The music directors of Berlin’s main institutions have just sent this letter to the Chancellor:
Dear Federal Chancellor Dr. Merkel,
Dear Governing Mayor Müller,
Dear Senator Pop,
Dear Senator Dr. Lederer,
We turn to you in advance of our renewed meeting on March 3rd with the following appeal:
Please give culture the space that the studies on the infection process legitimize for spectators in theaters and concert halls and that the basic right to artistic freedom makes urgently necessary. We demand that the institutions we manage be opened as soon as possible, and in any case in harmony with the retail sector.
Make it possible for our audience, the schoolchildren of Berlin and the citizens of Berlin to visit our cultural and educational facilities with a minimum of risk, regulated and controlled by safe hygiene. Corresponding studies by the TU Berlin, the Fraunhofer Institute and the Federal Environment Agency have confirmed that the hygiene concepts of the cultural institutions guarantee the lowest risk of infection in public spaces.
Our cultural institutions had to close in November and December of last year with a “lockdown light” (and) with no noticeable effect on the infection. At the end of March, we will have gone five months without an audience. With the guidelines for the return of culture and sport published this Monday a well-founded concept developed by 20 experts has been presented.
As general music directors and artistic directors, taking into account the current infection situation and in continuous exchange with experts, we fight for
– the survival of public reception of art,
– the continuation of an artistic debate in society and
– a revival of Berlin as a metropolis of art and music.
With hopeful greetings
Daniel Barenboim – Staatskapelle Berlin
Christoph Eschenbach – Konzerthausorchester Berlin
Vladimir Jurowski – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Kirill Petrenko – Berliner Philharmoniker
Ainars Rubikis – Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
Sir Donald Runnicles – Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Robin Ticciati – Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
(plus the intendants of these institutions)