200 Years West-östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Diwan) – The Anniversary Concert The organiser

200 Years West-östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Diwan) – The Anniversary Concert

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Marie-Sophie Pollak, soprano
Bryan Lopez Gonzalez, tenor
Herbert Knaup, speaker
Pera Ensemble: Volkan Yilmaz, ney | Serkan Mesut Halili, qanun | Bülent Okan, oud | Derya Türkan, kemençe | Ozan Pars & Joss Turnbull, percussion
Münchner Dommusik, Capella Cathedralis
Munich Symphony Orchestra

Directed by Martina Koppelstetter
Conductor: Olivier Tardy

Goethe connects: With a world premiere of Mehmet C. Yeşilçay, the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Pera Ensemble celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Goethe’s timeless collection of lyrical poems »West-östlicher Divan« (»West-Eastern Diwan«).

Despite its age, Goethe’s most extensive collection of poems has lost none of its topicality. Inspired by the work of Hafi, one of the best-known Persian poets, Goethe wrote his »Diwan« to provide his German readership with a closer insight into oriental writing. He focused on the universal aspects of Islam – a highly explosive topic in times of dichotomisation of East and West, of Islam and Christianity.

On the anniversary of the publication of Goethe’s »Diwan«, the event’s initiators – intercultural organisation »Respect us« and the Munich Symphony Orchestra – will pay tribute to Goethe’s work with a work that bridges the two musical traditions. Echo Klassik prizewinner Mehmet C. Yeşilçays’ new work »Divan« will be premiered on 26 October 2019 in the Gasteig Philharmonic Hall. His symphonic poem for orchestra, oriental instruments, vocal soloists, mixed choir and speaker combines the western musical tradition with the colourful sounds of the Orient and with Goethe’s timeless texts.

The project »Goethe verbindet« (»Goethe connects«) brings together the award-winning Pera Ensemble with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, vocal soloists Marie-Sophie Pollak and Bryan Lopez Gonzalez, actor Herbert Knaup and the Munich Cathedral Choir under the baton of Olivier Tardy.

»This project aims to reflect Germany and Europe’s cultural diversity and sets a signal for a peaceful and harmonious coexistence,« says composer Yeşilçay about »Goethe verbindet«. In the year in which the Basic Law (Germany’s equivalent of a constitution) turns 70, this represents a musical contribution to those aspects that connect East and West and a plea for mutual respect, in music and elsewhere alike.

Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Science and the Arts
Dieter Reiter, Lord Mayor of the City of Munich

(Münchner Symphoniker e. V.)

  • Composer: Mehmet C. YeşilçayOpus: Divan – Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Oriental Instruments, Vocal Soloists, Mixed Choir and Speaker (world premiere)