Thomas Markworth - President of the Kurt-Weill-Gesellschaft e.V.
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 2013
Kurt Weill Festival Dessau
Dear friends of the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau,
Welcome to Broadway and welcome to New York, the final stage on our three-city tour which began in Berlin and made an exhilarating stopover in Paris before now arriving in the city where Kurt Weill lived from 1935 to 1950, and where he enjoyed many great artistic successes.
Of course, the fascinating and glamorous mystique of New York is not automatically linked with the name of Kurt Weill in the minds of many people, and yet he is one of those outstanding artists who with great skill, passion and persistence burnished the reputation of this unique cultural and musical metropolis on the Hudson River. Weill helped shape Broadway during its heyday; his aim of creating a popular operatic form, and his ideas on how contemporary music theatre should look, were hugely influential, even if his work is so rarely foand on today's theatre programmes.
The American lyricist Ogdon Nash, with whom Kurt Weill wrote "One Touch of Venus", described the composer as a genius of the theatre, as one of the most warm-hearted persons he knew, and yet as a person who showed a real iron will when at work in the theatre. Their joint hit "Speak low, when you speak Love" will be a recurring motif throughout the festival programme, reminding us that Weill was one of the very few composers who was also a virtuosic pianist, and thus familiar with the entire range of musical expression offered by the keyboard. Our festival programme takes its inspiration from the quote latterly attributed to Leonard Bernstein that it is nonsensical to try to classify music as either "serious" or "popular", when in fact there is only really good and bad music. We invite you to make the trip to Dessau, the city of classical modernity, in order to enjoy music that is in tune with our daily needs and lives, a true "folk music" of the 20th century. Our artists, in particular our Artist-in-Residence, the wonderful, internationally celebrated composer and arranger James Holmes, as well as a novel collaboration with the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, will expertly and thrillingly guide you through the world of music. It is of course down to the generosity of our patrons and sponsors that we are able to present such a brilliant festival for 2013. Their support imbues us with a deep sense of responsibility as well as proving a great stimulus to our work.
Make the trip to Saxony-Anhalt to be seduced and mesmerized by one of the greatest composers of the last century: Kurt Weill, born in the city of Dessau. Come to the city of classical modernity and take a musical journey with us – we can't wait to see you!
Prof. Michael Kaufmann
Intendant and Director Kurt Weill Centre
Note of Thanks
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