The theme and title of the 41st Dresden Music Festival is ‘Spiegel’ (English ‘Mirrors’). Because, as you write in the foreword of the programme, “music reflects our emotions and thoughts, our value system and our visions”. Why have you chosen this title in preference to any other?
For some years now, I have been choosing titles that are a kind of alarm or emergency call. It used to be widely understood that a society was held together by the cultural activities of its citizens. That understanding is at risk of being lost. With our festival, we are trying to find imaginative and creative ways to remind people of the most beautiful aspect of life: the shared experience, the shared admiration of human excellence and inspiration.
Music can also trigger reflections in the listener. How would you describe the way in which music affects our lives?
Without music, life is drab. It’s actually quite simple – you just have to expose yourself to music. It is similar to the way we experience the natural world – it is self-explanatory. Words are of limited use here.
You have invited 23 of the world’s most prominent cellists to perform in the Cellomania series which promises to be the highlight of the programme. What criteria did you use in selecting these players?
The world of the cello is relatively small. It is a small group of obsessives for whom everything revolves around the cello. Consequently, these cellists then draw a unique sound from the instrument, each in their own way. The cellists in Cellomania will include most of the world’s elite.