This groupmuse happened on Sunday, August 30, at 2:00 PM EDT.

This is a Virtual Groupmuse.

Connect to great musicians and a warm and welcoming community over live performances streamed into your home.

Bach & Zen

Bach & Zen

Sun, August 30, 2020 2:00 PM, EDT

Music is an exaltation of the present moment. Yes, in its fullness, it is bound in time and sequence, but the only way it can be known and felt is in the unfolding Now. And so, in this moment of rising consciousness, it makes for fine bedfellows with The Mindfulness Movement that has never been more important.

The Stradivarius-wielding Arabic-Dutch-Chinese-Indonesian superstar sensation of the violin Iskandar Widjaja understands the potence of that partnership, and so he’s prepared for us a groupmuse thats he’s entitled Bach and Zen, which we’re proud to shine our spotlight on.

Joined by the great pianist Friedrich Wengler and vocalist Jion — who’s prepared a set of Mantras and who’ll be leading a Zen meditation — Iskandar has Bach, Beethoven, Max Richter, and his own originals ready for an experience that’ll both expand you out and settle you in.

They’ll be beaming out of Berlin on Sunday August 30th, so for East-Coasters, the event starts on 2pm EDT. As ever, we’ll begin with a pre-concert Zoom hang, and then watch the concert through YouTube, and gather again after the concert for a Q and A with Iskandar.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

"SONOROUS GLORY OF SILENCE. Bach and ZEN is not an esoteric show-performance for stressed Europeans, but a serious involvement with only the seemingly contradictory. That's due to Jion's powerful vocal skills but foremost to Widjaja's phenomenal first-rate performance. ("His Bach is cosmos. His Bach is a force of nature. But his Bach is also of earthly power. Yes, his Bach is life." -- Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung)

Labeled both as “Worldclass-Violinist” (Stuttgarter Zeitung) and “Rockstar” (The Jakarta Post), ISKANDAR connects worlds. The son of arabic-dutch and chinese-indonesian parents grew up with high-caliber classical music and has performed as a soloist with internationally most renowned ensembles such as the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester- and Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Munich, Warsaw and Shanghai Philharmonics, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna or the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Simultaneously, he has developed a parallel showbiz career in east Asia, with regular TV appearances, commercial endorsement contracts, brand-ambassador duties and “trending topic” status on Twitter.

He entered the Berlin Hanns Eisler conservatoire as an extraordinary student at the age of eleven. Awarded many international prizes even as a teenager and while studying, he now collaborates with the great names of classical music such as Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Rolando Villazón,Cameron Carpenter, David Foster, Anggun, Itamar Golan and Fazil Say. He is also often to be seen at mass-media events like Miss World or Miss Earth, the Davis Cup, EXPO in Milan, the Fashion Week in Paris or the world premiere in Vienna’s Konzerthaus of the suite for violin and orchestra “Across the Stars” from Star Wars.

In addition to the traditional repertoire, he created the concept-concert “Bach&ZEN” in collaboration with a ZEN-Master and also works as a composer and songwriter. His compositions cannot be narrowed down to one genre, but combine influences of film music, baroque, pop and hiphop.

Iskandar is strongly committed to educational projects for children in the Asian Pacific region, typically in collaboration with UNICEF or the WWF. Supported by KOMPAS Gramedia, Indonesia’s biggest media group, and the “besharp foundation” he organizes charity events to finance musical instruments and instruction for orphans, street-, and schoolchildren.

His personality and energy are aptly summed up by the string players’ house magazine The Strad, in the following words: “Iskandar Widjaja, a true force of nature.”

He plays the “Stephens” 1690 Stradivari and an 1875 JB Vuillaume.


Iskandar Widjaja Violin
Jion Voice
Friedrich Wengler Piano


Yiruma/Widjaja: Improvisations on "River flows in you"
Mantra E major
Bach: Preludio E major
M.Richter: On the nature of daylight
Mantra b minor
M.Richter: Mercy
Mantra C major
Widjaja: Spirited away
Widjaja: Love on the moon
Bach/Widjaja: Arioso
Beethoven/Widjaja: Ode to joy

with Jion, Zen Meditation and Mantras
Friedrich Wengler, piano


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