Freeman has collaborated with diverse choreographers such as Nils Christe, Ma Cong, Natalie Weir, Kenneth MacMillan, and Francois Klaus. She has performed in Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. Among her signature roles are the title role and Myrtha in Gautier's "Giselle," Carabosse in Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty," and the Russian Girl in George Balanchine's "Serenade." Freeman received her training at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and participated in the Queensland Ballet Professional Year Program after graduating. She danced in various productions of the Queensland Ballet for six years. Under the renowned choreographer Martin Schläpfer, she was a member of the Ballet am Rhein in Düsseldorf.

Portrait of Jürgen Hartmann
Photo: Christian Hartmann

Jürgen Hartmann


The role of the reading is performed by actor Jürgen Hartmann. He is particularly known for his role as forensic pathologist Dr. Vogt in the Stuttgart "Tatort" series. However, he began his career in a completely different way - with a clown training at Frieder Nögge in Stuttgart. He then pursued a degree in acting at the University of Music and Theater in Hannover. From there, his path led directly to the theater stage, and in 1994, he was nominated for Actor of the Year for his role as Liliom in Michael Gruner's production. He has had multi-year engagements at major theaters in Germany and Switzerland, and he has also performed as a guest artist with the Pina Bausch Ensemble in Wuppertal. In 2014/2015, he was nominated for Best Actor in North Rhine-Westphalia. He is a lecturer at Folkwang University, directs productions, and regularly works in TV and film.

Oriental Colours – Literature, Music, and Dance from Iran in Dialogue

Persia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and as a result, it has greatly influenced the artistic and musical landscape of the Middle East to such a significant extent that even the oldest layers cannot be uncovered solely by archaeologists. It is a unique search for traces...

In a dance dialogue with the renowned hip-hop artist known as "Joker," Farid Baroug, and in collaboration with their Persian colleague Kioomars Musayyebi on the Santur, the members of the Maiburg Ensemble explore the exotic colors, aromas, and rhythms that have influenced the works of European composers, illuminating them in an intoxicating light.

Accompanying the performance, author Mehrnousch Zaeri-Esfahani, who fled to Germany with her family in 1985 to escape the regime of the Mullahs, reads from her narratives, which address highly individual Western-Eastern memories and questions. In doing so, you will experience a storyteller in the ancient Persian tradition!

Project trailer


Mehrnoush Zaeri Esfahani


Born in Iran in 1974, Mehrnoush Zaeri Esfahani fled to Germany with her family in 1985. She grew up in Heidelberg and worked as a social educator in the field of diversity until 2017. Since 2012, she has been a speaker using the method of storytelling and made her debut as an author in 2016 with two autobiographical narratives. The translation of her father's autobiography, titled "Who knows what it was good for", was published in 2020.


Farid Baroug aka Joker


Farid Baroug aka Joker - Dance, is an Iranian-born dancer and choreographer who can rightfully be called a cosmopolitan due to his eventful life. His passion and dance communication have often served as a bridge to people of different cultures, and his experiences in crisis areas have influenced his hip-hop style, which he wants to share with as many people as possible. His motto is, "Everyone can achieve anything despite all obstacles." As a dancer and choreographer, he has appeared in numerous TV productions such as the Bambi Awards and the ECHO Prize show, and he has won various awards as a solo artist and with his hip-hop crew, Oldstreet. In 1998, he became one of the first instructors for hip-hop at the Tanzhaus NRW Urban Dance Styles before opening the first hip-hop academy in Düsseldorf, the "JC Academy Hip Hop am Rhein." He choreographed and performed the hip-hop segments in "Peter and the Wolf" and "Les Paladins" for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.

The Musician with his Santur
Photo: Bassem Hawar

Kioomars Musayyebi


Kioomars Musayyebi hails from Tehran, where he was taught by the renowned Santur master Faramarz Payevar. He studied music theory and composition with film composer Farhad Fakhredini. In 2010, he obtained his Bachelor's degree in instrumental music from the University of Art in Tehran. For many years, he worked as a Santur player and composer in several Iranian music groups, performing numerous concerts both in Iran and abroad.

A Seal of Ruby – Jewish Cultural Dialogue in Words and Music

Together with Israeli singer Shai Terry, who resides in Wiesbaden, the Maiburg Ensemble embarks on a journey of discovery through the world of intertwined Jewish and non-Jewish cultures. This exploration extends beyond the Rhineland, where Jewish life has been documented for over 1700 years, encompassing Europe and Israel as well.

In specially arranged compositions, the diverse facets of Jewish music traditions are showcased, contributing to the richness of the musical heritage, ranging from Klezmer to classical. Accompanying the performance, German-Jewish writer Lena Gorelik, born in Russia, reads texts that delve into questions of Jewish roots and identity in Germany, as well as the significance of language in individual self-discovery.

Project trailer


Lena Gorilek


Lena Gorelik, born in St. Petersburg in 1981, came to Germany with her parents in 1992. Her novel "Hochzeit in Jerusalem" (2007) was nominated for the German Book Prize, and her highly acclaimed novel "Mehr Schwarz als Lila" (2017) was nominated for the German Youth Literature Prize.

Lena Gorelik regularly contributes articles on social issues, among others, to publications such as the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and "Die Zeit." She lives in Munich.

Photo: Aaron Cawley

Shai Terry


Mezzo-soprano Shai Terry was born in Israel in 1991. At the age of 13, she began her vocal training at the Nahariya Conservatory. She completed her Bachelor's degree (B.Mus) with honors at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University, studying under Prof. Anat Efraty. She successfully completed the Master's program (M.Mus) in Opera and Concert at the University of Music, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, under Prof. Claudia Eder, and is currently pursuing her Concert Exam degree.

The artist has performed in gala concerts with various orchestras in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Munich, Hamburg, Belgrade, and Vienna. She is a guest singer at the Jerusalem Opera and has participated in numerous chamber opera productions and masterclasses in Israel and Europe.