“Wohin?” (“Where to?”) is a playful journey where the three musicians explore what shapes us as individuals and connects us as humans. The premiere of this program, created in collaboration with the Musikverein Wien and the Philharmonie Luxembourg, took place on March 16, 2024, at the Musikverein Wien.

Nina Kazourian, Golnar Shahyar, and Marie Spaemann—three internationally active singer-songwriters living in Vienna—have jointly developed a program for children aged six and older. “Wohin?” invites listeners on a whimsical journey, shedding light on what uniquely influences us and binds us together.

Imagine a transitional space, perhaps an airport. People come and go, waiting. But why wait alone when there are others nearby with whom you feel a connection? Nina, Golnar, and Marie simultaneously have this thought and begin conversing. Their dialogue unfolds naturally, accompanied by instruments and song. They all speak the universal language of music—a language understood not only by children but by people worldwide. Suddenly, the tedious waiting is forgotten, and the three embark on a voyage. It’s a journey into their personal histories, life paths, and memories—from childhood to beautiful, humorous, and sometimes challenging moments. They recall their grandmother’s embrace, the swallows above the river, and their first songs. Along the way, they approach the question: Where is the place where they truly feel at ease, perhaps even at home?

For Nina Kazourian, Golnar Shahyar, and Marie Spaemann, the focus shifts from the often-heard question, “Where are you from?” to the open-ended query, “Where to?” This question resonates even more urgently for children, who stand at the beginning of their life’s journey. The piece takes them by the hand, inviting them to explore the beauty and power of the present moment as they peer into the future. Rather than presenting a linear narrative, director Tobias Ribitzki emphasizes a collage—an interplay of the musicians’ diverse life moments that complement each other in a deeply personal way. Despite the individuality of each story, the musical dialogue reveals how interconnected our dreams, desires, and longings truly are.

These young musicians, who have traveled extensively despite their age, bring not only life experience but also a variety of instruments and musical styles to their staged concert. Nina plays the viola, Golnar the guitar, and Marie the cello. They also switch between piano and percussion, with additional musical support from Florian Willeitner. Their playful approach ensures instrumental and vocal variety. Anything—a keyword, a scent-triggered memory, or an initially overlooked detail—can spark a new musical idea during their conversation. The result is an associative space brimming with musical creativity, akin to a kaleidoscope captured by director Tobias Ribitzki in conversation. Imagine that curious children’s toy where small objects and shards come together to form ever-changing, colorful patterns as it spins.

“Wohin?” (“Where to?”) resembles a musical kaleidoscope—a playful, thoughtful, and joyous expression of questions about our origins, what defines us, and where we aspire to go.

Text: Michael Hammerschmid"

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The ensemble

Learn more about Pool of Invention Ensemble, the ensemble behind Wohin?: