Thomas Markworth - President of the Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft e.V.
Prof. Michael Kaufmann -
Intendant of the Kurt Weill Festival
Kurt Weill Festival Dessau
Dear friends of the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau,
The 24th Kurt Weill Festival warmly invites you to a cultural feast to celebrate the age of the classic modernist movement. With more than 60 events in Dessau as well as at our other venues in Wörlitz, Wittenberg, Halle and Magdeburg, the Kurt Weill Festival for 2016 will again illuminate one of the most exciting periods of the 20th century. This time round the Festival is breaking ground with a new and intensive partnership with the Ernst Krenek Institut Privatstiftung based in Krems (Austria), the culmination of our long history of collaboration with national and international organizations.
Weill and Krenek were born in 1900; both men were leading figures in the culturally fertile period of the Weimar Republic; and both artists escaped persecution under the Nazis by fleeing to America. Their artistic impact before the Second World War is exemplified in The Threepenny Opera and Jonny spielt auf, works which ushered in a new type of music theatre that revolutionized artistic expression in music and drama.
Prof. Matthias Henke, who has been instrumental in developing the programme "Krenek, Weill & the Moderns", is not only a member of our Scientific Advisory Board but also sits on the Artistic-Scientific Board of the Ernst Krenek Institut Privatstiftung. This wonderful link to our new institutional partner is strengthened in the person of the internationally celebrated violinist and conductor Ernst Kovacic, our Artist-in-Residence for 2016, who is also Chairman of the Privatstiftung. The contemporary bridge between Weill and Krenek also stretches as far as the USA thanks to the great work of our "older sister", the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in New York.
It is interesting to note that the city of Dessau was already part of the modernist artistic movement even before the arrival of Bauhaus in 1926: Kurt Weill's Violin Concerto was premiered here in the autumn of 1925, while the city also hosted the very first performance of Ernst Krenek's Violin Concerto No. 1 in January of that year. All the more reason for us in Dessau to remember the 25th anniversary of the death of Ernst Krenek in 2016.
We would like to thank the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, which, under its new director Johannes Weigland, is once again one of our most important partners. And, of course, we are indebted to all the supporters and sponsors of the Kurt Weill Festival, whose great work and commitment enable us to produce a festival of this quality and size.
We hope that after leafing through the pages of this programme you will decide to join us at the 24th Kurt Weill Festival. You are sure to be thrilled by our roster of great performers, which this year includes HK Gruber, Nils Landgren, Ensemble Modern, Ute Gfrerer, James Holmes, the Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra and Cornelia Froboess, all former Artists-in-Residence.
Prof. Michael Kaufmann
Intendant and Director Kurt Weill Centre
Note of Thanks
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