Thomas Markworth
Thomas Markworth - President of the Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft e.V.

Prof. Michael Kaufmann
Prof. Michael Kaufmann - Intendant and Director Kurt Weill Centre

Julia Nickel - Managing director of the Kurt Weill Fest Dessau GmbH

Motto of the Kurt Weill Festival 2014

Kurt Weill Festival Dessau

Dear friends of the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau,

A warm welcome to the 22nd Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, the city of classic modernism. For the past three years a record number of visitors have accompanied us on our musical jaunts to the glittering capital cities of Berlin, Paris and New York. Now, with "Revolution – Weill & the Media" we invite you to join us again for another thrilling encounter with Kurt Weill and his world.

The Kurt Weill Festival for 2014 will embark on a journey through time from the past to the future, beginning at the end of 1923. This was when Kurt Weill completed his third and final year of masterclasses under Ferruccio Busoni, and seemed well on the way to becoming a trailblazing artist in two separate fields: music and the new medium of radio. As a freelance journalist for the newspaper "Der Deutsche Rundfunk" he was required to report on the "Radio-Stunde", amongst other programmes, which first aired on 29 October 1923. In 1924 his "Frauentanz" premiered in Berlin; he got to know Lotte Lenya and signed his very first contract with Universal-Edition, the famous sheet music publishers. "I'm delighted to note that I gradually seemed to be finding my voice; my music is becoming more confident, more unrestrained and less complex." The premiere of his "Concerto for violin and wind orchestra" is one of the sensations of the Paris Music Festival. He begins work on "Royal Palace" and attends the German premiere of his violin concerto in Dessau on 29 October 1925, where he is horrified by the low standard of playing in provincial orchestras compared to those in the capital. That is one experience which Weill would be spared today – just listen to the brilliant performances of the Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra Dessau under its principal conductor Antony Hermus. It comes as no surprise that you will be able to enjoy the orchestra and its director as "Artist-in-Residence" of the Kurt Weill Festival 2014.

Thanks to the generous support of our patrons and sponsors, as well as outstanding interpreters, the 22nd Kurt Weill Festival will confirm once again that Weill was – and is – one of the 20th century's major composers. You will also find out that the "antiquated" medium of radio is still very much alive: Our programme features "The Lindbergh Flight", the "Berlin Requiem" and "Down in the Valley", three of Kurt Weill's most important works for radio, while the festival will also have its very own station this year, WeillFM, developed by kids and teenagers in order to present a medium of the future. Come to Dessau and help us remember and celebrate Kurt Weill, a musical genius who was also an early pioneer of radio. We look forward to seeing you!

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Michael Kaufmann
Intendant and Director Kurt Weill Centre

Note of Thanks

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