As we are finally able to present our 2020 program to you, we do so with delight, joyful anticipation, and also with pride. But we cannot pretend that everything is the same as usual, that everything is merely normal. It may appear so, when one takes a first glance at the 36 events in which our artists go in search of capturing the sound of a particular time, the sound of the 17 th century. In 2020, however, this will also encompass the search for a sense of meaning and form, for alternatives, and - indeed - for normalcy. Everything was and will continue to be put to the test. Artists and organizers must struggle to position and assert themselves, but above all they still want to touch people's souls and hearts through their art.
This current situation recalls the life and work of Heinrich Schütz, who, in the midst of the crisis-ridden time of the Thirty Years' War nevertheless created captivatingly beautiful works. It was he who struggled for “dero weitberümbte Music” [the renowned music of far and wide], or, more precisely, the court music of his elector that suffered terribly from “the continuously dangerous course of war”. The muse of music never sits in an ivory tower, but always puts her own skin in the game, inhabiting stages within the palace as well as in the inn, singing praises to one god or to many, recognizing herself as a servant or as a premonition, going along with or resisting ... it was so in Schütz's time, and it's no different today.
We are immensely fortunate to have Françoise Lasserre, the grande dame of early music in France, as an artist-in-residence. She bestows, together with her Ensemble Akadêmia, a powerful and passionate sound, and, at the same time, presents subtle interpretations of baroque music. In doing so, she pursues the goal of being faithful to the work at all costs, as well as being true to herself as an artist living in the 21 st century: a daring one, too, as a look at the programs of her artistic residency shows. But it is not just this outstanding artistic engagement: without her great personal commitment, her persistence and her organizational talent, this grandiose residency would not have been possible in this crisis-ridden year. For this, I thank her from the bottom of my heart!
I would like to take this opportunity to express my special thanks to everyone who accompanies us as patrons, supporters, partners and friends and who also stand by our side in this challenging time. Experiencing this common ground counts as one of life’s most exhilarating moments and brings with it a sense of strength.
With all of this in mind: we warmly welcome you!
Françoise Lasserre | director of Akadêmia
artist in residence 2020