If two guitarists play a duet, the activity of their brain waves synchronizes. “When people coordinate their actions with those of others, small networks are created within the brain and, remarkably, also between their brains, especially if mutual coordination is important as, for example, at the start of a piece of music,” explains Johanna Sänger.
We cannot say what happens in the brains of our stART artists when they come together to create something new. But we do know that the idea of the stARTacademy is starting to bear fruit in terms of both joint performances and the development of new formations. For example, in September 2016, Tobias Feldmann (violin), Valentin Radutiu (cello) and Hardy Rittner (piano) came together for the first time in the Historical Town Hall in Wuppertal, to give a concert with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the young but already well-known conductor Joana Mallwitz. The three musicians were brought together for this concert by Bayer Arts & Culture. That was an idea that has sparked further projects by the three musicians. They had never met before, but have met up several times since then to share musical ideas. That is an important aspect of the stARTacademy, which is reflected in our approach. Bayer Arts & Culture brings together present and former stART artists, creating a network of very different musicians and gives them a platform where they can interact and implement new projects.
Another idea behind the stARTacademy is to introduce soloists to orchestras (for example, in May 2018 Tobias Feldmann will be performing with Residentie Orkest Den Haag) and to facilitate CD recordings, which are then released in the Erholungshaus. Two CDs were released in this way in the 2016/17 season. At the start of February, we welcomed the pianist, ECHO Klassik prizewinner and former stART artist Alexander Krichel for the release of his CD MIROIRS (released by Sony Classical). Ten days later, Tobias Feldmann presented his new album, Polychrome, with Boris Kusnezow (released by Alpha Records).
The following quotes by artists highlight the success of our concept:
“The stART program has given us a platform for projects that we could not have realized in this way without the support of Bayer Arts & Culture and that have had a lasting influence on our work.” Signum Quartett
“During my time as a stART artist, I was able to strengthen my personal profile enormously [...]. In addition, it brought me personal contacts and friendships that mean a lot to me.” Hardy Rittner
“I developed a real relationship of trust with the Bayer Arts & Culture team that helped me through some tough career situations.” Olivia Trummer
“Bayer has given me a musical home; whenever I come to Leverkusen I feel happy and at ease.” Alexander Krichel
“As a young musician, you are dependent on ongoing support [...] at various levels, for longer rather than shorter periods of time.” stART is exemplary in this respect […].” Valentin Radutiu
“The generous support and minimal bureaucracy made sure we could pursue our musical plans [...] at ease. Such working conditions are very rare for freelance musicians, and we are very grateful for it.” Benjamin Schaefer
“The stARTacademy has become a home to us outside our base in Hamburg. It is not just somewhere to present our work; above all it is a place where we can focus, concentrate and experiment.” German National Youth Ballet