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FORBIDDEN MUSIC: Master class and concerts

A project by
Christian Gracza, cultural manager at the Lenau Haus Pécs, Hungary
Yvonne Meyer, cultural manager aluma at the Borussia Foundation in
Olsztyn, Poland
Ulrike Pötzsch, cultural manager alumna at the EDITH STEIN HAUS in Wrocław, Poland

By 2008, Poland and Hungary had already been members of the European Union for four years. What ramifications does this fact carry for the younger generation? What horizons have opened up for them within the European Union, particularly from an intercultural point of view? In what direction are the young people looking?

In order to delve into these questions, three Robert Bosch Cultural Managers, who work in the new EU member states Poland and Hungary, developed the project »Forbidden Music«. It took place from 12 October – 18 October 2008 in Wrocław and Olsztyn. The idea behind the project was to give young Polish, Hungarian and German musicians a platform to use art to communicate their European cultural heritage. The project consisted of several elements, with music being used as a universal means of communication and the key to examining European thought. The project was based on the program with the same name by Hungarian cellist Péter Szabó and the Paris-based Polish pianist Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter. They arranged, amongst others, pieces by Erich Korngold, Alexandre Tansman, Czaba Szabó and Kurt Weill for the piano and the cello – composers who, because of their ancestry or political leanings, were persecuted and exposed to discrimination by the state.

During Master Classes headed by Szabó and Vaysse-Knitter, the young musicians not only had the opportunity to work on their repertoire, they also had a chance to get to know each other and to network. The three main organizers have been advocating for the examination of European cultural heritage for years. This project was an opportunity to examine a new topic to be examined through art in a fresh environment.

On October 12 and 16, the artists gave a concert at the University of Wrocław’s atmospheric Barock Hall Oratorium Marianum and then in the great Hall of the Warmian-Mazurian Philharmonic in Olsztyn. The artists performed the following program:

Frédéric Chopin
Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in G minor, op.65

Csaba Szabó
Sonatine “Looking Back” for Violoncello and Piano
Aleksandre Tansman
Sonata for Violoncello and Piano

Erich Korngold
Pierrot's Dance Song (from the opera “The Dead City”)
Four fragments from the soundtrack “Much Ado About Nothing”, op. 11

Kurt Weill
Three fragments from the “Threepenny Opera” (reworked by P. Szabó)

Partners: Warmian-Mazurian Philharmonic “Feliks Nowowiejski”, Olsztyn; National Music School 1st and 2nd levels “Frederic Chopin”, Olsztyn, Friends of the Olsztyn Borussia Association, Leipzig

Sponsors: Robert Bosch Stiftung, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Danzig, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Breslau, French Consulate General in Crakow and the Lenau Haus Pécs.


Robert Bosch Stiftung
Oktober 2008


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