Sunday, November 28

– High performance pressure in orchestras

Cultural news

Friday 5th November 2021

High performance pressure in orchestras

According to the German Orchestra Association (DOV), professional music ensembles in Germany are still doing too little for the mental health of their musicians. Explicit offers are still the exception, said DOV managing director Gerald Mertens of the German press agency. Mertens considers the pressure to perform in orchestras to be very high. The mutual control among each other in the daily rehearsals and performances is very large in the entire orchestra. He compares a mistake in a concert with a missed penalty in football. Mertens sees good approaches in disease prevention, for example, with the Federal Youth Orchestra or the Young German Philharmonic. They made more and more offers such as warming up, stretching and techniques for concentration and relaxation. Topics would also receive greater attention in training at music schools and music colleges.

Saxony-Anhalt returns artifacts to Guatemala and Mexico

The state of Saxony-Anhalt will return cultural goods to Guatemala and Mexico on Friday. The total of 13 artifacts were discovered after information from the previous owner on a property in Klötze in the Altmark. They date from around 250 to 850 AD and were probably stolen from robbery excavations. The handover of the cultural assets is carried out by Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff to the ambassadors of Guatemala and Mexico.

Detained blogger Zhang Zhan appears to be in critical condition

Blogger Zhang Zhan, arrested in China for her corona reports, is apparently doing very badly. Her brother wrote on Twitter that she was severely underweight because of her hunger strike. You may not live long. The 38-year-old has refused to eat for weeks and is force-fed. Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders requested Zhang’s immediate release. The blogger was sentenced to four years in prison last December for her reports on the spread of the coronavirus in the metropolis of Wuhan.

New Christian Heritage Museum planned in Iraq

A new museum and research center for religious literature is planned in northern Iraq. The Pro-Oriente Information Service announced that it should contain both Christian and Islamic books and manuscripts that were saved from being destroyed by the Islamic State terrorist militia.
The new center is being built in Ankawa, a suburb of the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. The Dominican Order is also involved in the implementation. The Archbishop of Mosul, Michael Najeeb Moussa, is primarily responsible for the project. When ISIS attacked Mosul in the summer of 2014, Najeeb organized the rescue of the ancient manuscripts. They went first to Qaraqosh and later to Erbil.

Historical find in Peru

During road works in the Peruvian capital Lima, workers came across a historic burial site with 2,000 year old ceramic vessels. So far, the remains of six human bodies, including children and adults, have been recovered, along with a number of ceramic vessels made specifically for their burial, an archaeologist told AFP. The experts assume that the finds from the La Victoria district may be related to the “Blanco sobre Rojo” culture. It was widespread in several river valleys on the central coast of Peru.

Digital GDR archive with interviews with contemporary witnesses

The University of Erfurt wants to bundle the memories and experiences of people with GDR history in a nationwide archive. A homepage with eyewitness interviews is to be set up, as the head of the research center, Christine Kuller, told the German Press Agency. This could create a basis for further GDR research projects, said Kuller.
According to her, special attention should be paid to post-colonial and migrant experiences. It is about former contract workers and students, for example from Vietnam or Mozambique, who came to the GDR and experienced reunification there.

Cult band “Abba” is back

The Swedish cult band ABBA today released their first album with new songs in 40 years. The first tracks from the album “Voyage” have already been released. In the official German single charts “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” came in third and fifth. In addition to the new album, there will be a high-tech concert show in London next year with holograms of the band members – so-called Abbatars. ABBA became world famous with hits like “Dancing Queen”, “Waterloo” and “Mamma Mia”. In 1982 the band broke up.

Kim Sherwood becomes first 007 writer

British writer Kim Sherwood is the first woman to write new novels about the fictional secret agent James Bond. The Londoner announced that she was working on a trilogy about agent 007 on behalf of Ian Fleming Publications. The first, as yet untitled, book is due to appear in September 2022. Bond inventor Ian Fleming had written twelve novels about the secret agent, after his death in 1964 various authors took over.

Bardot convicted of racist libel

A court has sentenced the French ex-actress Brigitte Bardot to a fine of 20,000 euros for racist insults. Your press spokesman has to pay a fine of 4,000 euros, as a court in Saint-Denis on the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean announced. The militant animal rights activist described the island’s inhabitants as “a degenerate population with barbaric traditions”. The people living there are “natives who have preserved the genes of the wild,” she wrote in a letter to the prefect in March 2019, with which she wanted to protest against alleged cruelty to animals on La Réunion. Bardot later asked for forgiveness and explained their anger with the “tragic fate” of the animals.

Jakob Wassermann Prize for Literature for Clemens J. Setz

The Austrian writer Clemens J. Setz receives the Jakob-Wassermann-Literaturpreis 2020. The award of the city of Fürth, endowed with 10,000 euros, will be presented to him on November 10th in the Franconian city. The reasoning states that Setz is one of the “most creative, imaginative young authors in the German language”. In his stories, novels, poems and plays, he expands literature into themes and forms, and he also dares to take risks. The Jakob Wassermann Literature Prize was launched in 1995. It is reminiscent of the writer Wassermann, who was born in Fürth in 1873 and was famous and widely read, especially in the 1920s.

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