"I realised how volatile I am after all" 30. August 2023

#impressionen aus potsdam

© Stefan Gloede

Potsdam is known for its cultural diversity and its fascinating music scene - in the midst of this musical city, the 1to1 concerts have also conquered the hearts of the people of Potsdam for the first time this year. The idea behind this small, but fine form of concert is to offer visitors a very personal experience by dedicating them individually to a single listener. This creates an intimate connection between artist and audience that is often lost in conventional concerts and large concert halls. But not so with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the top orchestra of Brandenburg's state capital, which with its Face the Music! festival in July invited the audience to a musical weekend rich in encounters around questions of the future! This included an interpretation of the Four Seasons with young musicians and the Oxymoron Dance Company, up-cycling workshops, pop-up concerts inspired by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals - and the 1:1 CONCERTS.

Two Potsdam institutions opened their doors for the more than 70 intimate 1-to-1 concerts with the musicians of the Kammerakademie: the RIFS Research Institute for Sustainability and the Waschhaus Potsdam. The specific venue remained a surprise until the beginning of the concert, as did the name of the musician and the instrument. Each listener, including many children, is personally greeted by a host or hostess and accompanied through the concert session. Once again, many volunteers have supported us in this project - many thanks for that!

© Stefan Gloede

The RIFS Research Institute for Sustainability, which has its offices in a former bank building, let us "drive" into its underground car park, where violinist Thomas Kretschmer and cellist Jule Hinrichsen played. Judith Schäfer, one of the hosts at RIFS, expresses her enthusiasm and the emotional impact of the 1:1 CONCERTS as follows:

I particularly remember my last guest, who returned from his concert with speechless tears in his eyes and needed a moment to collect himself. The musicians also became calmer over time and gradually got used to the intimacy that was unusual at first. I found it very impressive to experience how many emotions can be generated by the space, the silence and the music.

© Stefan Gloede

In the former vault, now yoga and relaxation island, violinist Julita Forck and drummer Friedemann Werzlau led us into relaxed spheres. Armin Laszlo Halbach, another host from RIFS, shares his personal impressions and emotions as follows:

For me it was an enriching task to welcome very different people to the Institute and to be able to tune them into a mindful experience with an open heart. Witnessing the highly emotional reactions to the intimate concert situation moved me deeply.

The roof terrace with its magnificent view over Potsdam was transformed by Alma-Sophie Starke, violoncello and flutist Bettina Lange. The sounds of Debussy's Syrinx or Bach's Cello Suite floated delightfully above the rooftops in the neighbourhood and allowed other guests to participate secretly.

© Stefan Gloede

The Waschhaus Potsdam - where normally Peter Fox and Co provide loud action - let the classical sounds resound in their boiler house with a wind fraction consisting of clarinet (Julius Engelbach) and bassoon (Florian Bensch). Jan Böttcher (oboe), Christoph Knitt (bassoon) and Christoph Starke (viola) played in the colourfully lit club room. A look behind the scenes of Brandenburg's most versatile and most frequented cultural institution could be dared in the packed technical room under the open-air stage with cellist Nika Somborac and flutist Avner Geiger. The latter expresses his experiences as a musician at the 1:1 CONCERTS in this way:

'It was a deep experience, of connection, spontaneity and communication - without words and more than words. I am very happy to be part of this project as a musician.

Flötist Avner Geiger im Technikraum unter der Open-Air Bühne im Waschhaus Potsdam

© Stefan Gloede

The always free admission to the 1:1 CONCERTS is always combined with a call for donations. For this project, we supported a local social partner: Kultür Potsdam has been enabling people with a low income to attend cultural, sports and leisure events free of charge for 10 years now and makes culture accessible to all. We were able to raise a total of 585 euros in donations with this event. MANY THANKS to all donors. Read the following interview with the director of Kultür Potsdam - Kristin Geschwäntner - about what can be achieved with the donations:

Parallel to the artistic programme, the conference "Developing Orchestras Sustainably" took place at RIFS Potsdam, bringing together music makers from all over Germany to discuss forward-looking concepts and ideas for the further development of orchestras. Our artistic director Franziska Ritter moderated the panel on the topic of deceleration, which opened with an impulse lecture by the composer Bernhard König

Franziska Ritter (1:1 CONCERTS e.V), Kristin Geschwäntner (Kultür) und Alexander Hollensteiner (Kammerakademie Potsdam) freuen sich über die zahlreichen Spenden der 1:1 Hörer:innen

© Stefan Gloede

In the subsequent panel discussion, Bettina Lange from the Kammerakademie Potsdam and Teresa Monfared from Bühnenmütter e.V. shared their personal experiences and perspectives on the topic of family-friendliness, professional overload and approaches to deceleration in the cultural sector. In doing so, they pointed out the lack of appreciation of care work and emphasised the need for supported rest periods to enable critical reflections and concrete innovations.

The combination of the 1:1 CONCERTS and the conference made the weekend in Potsdam an inspiring experience for all participants. The weekend thus provided a valuable platform for exchange about the challenges and potentials of decelerated and sustainable development in the concert business.

Alexander Hollensteiner, Managing Director of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, expresses his gratitude:

You have greatly enriched our Face the Music Festival and given many people a decelerated moment with this special concert format! We are thrilled by the commitment and passion of all the participants who have made this weekend an unforgettable event.

We are excited to see how the 1:1 concerts with the Kammerakademie develop in the future and look forward to more extraordinary musical experiences in Potsdam and beyond..

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