Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Former San Francisco Opera General Director, Now With Berlin Philharmonic, Launches Inquiry Into That Renowned Institutions History During Third Reich

"One of the world’s most renowned orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, said Tuesday it plans an investigation into its role during the Nazi era [Third Reich].

"We’ve never really come to terms with the history of the Philharmonic Orchestra under National Socialism," general manager Pamela Rosenberg said. [Ms Rosenberg is the past General Director of the San Francisco Opera.]

A book is to be published this year by Mischa Aster with the cooperation of the 125-year-old orchestra on the period between 1933 and 1945 and above all on the complex relationship that legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwaengler had with top Nazis.

An exhibition and a film for public television are also planned.

Furtwaengler was the chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1922 until 1945 and again from 1952 until his death in 1954.

During the Nazi years, he was able to retain his position with an often deferential attitude toward the regime, which used him as a propaganda tool, while still working to protect his Jewish musicians....

The conductor was cleared on all charges but his reputation remained tainted by his proximity to the regime."

Agence France Presse "Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to probe Nazi-era history" via European Jewish Press May 1, 2007 and Bob Shingleton's On An Overgrown Path blog.

Hans Scharoun's Philharmonie, Berlin; and Ku'damm 101 Hotel, in Berlin.

While Pamela Rosenberg, Mischa Aster, and the Berlin Philharmonic explore that orchestra's role in Germany's cultural policy during the Third Reich, the Corcoran Gallery and College, in Washington, D.C., showcases "Modernism: Designing A New World 1914 - 1939"; and explores Modernism as 'the 20th century's most significant movement in the arts and design'.

In June and early July 2007, the superb free Music Program [Sunday evening or Wednesday matinee] of the National Gallery of Art explores 20th c. modernist chamber music in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, and Poland [including part of present day Ukraine]. These recitals are in collaboration with the exhition Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918–1945.

Photo credit: (c) Berlin Philharmonic and Ku'damm 101 Hotel, Berlin. With thanks.


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