Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

Dear friends of the Musikfest Berlin, 

“The greatest dangers in our world are amnesia and intolerance. And the best medicine for them is memory and diversity. We can’t build any future without memory.” The gambist Jordi Savall, who has been honoured as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, once spoke these wise words in an interview. In a work entitled “Un mar de músicas”, Jordi Savall this year joins guest musicians from Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Mali, Venezuela and Mexico, as well as his ensembles Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, to tell the story of the more than twelve million people who were abducted and enslaved by European great powers in almost four centuries of the translatlantic slave trade. The piece commemorates the lives of all those for whom music became a means of survival and whose musical languages, stories and histories we must not forget. 

The Musikfest Berlin, which grew out of the long tradition of the Berliner Festwochen, has been enriching the life of the German capital for twenty years through its exceptional programme. Even after two decades of its wonderful ensembles and spectacular musical experiences, the Musikfest Berlin continues to offer fresh ideas and new perspectives. Each performance is a rewarding experience. This will surely also be true of the concert by the Filarmonica della Scala under the direction of principal conductor Riccardo Chailly. This concert also ties the Musikfest to this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, where the 2024 guest of honour will be Italy. Under the motto “Roots in the Future”, the guest of honour will show the rich traditions that Italian culture is grounded in. With such a diverse programme – which once again includes renowned ensembles and soloists – we have a great deal to look forward to at this year’s Musikfest. 

I hope that you will all enjoy inspiring musical experiences! 

Minister of State Claudia Roth, Member of the German Bundestag
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media