Future Lab

Unlocking potential through music

The decision to move the orchestra’s rehearsal rooms to the building of the Bremen East Comprehensive School (Gesamtschule Bremen-Ost) was one of the most momentous steps in the orchestra’s history. Since doing so, the orchestra members have devoted themselves with great personal commitment to the joint projects with the Bremen East Comprehensive School, which aim to use music to promote individual development and build self-confidence – in a disadvantaged neighbourhood with a variety of social challenges.

For over ten years, orchestra, school and local community have formed the nucleus of the Future Lab, where the building of relationships stands at the heart of its work in music education. Musicians, schoolchildren, teachers, parents and the multinational residents of the local high-rise community of Osterholz-Tenever meet in the most diverse circumstances, projects and on all levels. The unique collaboration between school and orchestra has been honoured with numerous awards, including the 2007 Future Award for the Best Social Innovation. In 2009, the Future Lab was declared a nationwide pilot project by the Minister of State for Culture.

Driving force for development

School shapes the future

The aim of the Future Lab is to unlock individual potential through music and enable young people to discover entirely new perspectives. The aesthetic education projects are realized at the heart of a Bremen community where child poverty and educational disadvantage are a stark reality. Alongside projects such as the ›Community Opera‹, ›Melody of Life‹ and ›Club 443 Hz‹, many smaller encounters in the corridors and canteen, as well as regular visits to rehearsals and collaboration with the strings and woodwind classes are a normal part of orchestra and school life.

Since 2015, the Future Lab has been part of the nationwide project ›Art Lab for Music‹, by MUTIK gGmbH, financially supported by Stiftung Mercator. Its aim is to develop working principles, methods and formats from the Future Lab so that they can be absorbed into other schools’ practices and routines, thus making practical materials available into which a wealth of experience and valuable knowledge have been incorporated. The ›Art Lab for Music‹ thus helps to ensure that all pupils receive enduring high-quality cultural education.


Model for a successful future

As part of the Future Lab initiative, The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen shares its successful economic concept with the business community. The orchestra has developed the ›5 Seconds Model‹, a training programme for managers that makes the orchestra’s success as a high-performing team tangible for top executives. A number of larger companies listed on the German stock exchange have in the meantime integrated the ›5 Seconds Model‹ into their daily routines.

The artistic initiative and social commitment of The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen have led to a number of awards – for example, just two years after it was established, the Minister of State for Culture, Bernd Neumann, declared the Future Lab a nationwide pilot project in the area of cultural education. The Future Lab has received the Future Award, an Echo Klassik in the category ›Special Prize for the Promotion of Young Talent‹, the Vision Award and the Würth Prize of Jeunesse Musicale Deutschland (2014), to name just a few.

Future Lab formats

Joint productions

Ideas are continuously flowing at The Deutsche Kammer­philharmonie Bremen’s Future Lab, resulting in a wide range of aesthetic education formats. As well as visits to concerts and rehearsals and mentoring between individual musicians and classes, these also include the joint ›Melody of Life‹ and ›Club 443 Hz‹ series. The highlight is the now legendary ›Community Opera‹.

read more

Participatory musical theatre

One for all

In 2017, the Future Lab organized an international academy on participatory musical theatre, which granted fellowships to selected representatives from cultural and educational institutions, artists and scientists.  Over the past decade, the principle of the ›Community Opera‹ has become firmly established as a consistent form and new genre within participatory musical theatre that combines all aspects of a cultural concept oriented towards society as a whole. The academy’s aim is to make the interdisciplinary sub-areas and their mechanisms of action tangible and transferrable for interested institutions.

International Academy for Participatory Musical Theatre (PDF