The reason: Young Euro Connect was celebrating its premiere!
Something new, unfamiliar and exciting appeared in this year's already wide-ranging program for Young Euro Classic and on the stage of Berlin's Konzerthaus, the festival venue. The date was August 17th, the time eight in the evening, and the auditorium was, as always during the festival, full. But there were no musicians to be seen, and there was no sound of instruments being tuned. Ulrich Matthes was on hand - Germany's actor of the year 2005. His colleague Martina Gedeck was also sighted. Then there was Luzia Braun, the hostess of the popular TV cultural magazine show Aspekte.
So, the evening had three hosts - but no music!
It has long been our dream not only to bring together the best young musicians in Europe, indeed in the world, in Berlin during the month of August but also to reveal more of the political commitment that underpins our festival.
After the failed referendums in France and the Netherlands, we believe that now more than ever Europe should not simply be left in the hands of the politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg. Europe needs new impetus - and it is our conviction that it should be a cultural impetus, set in motion by committed young people. And we want them to come together in Berlin, the city that for so long stood for the barbed wire and stone that divided East and West.
Young Euro Connect - on one of the two evenings when no concert had been scheduled the stage was free for eight young authors from Bosnia, Germany, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey. They had all been set the same task: to map out their vision for 2025. How, they were asked, do you want your country to look in twenty years time? What role should it play in Europe? And what do you and your fellow citizens expect from Europe?
This is how the essay by Michal Hvorecky of Slovakia began: „When I received the friendly offer to write something about the world, about how it might look in twenty years time, it once again became clear to me how reluctant I would be to predict the future. Albert Einstein once said: I never think about the future. It will be here soon enough. I would much prefer to write something about how the world looked twenty-five years ago ... How then did people live at the time of my childhood, around the year 2025? From today's perspective those were the good old days. Most of the kids I went to primary school with had been named after famous brand names. It was the thing to do when our parents were young. You could get a lot of money from the companies in question and that's why there was no holding the families back. The buggies of the time were full of babies named after cars, food, furniture or perfume. The girls were called Lancia, Nivea, Porsche or Mazda; the boys Gucci, Evian, Hilfiger or Renault ... Some of the kids at my school even changed their names several times during their lives if the company they were advertising changed hands or went bankrupt ...”
„The Slovak author chose to respond to the challenge of coming up with a grand vision with irony rather than pathos. The result: an image of Europe that is, it is true, unencumbered by illusions, but nevertheless just as vivid and palpable as the shiny-blue sweat-suit top that the author himself was wearing.”