My Balkans My Balkans

No Borders Orchestra

Balkan Season 2024 – Turning Point Tour

No Borders Orchestra (NBO) is made up of outstanding professional musicians from every country, religious and ethnic group of the Western Balkans. Its mission is two-fold: creating excellent music and raising awareness of social issues.

NBO is itself a testament to the need for, and possibility of, music overcoming national and communal differences for the sake of common good. No challenge demands that same spirit more than the world now. Humanity needs to come together, put aside differences, and develop an overriding common purpose. We believe our experience bringing together people in the Balkans through music demonstrates what is possible.

With the Turning Point Tour 2024, NBO invites everyone to look into where we are presently as well as to obtain and acquire enough courage in order to face the reality we all live in. Wars, increasing social inequalities, pollution, climate change and the destruction of remaining natural zones, has brought the world to a breaking point. There is a need to transform on many levels. NBO sees this crisis as an opportunity, a chance to grow as a society and unite in the fight for peace and understanding. It is necessary to open ourselves to others and to profoundly transform the way of living. It is crucial to act now!

The Turning Point traverses the aesthetic crossroads of Schoenberg, Strauss, and Mahler, composers whose works are emblematic of a pivotal era straddling the late Romantic tradition and the onset of Modernism. At the same time, the Tour mirrors our own era’s critical juncture, resonating with the perspectives of contemporary thinkers, politicians, and philosophers who see striking parallels between the world today and the tumultuous period preceding World War I. That period, much like our own, was a world in crisis, oscillating between the untenable Old and the necessary but uncharted New, a world searching for meaning in the midst of meaninglessness.

Through this thematic exploration, the project confronts our present-day challenges, mirroring a world once teetering on the edge. Yet, amidst this somber reflection, the Turning Point embodies a message of hope, imploring us not to let history repeat its darkest chapters but rather to transcend our mistakes and forge a path toward a more enlightened and united civilization. This powerful narrative is not just a reminiscence of a world at the brink, but a beacon of optimism, guiding us to emerge from these troubling times as a stronger, more harmonious society.

Accompanying these historical masterpieces will be four newly commissioned contemporary works, from leading composers from the region: Davor Branimir Vincze (Croatia), Marko Nikodijevic (Serbia), Nina Perovic (Montenegro), and Darija Andovska (Northern Macedonia). These pieces will serve as thematic bridges within the program, highlighting the ongoing dialogue between the past and the present, thematise explicitly the dramatic situation in which the world is right now and pointing towards the future.

The Turning Point is set to culminate in the recording of a new release for Deutsche Grammophon, followed by a promotional tour across Europe in 2025. NBO holds an exclusive contract with Universal Music. Its first CD, entitled “The Opening”, was released in 2015 by Deutsche Grammophon, one of the world’s most prestigious brands in classical music.



Nina Perovic: commissioned piece by NBO

Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht

Davor Branimir Vincze: commissioned piece by NBO

Gustav Mahler: Adagietto

Darija Andovska: commissioned piece by NBO

Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen

Marko Nikodijevic: commissioned piece by NBO

Emracing Vulnerability 2022 and 2023 Balkan Tour

“Outstanding level of individual and group musicianship.”
Igor Vlajnic

“No Borders Orchestra is an example of cultural missionaries.”
Al Jazeera

“At the moment of entering the stage, the ensemble made it clear that it was a different orchestra. The whole concert looked like a musical-stage performance in which the orchestra and the audience form a single body.“

NO BORDERS ORCHESTRA, an ensemble consisting of outstanding professional musicians from the region of the Western Balkans . With an exclusive contract with Universal Music and the first release under the Deutsche Grammophon label, NBO presents a thrilling production EMBRACING VULNERABILITY.

The global pandemic left the world in a shaken and vulnerable state. As soon as it seemed the world was regaining its bearings and pulling out of the crisis, another devastating and unthinkable event occurred – the first major war on European soil in decades.

Combining classical and contemporary pieces with theatrical elements and electronics, No Borders Orchestra, with its Embracing Vulnerability project, proposes not to deny our present situation, not to run away and be a victim, but rather invites us to see the long-lasting crises as an opportunity to embrace our vulnerabilities, open ourselves to others and to profoundly transform our way of living.

Embracing Vulnerability is performed by STRING ENSAMBLE, accompanied by PERCUSSION and ELECTRONICS.



Johann Sebastian Bach: O Haupt Voll Blut und Wunden 

Davor Branimir Vincze: The Wound is the Place where the Light enters You (NBO’s commission)

Isidora Zebeljan: Deserted Village

Steve Reich: Different Trains – Europe-During the War 

Arvo Pärt: Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten 

Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major, D. 956 – Adagio

Gustav Mahler:  Adagietto 

Edward Elgar: Nimrod

About NBO

No Borders Orchestra (NBO) is a symphony orchestra comprised of excellent professional musicians from the Western Balkans. It grew out of the desire to create a regional cross-border symphony orchestra, one that delivers the highest artistic quality and calls for a new kind of communication. The NBO project rests on two main foundations: music and society.

All NBO performances balance musical quality with a comprehensive awareness of society. Established in 2012, based in both Berlin and Belgrade, NBO is a non-governmental organization whose goal is to initiate positive social development through the power of reconciliation and creative collaboration. By seeking ways to deconstruct and transform communities, by advocating for positive change and by engaging societies to become more inclusive, intercultural, democratic and open, NBO serves as a platform for overcoming nationalism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and the bloody legacy of the past in the Western Balkan region and beyond.
The founder and artistic director of NBO is Belgrade-born, Berlin-based conductor Premil Petrović.

NBO asks the question: “What is the artistic and social significance of a symphony orchestra in the twenty- first century?” Its activities thus far offer some potential answers. NBO has had an active first six years: performing numerous concerts at the leading festivals in the Balkan region, as well as touring and receiving rave reviews at Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Operadagen in Rotterdam, Festival de Marseille, Brisbane Festival, Festival in Gwangju, Macao Arts Festival as well as the Barbican in London, Kampnagel in Hamburg, Radialsystem in Berlin, Megaron in Athens, Lisbon, Toulouse, Strasbourg etc. NBO has signed an exclusive recording agreement with Universal Music with the first album “The Opening” being released under the Deutsche Grammophon brand in March 2015.