About us

The Pool of Invention (POI) is an international collective of artists dedicated to creating transcultural art. We base our projects on our slogan: 1 + 1 = 3; a metaphor for the added value of diversity and cooperation.

We work with musicians, dancers, poets, visual artists and other creative minds from diverse cultures around the world. Our core team is the beating heart of our collective. We bring together expertise in the realm of music, design, video, photography, funding and business management. Our collective knowledge and years of experience within the industry enable a holistic approach to managing our projects; each POI is unique.

The Pool of Invention Ensemble is the Pool’s “home” ensemble. It sees itself as an ensemble without borders for the 21st century and integrates music, dance, performance and other art forms into a whole concept. The members’ cultural diversity and multilingualism play a significant role in the ensemble’s aesthetic. Flexibility in casting enables each project to have a different focus.

Our philosophy has three main pillars:

  • 1 + 1 = 3

    We strongly believe in adding value through diversity on all levels. Each project is more than the sum of its content; we ultimately aim to create a symbiosis that elevates each concept to higher, common ground: 1 + 1 = 3.

  • Innovation and creation

    The Pool of Invention aims to create innovative content. We perceive tradition as an indispensable source of inspiration, not as a burden. Our claim to innovation relates primarily to the specific artistic product, secondarily to its presentation (innovative concert formats, etc.).

  • Quality

    We take great care in crafting our signature POI projects. The concept of crossover music has heavily influenced our work. In facilitating diversity through the merging of art forms and cultures, we believe that we are contributing to the political discourse of our time.

Who we are

The POI was founded by the German musician Florian Willeitner and the Croatian-Austrian cellist Ivan Turkalj. Both founders are world travellers and have active careers as musicians.

Florian Willeitner, Artistic Director

Born in Passau in 1991, Florian is a multiple award-winning German violinist, composer and arranger. His focus lies in integrating diverse musical cultures, including classical music, jazz and folk music from all over the world, and to this end he founded the artists’ platform Pool of Invention in 2019. He has created works for renowned orchestras, festivals and soloists, including the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, the Stuttgart Music Festival, violinist Benjamin Schmid, tuba artist Andreas Hofmeir or Rolando Villazon and the Salzburg Mozart Week. His music is performed at renowned venues and festivals. He has given concerts all over Europe and beyond.

In 2016 he won second prize at the International Zbigniew Seifert Competition, one of the world’s biggest jazz violin competitions. In 2017 he completed his Master’s degree at the Mozarteum University, having studied under Benjamin Schmid. For the EU summit of the 28 European leaders in September 2018, he created the work Mozart in the Shape of Europe, which consists of variations on the famous theme of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik in many European and non-European styles. In January 2019 he began his collaboration with the Salzburg Mozart Week.

He is also the composer of the contemporary compulsory piece for solo violin to be played at the International Mozart Competition 2020.

Learn more about Florian at his website florianwilleitner.com.

Ivan Turkalj, General Management

Ivan Turkalj is a passionate grandmaster of his instrument, the cello, as well as an entrepreneur in music and technology. With his music label Rhythmic Dog he releases music by groundbreaking ensembles and individuals. As a cellist he performs classical repertoire with equal ease and persuasiveness as he does innovate projects, which plumb the depths of the cello’s potential all the way to Indie Rock, and which spotlight his musical versatility.

As the founder and member of such successful bands and ensembles as The Erlkings, New Piano Trio or The Hidden Cameras, he has made guest appearances in such venues as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Barbican Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Allianz Arena in Munich, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Sendesaal of the radio station WDR in Cologne. With his sparkling musical enthusiasm he has captivated audiences at large festivals such as the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival or the Heidelberg Frühling. Turkalj creates great moments on stage through his talent, ability, and musical passion – regardless of the type of music that is being played.

As an entrepreneur he worked worldwide as Head of Business Development at Music Traveler and as Product Manager in Start-ups in Music and Technology, such as Muvac and Klassikal.

Learn more about Ivan at his website ivanturkalj.com.