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“For me culture is somehow linked with tradition. Without culture, the development and growth of each individual is not possible."
Jack Martin Händler, musician and Ambassador European Year of Intercultural Dialogue
Interview: Director Rheingau Musik Festival stresses importance of festivals for European culture
Oestrich-Winkel, Friday, 21-05-2010
In an interview on 9 May 2010 in the framework of the Varna Broadcast project, launched by the Varna Summer International Music Festival, Michael Herrmann, Director of the German Rheingau Musik Festival and Vice President of the European Festivals Association (EFA), spoke about the festival’s mission and vision and the role of an umbrella organisation such as EFA.
Since 1988, the Rheingau Musik Festival takes place in a unique setting: the region’s vineyards and historical buildings. With 150 concerts each season, the festival is one of the largest in Europe.
The 2010 festival programme (26 June-28 August) focuses on the 200th anniversaries of Schumann and Chopin, includes a “Festival Special” which in 2010 is Opera (Peking Opera – Chamber Opera – Opera for Kids), a “Composer Portrait” dedicate to Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and a new series entitled “Rendezvous with…” that offers the opportunity for artists and audience to meet – to name but a few of the highlights in 2010.
Asked about collaboration with other festivals and with the European Festivals Association Michael Herrmann highlighted the collaboration with the Mosel Musik Festival in 2010 which emerged from an EFA meeting. In previous years, the Rheingau Musik Festival has worked together with festivals from all over Europe such as the Emilia Romagna Festival (Italy), the Flanders Festival (Belgium), the Ljubljana Festival (Slovenia) and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany).
Being the Vice President of the European Festivals Association, Michael Herrmann stresses the important role of festivals and of EFA in the future of European culture: “As the umbrella organisation for festival in Europe EFA is an important instrument of cultural understanding.”
The interview was part of the broadcast project entitled “The Festivals of Europe”. From May 2010 until May 2011 – finishing just before the 2011 EFA General Assembly and Conference that is to take place in Varna and hosted by the Varna Summer International Music Festival – interviews with EFA members will be broadcasted on Radio Varna (www.radiovarna.com) at a weekly basis.
• EFA Multimedia Gallery (all interviews)
• Interview Kathrin Deventer, EFA Secretary General (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3)
• Interview Michael Herrmann, General Director Rheingau Musik Festival and EFA Vice President