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,
A warm welcome to the Kurt Weill Festival 2015 in Dessau-Roßlau, Wörlitz, Wittenberg, Magdeburg and Halle! The upcoming 23rd festival will once again take visitors on an exciting journey through time and music by exploring the world of that most cosmopolitan of artists, Kurt Weill, born in Dessau on 2 March 1900. Inspired by the festival motto "From Lied to Song", this year's programme offers a diverse and attractive range of events performed by a stunning line-up of national and internationally celebrated artists. Once again we acclaim Kurt Weill as one of the great musical innovators of the 20th century, a man who enthusiastically collaborated with the best writers of his day to create a perfect fusion of word and music. This has animated us at the Kurt Weill Festival to honour the poet Wilhelm Müller, also born in Dessau, whose verses inspired many composers, not least Franz Schubert to create his cycles "Die schöne Müllerin" and "Winterreise". Müller is rightly regarded as one of the most important writers and thinkers of his age. The dialogue between music and language thus becomes one of the main threads of our festival programme, running from the opening evening right up to the closing concert. We are particularly delighted that the brilliant actress Cornelia Froboess has accepted our invitation to become our new Artist-in-Residence, thereby helping to shape this year's programme ‒ a real treat for the festival and its audiences!
The Kurt Weill Festival 2015 thus follows two groundbreaking artists, Kurt Weill and Wilhelm Müller, as they head out into the world. Or perhaps it would be more apt to say ‒ echoing Ernst Krenek (also born in 1900) in a song cycle ‒ "I set out in order to discover my homeland". More than almost any other European region, the history of the State of Anhalt from the Reformation, through the Enlightenment right up to the early 20th century is intertwined with the question of cultural identity. The career of Kurt Weill also illustrates this issue. His lifelong willingness to accept change, while at the same time acting to transform art, culture and indeed society, will therefore be illuminated in "From Lied to Song". Not through portentous speeches, but rather by means of great art. We are extremely grateful to all our benefactors, patrons, sponsors and partners for their generous support, without which we would be unable to offer so many great events at the 2015 Festival. It only remains to warmly invite you to Dessau and to Saxony-Anhalt.
We look forward to greeting you in person!
Prof. Michael Kaufmann
Intendant and Director Kurt Weill Centre
Note of Thanks
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