The Berlin music summer embarked on an especially beautiful start just a few days ago. Young Euro Classic, a festival of outstanding youth orchestras, began on Thursday night with a truly historic opening concert. That first night was dedicated to 50 years of German - Israeli diplomatic relations. Often times described as miracle it was the Young Philharmonic Orchestra Jerusalem Weimar that made it visible once again that these relations have been built over the decades by people - it isn't something that just fell from the sky like a miracle. And yet it was concert that went under my skin. The young musicians chose, among other superb pieces, to perform Kurt Weill's Second Symphony. To say that the orchestra's performance was brilliant would be an understatement - the young artists from Israel and Germany connected with their excellence and commitment in a profound way with the audience. They captured Kurt Weill's clear dispassion perfectly. Only Kurt Weill, the remarkable German - Jewish composer, does that to you: enlighten with objectivity. It was a true moment of joy and gratitude for the solid foundation of German - Israeli ties embodied on that particular night through this wonderful orchestra.
What then followed on Saturday night was an incredible musical experiment. O/Modernt Kammarorkester, a Swedish - Dutch youth chamber orchestra, took us on an adventure where classical music met with rock. To be more precise: where Vivaldi crossed paths with Metallica. Yes, exactly that rock band. The linkage between Vivaldi and the folks from Metallica is that both are popular - each at the time when their art was created, but much beyond that. I was surprised how well both genres fitted together. Who knew? A musical experiment that succeeded in embarking into new territory. Metallica and Vivaldi, rock and classical music is something to be remembered fondly. I was also amazed by the great performance of the young musicians. Their talent was visible every single moment and their passion vibrant.
Both concerts - through the performance of exceptionally gifted artists - will remain unforgettable. What they symbolize in a very personal way to me is why I fell in love with music - people can either respect music or it can become part of their soul, to me it clearly is the latter. Both concerts also stand for the beginning of a promising musical summer in Berlin that is nothing else than enriching beyond words.
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