Grand Nordic Festival: Lyric Salon 25/9-27/9 2020

Grand Nordic Festival welcomes citizens of Copenhagen, Danish regions and international audiences to join on a meeting between classical guitar and poetry.

The festival presents art dialogues between the voices of the guitar and poetry with the Parisian salon as inspiration and with reference to the relation between poetry and the lyre in antiquity. 

The theme: KON:T:AKT

In times when distance is the rule, increased digitization prevails and human contact has been put to the test, we invite the audience to a joint journey where dialogue is the epicenter of the analogue direct interaction across art forms. That is the background for this year’s festival theme: KON:T:AKT

The festival itself is staged as a series of dialogues between classical guitar and poetry readings. Each single performance is attained via a direct confluence between poet and musician(s). This joint expression explores the epicentric creative force of the feminine, and aims at an experimental trans-aesthetic study. Parallely, we seek,  via the art dialogues, to maintain a perspective view on the phenomenological aspect of the paradox of human contact in times of crisis – i.e. a philosophical reflection on an existential issue which deals with our perception of the world as an experience of consciousness, where the dialogue, per se, across art forms emerges as an element and instrument in the initiating, innovative contact point which may serve as a tool used to observe, raise awareness and expand the thought system of the artists who meet on stage, but also the audience.


In antiquity the strings of the lyre and poetry were inseparable. For many centuries, music was accompanied by poetry. Since then, the joint experience of these artistic expressions has been separated. The purpose with this new festival is to re-establish the connection between a string instrument and poetry.

The concept developer and festival director, Martha Elias / AcademiA Copenhagen, renders her ideas about the festival:

“Since childhood, guitar tunes have permeated my musical perception. This is because I was raised with the sound of both classical Spanish guitar, and folklore music played on the guitar. In addition – on one hand – the guitar is also the first musical instrument with which I recall having become acquainted, while – on the other hand – reading and writing poetry has always been a way of seeking insight. Over the past decades, I have been involved within the areas of linguistics and professional languages – i.e. language training, translations, interpretation, subtitles – where I have most often focused on an trans-disciplinary approach. Since 2015, in parallel with my activities as a linguist, I have taken part of art project collaborations, all of these within the scope of versatility and experimental content. It has been a long journey since 2013, when I got the first idea to present a festival of poetry and classical music based on a trans-aesthetic approach which simultaneously encounters trans-disciplinarity and multilingualism as an inherent part of the concept development.
These three elements – trans-disciplinarity, multilingualism and trans-aesthetics – by combination – provide a range of new possibilities for art expressions, yet these elements can also serve as tools – through layer-on-layer ‘weaving’ – to create a coherent texture that enhances the senses’ experience of art. An experience that renders an added value and unfolds, on its own right, in the meeting with the audience. Moreover, I read professional books, but especially literature – also write own poetry texts and/or art reviews – to the sound of classical music. Therefore, it only makes sense to me to carry on this path, and share with others this experience of profound connection with classical music, yet at the same time also my relationship with poetry by fostering a platform on which the two – or more – art forms interact with one another and with the audience concurrently.

This is, just as well, an experiment on whether some kind of transmission between the two genre milieux may result in the creation of a new merged artistic expression, as well as the emersion of a new audience, where each party engages – on the same terms –  in the dialogue which is then used as a communication tool in connection with this festival. Ultimately, this project is the culmination of a dream. The purpose thus, is to strengthen, support and safeguard the role of the arts as a crucial element for a joint reflection on society matters.”

Salon Time

During the breaks as well as every night – after the program ends – everyone can join the Salon Time and mingle with the the artists. It remains paramount to nourish a comprehensive experience for everyone.

Open Salon Stage

This is our version of Open Mic and is an opportunity to interact with everyone straightforwardly. The festival’s artists and festival visitors can freely take the stage and present poetry, music or something inter-related. This will take place after the official stage programme on September 25 and 26. Contact the coordinator, Søren Kristoffersen.

Poetry in Community

The festival public and participating poets have the opportunity to freely  contribute to compose a festival  product written in community during this year’s festival. This is done by writing 1-2 lines of verse – related to the festival’s theme KON:T:AKT – on a post-it note that will be lined up at the entrance. After the festival, the joint poem will be edited and shared via the festival’s social media channels.


The festival opens up the concept of Lyric Salon with poetry and guitar interactions, in addition we present talks, artist dialogues and WordLabs (writing workshops) in Danish and English for poetry – aimed at everyone – but especially young audience is encouraged to participate. All children from 9 years of age are welcome.

WordLabs are writing workshops in Danish and English for aspiring poets.

See programme here.

Buy tickets here.

GUITAR MASTER CLASSES registration for guitar master classes by guitar professor Frederik Munk Larsen is open for aficionados, students and professionals.

See programme here.

Buy tickets here.

If you have any questions about the program or workshops, please send an email to:



The festival aims at creating a space for art encounters between poetry and classical music, and has the audience as a central part of the ongoing dialogue. We thank the interest to everyone and inform that the organisation aims at delivering any and all profits from ticket sales to Flygtningebø (organisation that provide aid to child refugees).


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Copenhagen, 25 September 2019


Venue A

Unitarernes Hus
Dag Hammerskjölds Allé 30
2100 København

Venue B

See more info here

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Venue A

Unitarernes Hus
Dag Hammerskjölds Allé 30
2100 København

Venue B 

See more info here

© Copyright 2020 - Grand Nordic Festival