Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Earful of Joy for Trump

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg

Published: June 23, 2017

MUNICH — Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, complete, is slated for President Trump’s second orchestra concert on the job, to take place, like the first, in Europe, specifically at Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie. Details of the July 7 event, part of the 12th G20 Summit, were announced Wednesday by a spokesman for Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel. A classical-music fan and the summit’s host, Merkel reportedly chose the program herself. Among summit attendees known to enjoy good music: French president Emmanuel Macron and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Christiane Karg, Okka von der Damerau, Klaus Florian Vogt, Franz-Josef Selig and the Hamburg State Opera Chorus will sing Schiller’s words; the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg will be led by Kent Nagano. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” theme, without the words, is the official anthem of the European Union; in the “universal language of music,” the anthem expresses “European ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity.” An on-site dinner is scheduled before the performance.

Starting the day before, the Elbphilharmonie will become a Sicherheitszone, or security area — as will the full local width of the Elbe River, three adjacent quays, the airspace, and much of central Hamburg — to prepare for the concert venue’s role as an “official meeting place for the heads of state and government” taking part in the summit. Hamburg police expect “around 8,000 violent demonstrators.” G20 delegations are due to arrive that day; Trump and Putin will be meeting for the first time.

The G20, or Group of Twenty, comprises 19 countries plus the E.U. It accounts for 80% of global economic output in terms of GDP, adjusted for purchasing-power parity. In 2015, China’s GDP was around 19.7 billion “international dollars,” so adjusted, making it the largest economy in the world, followed by the United States, India and Japan. Germany was in fifth place, at 3.9 billion international dollars.

Photo © Maxim Schulz

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Chung to Conduct for Trump

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Donald Trump delivers a joint address to Congress

Published: May 17, 2017

MUNICH — President Trump will next Friday (May 26) attend his first orchestra concert since taking office. Scheduled for 7 p.m. al fresco at the Teatro Antico in Taormina, Sicily, the program consists of Italian opera overtures and intermezzos:

Puccini – Madama Butterfly: Act III Sunrise
Rossini – Overture to L’italiana in Algeri
Rossini – Overture to Guillaume Tell
Verdi – La traviata: Act I Prelude
Verdi – Overture to La forza del destino
Mascagni – Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo

Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Filarmonica della Scala in what is an opening event of the 43rd G7 Summit, themed Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust. The hilltop Teatro Antico dates from the 3rd century B.C. and functions as a performing arts venue much of the year.

Photo © The White House

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U.S. Orchestras on Travel Ban

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

South view of the White House

Published: January 31, 2017

MUNICH — The New York-based League of American Orchestras yesterday issued this statement in response to Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States:

“The music that orchestras play and the communities they serve are global and include people and cultures from [Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen] now subject to the travel ban issued by Executive Order on Jan. 27.

“We firmly believe that concerns related to national security can be addressed while also continuing to welcome people [from] beyond our borders. [We believe] in the power of music to communicate across differences, express and animate the issues of our time, and advance international diplomacy and our democracy.

“With each concert U.S. orchestras perform [at home] and abroad, as many as 100 musicians from diverse traditions, faiths and political perspectives play in unison in the shared pursuit of artistic expression. … In a time of [division] in our country, intentionally listening to the full spectrum of voices is key … . Democracy, like music, flourishes when we encourage … and respectfully engage with a diversity of ideas.”

Separately, the League and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) have jointly created the website Artists from Abroad to help foreign guest artists and their managers navigate the process of obtaining non-immigrant visas and presenting artists from abroad to U.S. audiences. The website will carry guest-artist-related updates to the Jan. 27 Executive Order.

Photo © National Park Service

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