Our Vision

The birth

Reconciliation festival is a dream that comes true. It was born from several magical moments in 2022: first the vision of the choreography the man and the sea, on TV during the pandemic in Mars 2002 then the random encounter between Nirina Haller, now festival director, and physicist Yves Quéré from the French Academy of Sciences in September 2022 at the Institut de France during the Journées du Patrimoine. The reading of Yves Quéré’s book un coquillage au creux de l’oreille was the trigger to start the pilot edition in 2023 with the two artists performing in “the man and the sea”, dancer and choreographer Julien Boclé and pianist Frederic Vaysse-Knitter.

After the pandemic and the worrying situation related to global climate change and ecological challenges, we felt that art could be a transformative force in society and a way to restore connection to nature and create greater social cohesion.

All on stage

Yves Quéré accepted immediately to become the godfather of the festival and the volunteer association, Den Gjenfundne Tid, engaged all its energy to showcase the scandinavian premiere of the man and the sea in Stavanger. A full festive program was set up by our volunteers shaping some key activities of the festival like our yoga classes in nature, the kids workshops and the beach cleaning action in collaboration with the association Clean Shores. In 2023, we spent three wonderful days of joy but also reflection to change our relationship to Nature and we decided to register the festival within the framework of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

We also recognise the values of technologies and the wellness and progress that science brings to us, therefore scientists are always invited to the festival…Maybe it is not a hazard that they are also music lovers and musicians themselves!
Reconciliation festival was born and is here to stay. Sustainability is a pillar of our vision and also our operating mode as a small non-profit initiative. We could not be there without the economical support of our sponsors and public institutions, the spiritual support of our mentors and of course the vibrant energy of our public. Thank you so much!
Nature, which pre-exists the way we look at it, gives birth to science: it is the framework of our first words, the source of our first questions, and it remains an inexhaustible source of enigmas and wonders.
Yves Quéré, French Académie of Sciences

The growth

The international artistic direction was set up following the first pilot edition, as another result of a beautiful encounter between the french pianist Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter and the Stavanger-based finnish cellist Ilmari Hopkins. Together they define the artistic line of the festival and how it will develop. We are looking forward to the exciting program they have set up for 2024 and in particular their first concert together on 24th august!

The growth of the festival is undeniable with 18 guests, 5 concerts, one art exhibition and always the will to stay sustainable.

The artistic direction

Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter

artistic director, pianist

Ilmari Hopkins

artistic director, cellist

Nirina Haller

festival director, geophysicist

Yves Quéré

festival godfather, physicist

2023 Highlights


Thank you Julien Boclé for a breathtaking moment! Vigor, energy, grace and poetry, the scandinavian premiere of the man and the sea offered us a wave of emotion. Bravi to our young dancers who performed “Les sauvages” by Rameau after a 2 hours workshop with Julien!

Science Workshop

Thank you to our volunteer, Stéphanie Kretz, who organised a hands-on science workshop inspired by Yves Quéré, festival’s godfather, Georges Charpak (Nobel Prize) and Pierre Léna’s initiative La main à la pâte

Yoga in nature

Thank you to all who came on the Sunday beach yoga session with Vanessa Livingston. Sun shone and warmed up our savasana moment!


Thank you Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter for a sumptuous programme of piano music with Debussy, Chopin, Grieg and Szymanovsky! Frédéric is now artistic director of the festival, together with Stavanger-based cellist, Ilmari Hopkins. We are looking forward to seeing you back, Frédéric!


The festival was registered in the FN calendar for World Ocean Day 2023. During these 3 days, we learned about reducing our environmental impact and protect our nature.

Beach cleaning

Thank you to all who joined the beach cleaning action led by Nadia Aarab from Clean Shores! This was a simple way to put in actions these words of FN General-Secretary “Let’s put the oceans first”!

Clean Shores organises beach cleaning actions around Stavanger all year round.