As the sounding Podium of the Baltic Sea, the Usedom Music Festival equally presents the musical life of all countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, providing a special country focus each year of one of the Baltic Sea countries. On the isle of Usedom, the sunniest spot of the Baltic Sea diverse and exciting musical programmes, accompanied by art exhibitions, presentations and readings, allow one to reflect on one’s own culture and sensibilities in the mirror of the others’. Festival music effortlessly overcomes geographic, historical and cultural boundaries and brings people together across countries and generations. World renowned soloists, conductors and ensembles such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Kurt Masur, Kremerata Baltica, Esbjörn Svenson Trio, Kristjan, Paavo and Neeme Järvi or Esa-Pekka Salonen and many more present the music cultures of their countries. The programmes cover a wide range of classical music spiced up with jazz and popular music. The Peenemünde Concerts at a former World War II military testing site, frequently featuring the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the NDR Symphony Orchestra, are among the highlights of the more than 40 events presented by the Festival each year. They set an example for peace in a region historically divided by war and politics. From 24 September to 14 October 2016, the musical and cultural life of Sweden will be this year’s Festival focus.