Daniel’s „Tu was!“ Project („Do Something!“)

Daniel’s Concert at the Brandenburg Gate, November 9th, 2013

On November 10 2013, British violinist and 6-time ECHO Klassik Award-winner Daniel Hope performed at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate for an audience of 12,000 in a ceremony honoring the victims of “Kristallnacht.” Also known as the Night of Broken Glass, the massacre of November 9-10th, 1938, alerted the world to the barbarism of the Nazis. The ceremony, which marked the 75th anniversary of “Kristallnacht,” invited everyone, especially Berlin’s schoolchildren and students, to come together at the Brandenburg Gate in a memorial that signalled the value of diversity in today’s Germany and promotes vigilance against all forms of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism, and violence.
Daniel Hope has a strong connection to Berlin’s history. His own family lived in Berlin until 1938; some of them fled to the U.S. and South Africa, others lost their lives. At his last “Kristallnacht” concert in 2008, Hope converted the former Tempelhof Airport into a concert hall and brought together friends and colleagues to make a stand against racism and promote tolerance with his “Do Something!” campaign. Daniel Hope said: “What fascinates me most about Berlin is its perpetual history still hidden deep inside so many of its buildings. And so I decided some years ago to fill these places with music, one after the other, by performing at the Reichstag, the Ministry of Finance (formerly Göring’s Ministry of Aviation), the Felix Mendelssohn-Remise, (the former carriage house of the old Berlin headquarters of the Mendelssohn Bank) and Tempelhof Airport. Making music in these buildings, surrounded by the ghosts of my family and of times gone by, let me into a past which I did not experience, but can still sense. “

On November 10, Berlin sent a united message to the world from the Brandenburg Gate: „Never again!“ Statements, short films, and mobile phone clips were projected onto the Brandenburg Gate for people to see and hear. The ceremony recalled those years which destroyed diversity, remembering those who were excluded, persecuted, and had their livelihoods destroyed during the Nazi pogroms. The ceremony also emphasized what diversity means in today’s world, where exclusion and discrimination still exist.

Hope brought Heinz Jakob “Coco” Schumann, the legendary Berlin jazz musician who survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, to the ceremony. He also  performed music by 1930s composers who were condemned during Nazi rule.

tuwas

November 9th, 2008 and November 9th 2013

Five years before this, to commemorate the 70th annivesary of “Kristallnacht“ in 2008, Daniel Hope produced one of the most spectacular and moving events in recent times. Joined by Thomas Quasthoff, Hélène Grimaud, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max Raabe, Sol Gabetta and many others, all funds raised from this evening were donated to the Freya von Moltke Foundation.

The former passenger departure terminal of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport was transformed for the first time into a concert hall and multi-genre arts venue on Sunday, November 9th 2008, when British violinist Daniel Hope, with the support of some of Germany’s most prominent political figures, came together with fellow classical, rock, and jazz musicians and other special guests for “Tu Was!” – the German term meaning “Do something!” – a special event commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

“Tu was!”, a collage of music, words, pictures, and video installations, was conceived by Hope, who was inspired by distinguished British historian Sir Martin Gilbert, and his book Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction, a collection of personal reminiscences of the so-called “Reichskristallnacht” of late 1938. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, Jewish homes and businesses were attacked and half of the synagogues and prayer houses in Germany and Austria were badly damaged or totally destroyed in an orgy of violence propagated by the members of the Nazi SA and SS units. The following day, over 30,000 male Jews were deported to concentration camps, before the eyes of the cataclysm of the “final solution” and the Holocaust.

Daniel Hope: „I came across Gilbert’s book recently, and while I knew about the “Reichskristallnacht”, it wasn’t until I read the book that the historical consequences of that night’s events became clear to me. The horrifyingly meticulous description of the violence against the Jews was utterly overwhelming. Since then the question as to what I would have done in such circumstances has begun to haunt me. “Reichskristallnacht” took place 70 years ago and yet its consequences are still reflected in today’s society. Situations that require civil courage, individual or collective, continue to arise, whether it’s an individual attack on a defenseless fellow human being or the brutality of groups such as rightwing radical skinheads. Remembering the 1938 pogroms is a much-needed symbolic action in our society today. It echoes a call to all civilized people never again to ignore unacceptable violence by inaction.“

Daniel Hope not only raised the money to make this project happen, he also persuaded leading political figures to back it. “Tu was!” had the support of the Foreign Minister of the German Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and his Cultural Minister, André Schmitz. The Jewish community of Berlin and their Chair, Ms. Lala Süsskind also pledged their help and support, along with many other individuals and companies.

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Kristallnacht anniversary: Hope comes to Berlin's Tempelhof

Seventy years after one of Europe’s most notorious atrocities, violinist Daniel Hope is to organise a concert in the city’s Nazi-era airport

It is an enduring symbol of the Nazi regime and once Europe’s largest airport – so what do you do with the empty relic of Berlin’s Tempelhof? British violinist Daniel Hope thinks he may have the answer.

Tomorrow evening, Hope will fill the airport – which was closed just 10 days ago – with some of the world’s world-renowned musicians and actors to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, one of the most monumental acts of racism Europe has ever witnessed.

Inspired by a book on the subject by British historian Martin Gilbert, Hope resolved to observe the occasion in the best way he knew: music. „It’s a commemoration, not a party, which is not to say it won’t be a fulfilling experience“, he told guardian.co.uk.

Tempelhof, he said, came to mind as being a highly appropriate location for his Tu Was! (Act) concert, given its controversial history. „It’s a potent symbol, being both a Nazi-era building and, with its inextricable link to the legendary airlift after the war, a unique act of civil courage,“ said Hope, whose own family was forced to flee Nazi Berlin.

The 35-year old, who is ranked one of the world’s leading solo violinists, quickly gathered an impressive crowd. Among them will be German bass baritone Thomas Quasthoff, pianist Helene Grimaud, the actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, pop artists Patrice and Polarkreis 18; and – arguably the most impressive figure of all – pianist Menahem Pressler, 84, himself a Kristallnacht survivor.

Foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier agreed to act as patron to the project, which helped Hope to persuade airport authorities to let him use the departures lounge and fill it with seating for a paying audience of 800. Profits will go to the Freya von Moltke Foundation, a centre for international understanding, in Poland.

Menahem Pressler said he was delighted with the idea. „Daniel is sweet man and when he asked me if I’d take part, I reorganised my schedule to do so,“ he said to guardian.co.uk yesterday. Pressler, who founded the Beaux Arts Trio chamber ensemble before disbanding it earlier this year, Kristallnacht remains an integral part of his personal history.

The state-sanctioned violence, which took place on the nights of November 8 and 9 1938, led to Pressler’s family fleeing their home in Magdeburg. Four months later they arrived in Palestine, a day before war broke out. While the pianist’s immediate family were saved from the Holocaust, his grandparents, numerous uncles, aunts and cousins perished in the concentration camps.
„That night is certainly something to remember,“ he said. „It obviously reminds me of the horrific persecution, but in a way, being able to take part in the concert makes me feel very, very fortunate. I had the luck to go to Israel, which saved my life, while many others didn’t and still now, at the age of 84, I’m relishing music more than ever.“

It was, Pressler said, partially the suffering he experienced that made him the acclaimed musician he has become. „You get wrinkles not just on your face, but also in your heart – they reflect your experience, your suffering and your pleasure. I learned the depths of my emotions through music and channelled them into music making. I doubt I’d have become the pianist I am if I’d stayed in Magdeburg.“

The evening’s programme largely reflects the cultural riches of Germany, including music by the great composers who were banned or misused, artists whose works were considered degenerate or composers who were persecuted and murdered.

Thomas Quasthoff will perform Four Serious Songs by Johannes Brahms, while Argentine-born cellist Sol Gabetta will play a work by Ernest Bloch, the Swiss composer who was inspired by Jewish liturgical and folk music. Hélène Grimaud, as famous for her love of wolves as her musical abilities, will play works by JS Bach, while Max Raabe, who has made a huge name for himself as a singer of songs from the 1920s and 30s, will revive some of the popular music from the Weimar Republic.

Hope himself has opted for Lieder by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. A musician close to Hope’s heart, Mendelssohn was banned by the Nazis, who ordered linen covers to be sewn over his scores and stamped them with a warning that they were not to be played.

The highlight of the evening, however, is set to be Pressler’s performance of Beethoven’s penultimate Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110. He chose it, he said, because it was the piece of music which helped give expression to his experience.

„It has everything,“ Pressler says. „It has idealism, it has hedonism, it has regret and it has something that builds like a fugue and at the very end – something very rare in Beethoven’s last sonatas – it ends triumphantly.

„It says: ‚yes – my life was worth living‘. That’s what I feel.“

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A New Context for the Holocaust

With far-right anti-immigrant parties strengthening in Austria, and growing opposition to the mosques and minarets shooting up from Berlin to Cologne, xenophobia is in the air in Europe. Pending job losses from the financial fallout may soon make matters worse. That’s why, when violinist Daniel Hope got the idea of hosting a 70th anniversary concert for Kristallnacht in Berlin, he wanted it to be more than a remembrance of the Holocaust and World War II. “It’s also about now, about violence against foreigners and any kind of racism,” he said. “We’re at a time, in an unstable atmosphere, where we can’t afford to be looking away and watching again.”

“Tu Was!”, or “Do Something!”, which takes place Nov. 9 at the recently closed Tempelhof Airport of Nazi pride and Berlin Airlift fame, pays homage to the infamous Night of Broken Glass in 1938 when Nazis destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues, and deported 30,000 to concentration camps, in a prelude to the Holocaust. Joining the Emmy-nominated Hope—a South Africa-born, London-raised musician who studied under Yehudi Menuhin and won Britain’s 2004 Young Artist of the Year among other accolades—is a star-studded cast that includes legendary German actor Klaus Maria Brandauer (“Mephisto”), cabaret celebrity Max Raabe and the Beaux Arts Trio pianist Menahem Pressler, who himself witnessed Kristallnacht as a 15-year-old boy in Berlin. Blending music with readings, video and discussion, the multi-genre performance features songs by the so-called “Entarte” composers of the 1930s whom the Nazis deemed degenerate and subsequently destroyed.

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In the current context of tensions over Europe’s Muslim population, the concert takes on an added significance. “Germany has accepted its role within this 20th century nightmare. Daniel is only able to do this concert because Germany is so open to examining its past,” said John Axelrod, the conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra who similarly played a concert at Auschwitz last year to raise awareness about the risks of racism and xenophobia. “It’s not just about Jews and Germans. It’s about Jews and Arabs. Americans and Arabs. Germans and Muslims. Americans and Russians. Music has a humanitarian purpose; it has the ability to resonate in the souls of all people regardless of culture, language or borders,” he added.

The concert, which boasts an eclectic range of jazz, rock, classical and other genres, may mark a turning point for German-Jewish relations. That, at least, is what Hope hopes. But for the grandson of German Jews who fled Berlin before the war, most important is that it serves as “a catalyst to jumpstart people’s feelings so they start thinking, start acting, so that they don’t sit by ever again and watch while unacceptable things happen.” 70 years after Kristallnacht, with tensions mounting between Europe and its Muslims, Berlin is the ideal venue for this show. It is the place where it all began.

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Hope's "Kristallnacht" Tempelhof Concert to Recall Nazi Rampage

Shop windows were smashed, 200 synagogues were destroyed, and some 30,000 Jews were deported. People were murdered, businesses and homes ransacked.

„Kristallnacht,“ one of the most shameful events in German history, hardly seems an event to celebrate. But when British violinist Daniel Hope realized that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nov. 9-10 „Night of Broken Glass,“ he resolved to organize a concert in Berlin.

„I think celebration is the wrong word,“ he said in an interview last month. „It’s a commemoration. I’m not planning a party. But there needs to be some kind of event to mark the 70th anniversary of one of the most significant days in terms of hatred against the Jews that Germany has witnessed. Because it was from that day everything went downhill.“

Hope, at 34 one of the most strong-minded and individual violinists on the international solo circuit, was at Singapore airport in May when he found historian Martin Gilbert’s book „Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction“

He took it with him on a beach holiday, read it in two hours, and resolved to take action. What disturbed him most about Gilbert’s book, he said, was the fact that although war had not yet begun, so many witnesses remained passive observers.

„The international press was still in Germany,“ Hope said. „The New York Times and the London Times were reporting. And there are calm, chilling eyewitness accounts of large groups standing in the streets watching as Jews were beaten up and dragged from their apartments.“

Symbolic Setting

Hope has titled his concert „Tu was!“ or „Do something!“ and chosen the unusual venue of Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, a place notable not only for its striking Nazi architecture but also for its seminal role in the lifesaving airlifts during the 1948-49 Berlin Blockade.

For the concert, Hope has assembled a lineup which includes actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, pianist Helene Grimaud, singers Max Raabe and Thomas Quasthoff, popular artists Patrice and Polarkreis 18, and 84-year-old pianist Menahem Pressler, himself a victim and survivor of Kristallnacht.

Proceeds of the concert will be donated to the Freya von Moltke Foundation, which supports a center for international understanding in Kreisau, now in Poland.

Freya von Moltke is the widow of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, a leading anti-Nazi intellectual who was executed for treason in 1945. The two fought for the Resistance during World War II from their Kreisau base. She escaped to the U.S. via South Africa, where she became friends with Hope’s great-aunt.

Quixotic Venture

Planning and financing an event of this magnitude in five months was a quixotic venture in an industry which generally plans five years in advance.

„People often tell me that I’m mad, because I come up with projects which seem to be not possible,“ said Hope, laughing. „That just fires me up even more. This is a significant date for me, 70 years at this time means that it’s possibly one of the last commemorations where survivors can be there. To be here together, in a united Berlin, in a new century, that’s an amazing thing.“
Hope, with his tousled red hair, towering physique, and aura of intensity, sips a coffee in the shabby cafe at Tempelhof. The airport, which hunches over its ambivalent past with a moth-eaten grandeur, will close two weeks after our interview but Hope has persuaded its new owner to rent him the space. A host of sponsors, including Germany’s Foreign Ministry, Daimler AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Hyatt Corp., are backing the event.

Polished Shoes

For now, our interview is still punctuated by forlorn flight announcements and the ring of a few pairs of polished shoes making the long journey through the cavernous departure hall.

„Berlin at the time was the center of Nazi Germany, and today it is the new future,“ says Hope, who was born in South Africa, travels on an Irish passport, and lives in Amsterdam with his German wife. „It matters enormously to me. I have always felt a connection to Berlin.“

That link is more than mere sentiment. Hope’s grandparents and great-grandparents came from Berlin. As Jews, they were forced to flee, some dying along the way. The Dahlem villa of his great-grandfather, a steel magnate, was confiscated by the German foreign office, which still owns it today.

The house was, at various times, a Jewish school and a Nazi center for cryptography, and now houses the German Archaeological Institute. Hope’s book about the house, „Familienstuecke: Eine Spurensuche“ or „Family Album: Following the Trail“ was published in German last year.

Comfortable Hindsight

„I have to say that I don’t know any other country as open about its past as Germany is,“ Hope said. „That’s something I salute. I don’t know what I would have done back in 1938. I would like to have opened my mouth and shouted. But I can’t know that. It’s easy to sit here with the comfort of hindsight and make judgments.

„This is about looking forward,“ he said. „Every day we have racism, every day there are neo-Nazis, in many countries we have a rising far right, and people who don’t tolerate the views of others. This is about what we can do to try and make things a little better.

„Music has an incredible power, because no matter what language you speak, you will respond to it. You can’t change the world, but you can change minds. I’m a great believer in dialogue. If you can persuade three people to start talking, that’s already a start.“

„Tu Was!“ will be presented in Berlin’s Tempelhof airport at 8 p.m. on Nov. 9. For details, visit http://www.tuwas-berlin.de/.

For more information about the Freya von Moltke Stiftung, see http://www.fvms.de/.

(Shirley Apthorp is a critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Interview by Shirley Apthorp

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Concert to mark 70th anniversary of Nazi pogrom

BERLIN (AP) – The question troubles officials, academics and rabbis alike: how to commemorate a night of terrible carnage and fear that became known as „Kristallnacht,“ or „Night of the Broken Glass“?

It vexed British star violinist Daniel Hope six months ago, and slowly an idea unfolded: a concert of world-class classical, pop and jazz musicians donating their time and energy to honor the victims and send a message of hope for civil courage.

The concert takes place Sunday night on the 70th anniversary of the of the Nazi-incited mass riots that left more than 91 Jews dead, damaged more than 1,000 synagogues and left some 7,500 Jewish businesses ransacked and looted.

The idea was sparked by a book that Hope happened upon in a Singapore airport bookshop detailing the organized destruction of Jewish lives, property and history across Germany that began Nov. 9, 1938, and lasted two days.
„It became very clear to me that I had not really grasped the full horror of Kristallnacht,“ Hope, 34, told The Associated Press. „I thought it was just about smashed glass. I hadn’t realized on that day there had been so much carnage.“
After reading the book, Hope, who lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands, began making calls to find out what kinds of events were planned in Germany to mark the anniversary.

„I was amazed to find out that there was nothing. Nothing other than the official ceremony,“ he said.

Within three months, Hope had secured support for his concert from German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. „Something just had to be done,“ said Hope, who has German Jewish roots.

Hermann Simon, the director of Berlin’s restored, gold-domed Neue Synagogue, firmly believes acts of commemoration are crucial to preventing a repeat of the destruction that gutted the city’s landmark, central Jewish house of worship. Yet he acknowledges the how remains a challenge.

„It’s difficult to know how to commemorate a day of tragedy,“ Simon said. „We have to find a way, we need a new approach, but what is the right way?“

German children begin learning in the middle-school years about the Nazis‘ attempt to destroy European Jewry that effectively began with Kristallnacht and culminated in the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by 1945.

Some 30,000 Jewish men and boys were arrested in the Kristallnacht pogrom and sent to concentration camps.

One of the most effective teaching tools is survivor testimony. Yet these special teachers are slowly dying out, taking with them their unique ability to make history „real“ for future generations.

A main commemoration ceremony attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany—herself a Kristallnacht survivor—is to be held on Sunday in a restored Berlin synagogue. Other cities and Jewish communities across the country also have plans to mark the day.

Yet some worry that these events fail to reach younger generations.

„There are speeches and exhibitions, but we have to think about how to make the young people learn,“ Simon said. „We need something new, something thrilling.“

Knowing that traditional concert halls would be long booked out, Hope sought a more interesting space and on Sunday night will play the first-ever concert in the former departure area of Berlin’s recently closed Tempelhof Airport.

He has commitments from a dozen leading artists, ranging from 83-year-old German-born pianist Menahem Pressler, who lived through Kristallnacht, to chart-topping pop group Polarkreis 18, to big band crooner Max Raabe.

All proceeds will go toward the Freya von Moltke Foundation to promote international exchange in Krzyzowa, Poland—formerly in Germany and the site of the Kreisau Circle that resisted the Nazis.

„I’m thrilled that we can commemorate and remember the victims of one of the most horrendous acts in world history,“ Hope said. „It is a wonderful chance for everybody to think about things, about the situation we are in, to keep talking about things. … Not doing something is the worst thing anyone can do.“

Associated Press Writer Britanni Sonnenberg contributed to this report.

On the Net:
Hope’s Benefit Concert: http://www.tuwas-berlin.de
Freya von Moltke Foundation: http://www.fvms.de/en/en.htm

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Flughafen Tempelhof - die ideale Konzerthalle

Spannender Impuls: Ein Benefizkonzert zum 9. November beweist, dass die Abfertigungshalle von Tempelhof als Konzertsaal wunderbar geeignet ist.

Die Vorgeschichte ist wirklich bewegend: Im Urlaub liest der Geiger Daniel Hope die Dokumentation „Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction“ des britischen Historikers Martin Gilbert. Er ist erschüttert über die Ausmaße des Pogroms, bei dem in ganz Deutschland Synagogen niedergebrannt und jüdische Geschäfte verwüstet wurden, stellt fest, dass die schrecklichen Ereignisse genau 70 Jahre her sind – und beschließt, am 9. November ein Gedenkkonzert zu veranstalten.

Hope trommelt seine Künstlerfreunde zusammen, gewinnt Sponsoren, setzt sich in den Kopf, den Benefizabend zugunsten der Freya-von-Moltke-Stiftung im Flughafen Tempelhof zu veranstalten, in diesem doppelten Symbol, das sowohl für den Größenwahn der Nazis steht als auch – dank der legendären Luftbrücke – für Zivilcourage. Der Musiker überwindet alle bürokratischen Hürden, darf, nur zehn Tage nach der offiziellen Schließung, 800 Stühle in der ehemaligen Abfertigungshalle aufstellen. Das Medienecho ist gigantisch, die Tickets sind im Handumdrehen verkauft.

Als Schirmherr dieser in jeder Hinsicht außergewöhnlichen Veranstaltung hebt Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier am Sonntag das Engagement des „Bürgers Daniel Hope“ hervor, der „seinen Ruf in der Musikwelt einsetzt, um auch jenseits der Kunst zu wirken“. Sicher, das Motto „Tu was!“ erreicht mal wieder nur jene, die sich sowieso darin einig sind, dass wir nie vergessen dürften, dass wir wachsam bleiben müssen gegen jede Form des Rechtsradikalismus. Und auch für die jungen Menschen, die durch die Einnahmen des Abends ins polnische Krzyzowa reisen dürfen, in die Jugendbegegnungsstätte auf dem einstigen Gut des Widerstandskämpfers Helmuth James von Moltke, liegt Fremdenfeindlichkeit wohl eher fern.

Schauer des Authentischen

Wenn Menahem Pressler zum Mikrofon greift, der 84-jährige Pianist und Gründer des Beaux Arts Trio, der die Pogromnacht als Kind selber erlitten hat, geht ein Schauer des Authentischen durch den Saal. „Ja, ich habe überlebt, und ich wollte mich eigentlich gar nicht mehr erinnern, an diesen Tag, an unsere Furcht vor dem Ungewissen“, ruft der weise alte Mann mit den blitzenden Augen aus und wird für seine schonungslose Offenheit, vor allem aber für seine faszinierende, ungebrochene Lebensfreude gefeiert, mit Standing Ovations.

Im Übrigen aber wird das bunte „Tu was“-Galaprogramm nicht aufgrund seiner quälenden Länge von drei pausenlosen Stunden in Erinnerung bleiben und auch wohl kaum wegen der Phrasen dreschenden Moderatorin Annabelle Mandeng, die mit ihrem Hullitrulli-Tonfall komplett daneben liegt. Sondern aus einem ganz anderen Grund: weil dieser Abend den Beweis erbracht hat, dass die Abfertigungshalle des Flughafens Tempelhof ein grandioser Konzertsaal ist.

Das Gebäude beginnt zu leben

Dass die Proportionen stimmen, war schon im grellen Neonschein zu Flugbetriebszeiten klar erkennbar – jetzt aber, in dezentes, indirektes Licht getaucht, beginnt das Gebäude förmlich zu leben: Die umlaufenden Galerien scheinen zu schweben, selbst die wuchtigen Säulen wirken nun geradezu schlank, ihr heller Stein leuchtet, in perfekter farblicher Abstimmung zum warmen Toskanarot der Decke. Und ist das hier nicht ein klassischer „Schuhkarton“, wie er seit Jahrhunderten als idealtypisch für Orchesterkonzerte gilt?
Am Sonntag werden alle die Künstler verstärkt – was mit einem Schock beginnt, weil Busonis vollgriffige Bearbeitung der Bach’schen d-moll Chaconne nicht nur die Pianistin Hélène Grimaud, sondern auch die Lautsprecheranlage überfordert.

Doch das Ohr gewöhnt sich schnell, akzeptiert zuerst die genuinen Mikrofon-Künstler Max Raabe, Patrice, Till Brönner und Polarkreis 18, hört sich mit Klaus Maria Brandauer ein, empfindet schließlich sogar Daniel Hopes Geige, Sol Gabettas Cello und Thomas Quasthoffs Bariton als schön. Aber es sind die Nebengeräusche, die aufhorchen lassen – weil sie deutlichst zu vernehmen sind und den Rückschluss erlauben, dass mit ein paar akustischen Kunstgriffen Klassik hier tatsächlich unplugged möglich wäre.

Abgesehen von einem Luftbrücken- Konzert des Berliner Kammerorchesters im Mai 1999 sind bisher keine Versuche dazu gemacht worden. Mit seinem Pogromnacht-Benefiz hat Daniel Hope der Diskussion um die künftige Nutzung der Abfertigungshalle einen neuen, spannenden Impuls gegeben: Tu was!

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Weltweite Telefonate für ein Konzert

Der Berliner Weltklasse-Bariton Thomas Quasthoff, der gestern 49 Jahre alt wurde, hat seine Geburtstagsfeier verschoben und Jazz-Startrompeter Till Brönner Auftrittstermine geändert – zugunsten des von Daniel Hope (34) initiierten Benefizkonzertes „Tu was!“ zum 70. Jahrestag des Pogroms gestern Abend in der ehemaligen Abflughalle des Flughafens Tempelhof.

„Ich habe aus aller Welt Telefonate mit Künstlern geführt und zahllose E-Mails verschickt. Dass nun alle für diesen einen Abend terminlich unter einen Hut zu kriegen waren und obendrein ohne Gage auftreten, dafür bin ich sehr dankbar.“ Der mit zahlreichen Preisen ausgezeichnete Daniel Hope, britischer Geiger mit deutschen Urgroßeltern, erzählt in einer Probenpause weiter: „Max Raabe habe ich beispielsweise aus Japan in New York angerufen, wo er mit seinem Orchester auftrat. Auch das Büro des Auswärtigen Amtes rief ich aus Asien an. Dort zeigte man sich sehr aufgeschlossen. Ich bin stolz, dass Frank-Walter Steinmeier die Schirmherrschaft des Abends übernommen hat.“ Hope über die Telefonate mit seinen Künstlerfreunden: „Ich stieß sofort auf eine tolle Resonanz. Alle verstehen, dass wir an die Vergangenheit erinnern müssen, um die Zukunft zu verbessern.“ Es war ihm sehr wichtig, nicht nur Klassik-Künstler einzuladen, „sondern Vertreter verschiedener Kunstformen, vom Schauspiel bis zur Popmusik.“

Auch Schauspieler Klaus Maria Brandauer, die Cellistin Sol Gabetta und Popstars wie die Gruppe „Polarkreis 18“ aus Dresden, die im Oktober den Titelsong „Allein Allein“ zum Film „Krabat“ veröffentlichten und damit Platz Eins der deutschen Single-Charts schaffte, machen mit. Über die Mitwirkung Brandauers freut sich der Geiger besonders, beide lernten sich vor acht Jahren kennen. „Damals haben wir Strawinskys ,Geschichte vom Soldaten‘ zusammen gemacht. Seitdem sind wir unter dem Motto ,War and Pieces‘ mehrfach mit literarisch-musikalischen Programmen aufgetreten, die einen Bezug zur Zeitgeschichte hatten.“ Ebenfalls spontan zugesagt hatte die Pianistin Hélène Grimaud. Die zierliche Französin wurde noch auf andere Weise weltbekannt: Zehn Jahre lang lebte sie auf einer Farm nahe New York mit Wölfen zusammen und nannte ihre Autobiografie „Wolfssonate“.

Daniel Hope sieht das Benefizkonzert als „eine öffentliche Kunst-Collage, die bewegen will“. Jeder Künstler hat selbst entschieden, was er beitragen will. Brandauer rezitiert Texte, Menahem Pressler spielt Werke von Beethoven, Grimaud Bach und Hope selbst stellt Mendelssohn Bartholdy vor. Max Raabe singt Lieder aus dem Berlin der 30er-Jahre. „Kennen gelernt haben wir uns vor zwei Jahren in Berlin, als er zu einem meiner Konzerte gekommen war“, so Hope. Der Künstler, 2006 mit dem dritten Klassik-Echo als „Instrumentalist des Jahres“ in Folge ausgezeichnet, wurde in Südafrika geboren. Er lebt heute in Amsterdam und Hamburg. Seine Urgroßeltern stammen aus Berlin, mussten 1935 ihr Haus in Dahlem verlassen.

Der Reinerlös des Benefizabends, der von Annabell Mandeng moderiert wurde, kommt der „Freya-von-Moltke-Stiftung für das Neue Kreisau“ zugute. Das ehemalige Gut der Familie von Moltke im heutigen Polen ist unter anderem ein Treffpunkt für Jugendliche aus vielen Ländern. Unter den 1200 Gästen waren auch der britische Verleger und Publizist George Lord Weidenfeld, Kunstexperte Peter Raue, Regisseur Volker Schlöndorff, Alexandra Oetker und TV-Journalistin Carola Ferstl.

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Daniel’s „Tu was!“ Project („Do Something!“)



Daniel’s Concert at the Brandenburg Gate, November 9th, 2013

On November 10 2013, British violinist and 6-time ECHO Klassik Award-winner Daniel Hope performed at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate for an audience of 12,000 in a ceremony honoring the victims of “Kristallnacht.” Also known as the Night of Broken Glass, the massacre of November 9-10th, 1938, alerted the world to the barbarism of the Nazis. The ceremony, which marked the 75th anniversary of “Kristallnacht,” invited everyone, especially Berlin’s schoolchildren and students, to come together at the Brandenburg Gate in a memorial that signalled the value of diversity in today’s Germany and promotes vigilance against all forms of intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism, and violence.
Daniel Hope has a strong connection to Berlin’s history. His own family lived in Berlin until 1938; some of them fled to the U.S. and South Africa, others lost their lives. At his last “Kristallnacht” concert in 2008, Hope converted the former Tempelhof Airport into a concert hall and brought together friends and colleagues to make a stand against racism and promote tolerance with his “Do Something!” campaign. Daniel Hope said: “What fascinates me most about Berlin is its perpetual history still hidden deep inside so many of its buildings. And so I decided some years ago to fill these places with music, one after the other, by performing at the Reichstag, the Ministry of Finance (formerly Göring’s Ministry of Aviation), the Felix Mendelssohn-Remise, (the former carriage house of the old Berlin headquarters of the Mendelssohn Bank) and Tempelhof Airport. Making music in these buildings, surrounded by the ghosts of my family and of times gone by, let me into a past which I did not experience, but can still sense. “

On November 10, Berlin sent a united message to the world from the Brandenburg Gate: „Never again!“ Statements, short films, and mobile phone clips were projected onto the Brandenburg Gate for people to see and hear. The ceremony recalled those years which destroyed diversity, remembering those who were excluded, persecuted, and had their livelihoods destroyed during the Nazi pogroms. The ceremony also emphasized what diversity means in today’s world, where exclusion and discrimination still exist.

Hope brought Heinz Jakob “Coco” Schumann, the legendary Berlin jazz musician who survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, to the ceremony. He also  performed music by 1930s composers who were condemned during Nazi rule.

tuwas

November 9th, 2008 and November 9th 2013

Five years before this, to commemorate the 70th annivesary of “Kristallnacht“ in 2008, Daniel Hope produced one of the most spectacular and moving events in recent times. Joined by Thomas Quasthoff, Hélène Grimaud, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max Raabe, Sol Gabetta and many others, all funds raised from this evening were donated to the Freya von Moltke Foundation.

The former passenger departure terminal of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport was transformed for the first time into a concert hall and multi-genre arts venue on Sunday, November 9th 2008, when British violinist Daniel Hope, with the support of some of Germany’s most prominent political figures, came together with fellow classical, rock, and jazz musicians and other special guests for “Tu Was!” – the German term meaning “Do something!” – a special event commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

“Tu was!”, a collage of music, words, pictures, and video installations, was conceived by Hope, who was inspired by distinguished British historian Sir Martin Gilbert, and his book Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction, a collection of personal reminiscences of the so-called “Reichskristallnacht” of late 1938. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, Jewish homes and businesses were attacked and half of the synagogues and prayer houses in Germany and Austria were badly damaged or totally destroyed in an orgy of violence propagated by the members of the Nazi SA and SS units. The following day, over 30,000 male Jews were deported to concentration camps, before the eyes of the cataclysm of the “final solution” and the Holocaust.

Daniel Hope: „I came across Gilbert’s book recently, and while I knew about the “Reichskristallnacht”, it wasn’t until I read the book that the historical consequences of that night’s events became clear to me. The horrifyingly meticulous description of the violence against the Jews was utterly overwhelming. Since then the question as to what I would have done in such circumstances has begun to haunt me. “Reichskristallnacht” took place 70 years ago and yet its consequences are still reflected in today’s society. Situations that require civil courage, individual or collective, continue to arise, whether it’s an individual attack on a defenseless fellow human being or the brutality of groups such as rightwing radical skinheads. Remembering the 1938 pogroms is a much-needed symbolic action in our society today. It echoes a call to all civilized people never again to ignore unacceptable violence by inaction.“

Daniel Hope not only raised the money to make this project happen, he also persuaded leading political figures to back it. “Tu was!” had the support of the Foreign Minister of the German Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and his Cultural Minister, André Schmitz. The Jewish community of Berlin and their Chair, Ms. Lala Süsskind also pledged their help and support, along with many other individuals and companies.