In the new season, piano music and chamber music are being combined in a single subscription series with three concerts each. Why is that?
Basically, we are simply doing what is common in most towns. However, for those who are only interested in chamber concerts or piano recitals, we are offering other types of discount. By concentrating on three piano and three chamber music concerts we can offer an even better-quality program. As a rule, quality is better than quantity.
The situation in Wuppertal is a bit different ...
That’s true. There are already good chamber music concerts, and we don't want to compete with them. However, simply offering a subscription to three piano recitals would not be enough. Therefore, we have landed a major coup and are putting on a fourth concert in Wuppertal with Radu Lupu. In addition, Tamar Beraia will be giving a solo recital in Wuppertal, whereas in Leverkusen she will be performing with her sister. Therefore, our piano cycle essentially comprises five concerts.
Like Tamar Beraia, Tobias Feldmann is a stART musician, so he benefits from your sponsorship program. Are you planning something special with him in the upcoming season?
Yes, he told us he would like an opportunity to work with well-known chamber musicians. He will therefore be giving a concert with Lise Berthaud and Julian Steckel. Another special feature of the 2016/17 season is that we will be bringing together all past and present stART musicians for the first time. They will be rehearsing together and giving several concerts in June. For example, they will be playing Beethoven's triple concerto. That is a very popular work but it is rarely performed because three soloists are required. With our stART musicians we can provide the right combination: a violinist, a cellist and a pianist.
Are there any other new developments in your sponsorship of musicians?
Yes, we will be bringing together all our activities in this area, including our sponsorship of Pre-College Cologne in the stARTacademy. In fact, we regard Pre-College Cologne as such an excellent center for highly gifted youngsters that we are extending our sponsorship and will be fanding a concert tour of Austria and Italy.
In addition to sponsoring protégés, you want to instill a passion for music in children and young people.
Yes - and we have a range of offerings geared to achieving that. For example, our musical building blocks are a clearly structured educational module. At the start of 2016 we started to visit more schools with members of the Bayer Philharmoniker to demonstrate how different moods are created in music. Now we intend to gradually extend the range of themes and are open to suggestions from teachers. We are also planning to extend this program successively to other Bayer sites. The same goes for “A life on stage”. This is an opportunity for children to meet our stART artists on our premises.
Will Bayer Arts & Culture also be continuing the jazz program?
Definitely. In 2016, the final concert in the Leverkusen Jazz Days will be held in the Erholungshaus and will include the Tingvall Trio. Personally, I am greatly looking forward to that.