Gewandhaus Orchestra thrills onlookers with open-air premiere in the heart of New York
Leipzig ensemble’s impromptu performance delights crowds on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
The impromptu concert by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra was a striking illustration that words are not needed to make a big statement: 25 years to the day since the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, the musicians thrilled the New York public with a surprise open-air concert. The city, which more than most stands for the values of freedom and independence, enjoyed a very special Saxon moment. To spontaneous applause, the world-famous orchestra played an exclusive premiere of a Michael Nyman work on the streets of Manhattan fittingly entitled “manhata”. The link between the name of the piece and the location was not the only reason the work left a lasting impression on New Yorkers, as was clear from the enthusiastic response of the large crowd.
Music is a common language that appeals to people everywhere
“As ambassadors of the Federal State of Saxony, it is of great personal importance to us that we are able to share the common language of music on this very special day and in this particular place. The sense of freedom and liberation which is so central to our identity as citizens of Leipzig and remains as pronounced today as it was 25 years ago, flourishes in this cosmopolitan city with its many cultures, its differences but also its similarities,” said Gewandhaus executive director Professor Andreas Schulz, speaking after the event.
The orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, is an ambassador of the “Simply Saxony.” campaign, carrying the reputation of Saxon art and culture beyond the borders of Germany and Europe. With 185 musicians, it is considered to be the world’s largest professional orchestra.