pop culture x classical space

The Takeover! Ensemble is the brainchild of Mihalj "MIKI" Kekenj, a German-born violinist, composer, and arranger with Hungarian roots.  He best describes his relationship with classical and other types of music, such as hip-hop and R&B, with a quote from Goethe's Faust: "Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my chest, and each is fain to leave its brother".  The Takeover! Ensemble is a flexible collection of MIKI's colleagues and friends who have similar sensibilities toward music . All members of Takeover! have advanced degrees in music performance, and are equally dedicated to the idea that music doesn't necessarily have to be a one-dimensional, singular concept.  Having collaborated with artists such as Aloe Blacc, Erykah Badu, Axel Bosse, Cassandra Steen, Max Mutzke, and the DJ team Moonbootica, the Ensemble has made a name for itself on the European stage as a crossover-ensemble that introduces mainstream music in a classical setting.  Their goal is to “take-over” traditional spaces by eliminating stylistic boundaries for just one special night.

We are offering Takeover! as a string quintet with the phenomenal German singer, Max Mutzke, who rose to fame in Europe while still in high school after a successful appearance on the Eurovision Song Contest and by winning the prestigious "SSDSGPS" competition on the popular German late-night show, "TV total" . His soulful and completely engaging interpretations of MIKI's arrangements are perfect for clubs or concert halls. Performing in German and English, the Takeover! Ensemble creates an unforgettable experience blending cultures, languages, and genres in an elegant presentation.

"I envision Takeover! as an overarching concept for classical concert halls. Without alienating the listener, my idea is to have the audience take a journey into an unfamiliar musical space and still be connected to the music at hand. This format is not limited to concert halls....It is my intention that through this unique format, we can show people of different musical tastes that classical and pop need not always be mutually exclusive."

Click here to watch and listen to Takover! and Max Mutzke perform MIKI's arrangement of Radiohead's Creep.