With a strong commitment to take classical music to new places and reach a wider audience, pianist David Huang and conductor Christian Karlsen founded Gränslandet – A Symphonic Festival.
Since the Summer of 2017, together with some of the best musicians and artists of our time, they have created unique music experiences for people of all ages, regardless of background and previous musical knowledge.

Gränslandet – A Symphonic Festival is produced by David Huang and Christian Karlsen in collaboration with Trädgården. This year’s 2021 festival is implemented with support from Music Development and Heritage Sweden, the City of Stockholm, The Cultural Council, Stockholm County Council, Signatur Foundation Sweden, the Gålö Foundation and partnerships with Yamaha Piano Center Stockholm and the Royal Opera.


Ecstasy, the joy of life and man´s longing for freedom link together at the 2021 Gränslandet – A Symphonic Festival which celebrates and is inspired by people who have taken great risks and stood up to express their inner truth. Sweden’s largest festival for young and classical music celebrates that you will finally be able to meet a long-awaited audience again on 20-21 August at Trädgården.

The elixir of life and trance mood in Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, the intensity of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony and Astor Piazzolla’s suggestive dramatic work “Maria de Buenos Aires” are combined with highlighting relatively unknown works by African American pioneers Florence Price and George Walker. Price was the first black woman to have her music played by a large American orchestra as early as the 1930s, and Walker was a touring concert pianist and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Traditionally, Gränslandet presents the best classical music side by side present-day artists and this year is no exception. Albin Lee Meldau and his soulful music meet the SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in a unique collaboration. In addition, we bring together Iraqi-Swedish star Nadin al Khalidi, frontman of the band Tarabband, and their swinging Arabic music with our orchestra.

“We are incredibly fired up for this year’s festival after such a long time of an almost cultural desert; you almost get teary-eyed just thinking about meeting the audience again with our music,” say festival founders David Huang and Christian Karlsen. “It really feels like Gränslandet  is celebrating this year – we are moving towards brighter times and freedom is returning.”


Gränslandet also puts a lot of focus on experiences for children and their families during the Saturday afternoon, for example Young at the Opera who guest play with the Royal Opera’s choir, the pop performance “Eldflugan”, festive and explosive classical music with our orchestra, instrument try out and workshops and culinary experiences.

Finally, during the late evening and night, the festival turns into a unique club environment where you can dance to electronic dance music and in the middle of the club bustle, in collaboration with Yamaha, we also present Gränslandet Silent Experience – a unique concert experience where the music is performed on a silent concert grand piano and the sound is reproduced in wireless noise-canceling headphones which are handed out to the audience.

The festival takes place at Trädgården in Stockholm on 20-21 August; the “house band” consists of the SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, the hand-picked 60-man orchestra consisting of many of the country’s foremost young musicians.

For more info about the programme, visit