Britten Peace Project
The School of Music is partnering with the Augustana College Choir, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Boychoir, Gutersloh Boy Choir, and the Detmold Hochschule für Musik in Germany to perform Benjamin Britten's stirring War Requiem. Students are studying the work's historical and artistic relevance through their coursework, dialog, rehearsal, and performance. This blog will follow the students as they embark on this epic journey.
Corbin Treacy reacts to the War Requiem Experience
To sing the Britten War Requiem in 2012, fifty years after its debut in 1962 and in the eleventh year of various US wars abroad, was for me a sober reminder of the persistent futility of war. Wilfred Owen described in his poems the folly of violence and lives squandered in battle, words that Europe and the world needed still to hear in Coventry some forty five years after the poems were first written and which need to be heard just as desperately today as sabers continue to rattle. To live in Owen's words and Britten's music, to reanimate their message of peace and nonviolence was for me a singular honor not soon to be forgotten.
--Corbin Treacy, Ph.D. candidate in French studies, University Singers tenorMarch 9th, 2012
Annette Haas reacts to the Britten War Requiem experience
For me it was a great experience to participate in this huge project. Not only as a member of the choir, but I also felt as if I was somehow the representative of my own country, The Netherlands, where both WWI and WWII had big impact. WWII was for Holland worse and more intense than WWI, but in both wars there were losses.
I thought that the opportunity to work with the Germans was a great one. It is more important to think about Germany as one of the world countries than as the country who was responsible for so many losses. Forgive but not forget and learn from history so we don't make the same mistakes.
I liked to go on tour.... It felt great and to work with all these different choirs was also a great experience. It was not always good for my patience because we had to go over things which we as university singers already did the week before. It gave me an idea how it is like to be on tour with an ensemble, and for me I like it!!
--Annette Haas, vocal performanceMarch 9th, 2012
Anna Degraff Reacts to her experience with the War Requiem
I will never forget how I felt after 9/11, when I visited Ground Zero. The area was fenced off, but the devastation was still overwhelmingly present. There were candles lit, and fresh flowers around the perimeter. There were signs posted by those who were still searching for loved ones. That is the closest I've ever come to war, and it left me with tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach that didn't go away for days.
Over a decade later, working on the Britten project, and spending this last week in Germany brought my mind back to the kind of loss that is suffered when battles are waged. In preparing the War Requiem, we had several class presentations and discussions about the circumstances surrounding WWI and on the Wilfred Owen poetry used in the work. It struck me that the sort of anonymity that came from the advent of long-rage weaponry bred the disconnect we feel today. Few of us have lost loved ones, and even fewer have seen battle, so we don't have to come face-to-face with pain, loss and death.
Sitting onstage during our final rehearsal in Detmold, I was now familiar enough with the piece that I really began to lose myself in the meaning of the work. The chorus had just finished singing the Libera me (Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death...), and the tenor began a solo section based on Owen's poetry that depicted a soldier wandering in a dreamy post-battle underworld. There he encountered "encumbered sleepers...too fast in thought or death to be bestirred." One rose up, and after lamenting the loss of his life and hope, told the soldier, "I am the enemy you killed, my friend."
There I was sitting next to people I had never met before, but our ancestors fought on opposing sides of two World Wars. I looked around at the faces of those surrounding me, and felt comforted that we could share the stage for such a profound work, and together make a musical protest against war and death. As we stood for the final chorus, Into Paradise may the Angels lead thee...may thou have eternal rest, I was filled with hope that works like this will lead us all to the kind of peace and brotherhood we desire.
--Anna Degraff, second year doctoral candidate, vocal performanceMarch 9th, 2012
Pre-Concert reflection in the Quad CitiesMarch 9th, 2012
Iowa Success onto Illinois
Last night was a great success with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Quad City Vocal Arts, Augustana College Choir, as well as the U of M singers, Detmolders, Minnesota Boy's Choir, and Macallester Concert Choir at the Adler Theater. We played to a nearly sold out house and afterwards had a lovely post concert event at the Black Hawk Hotel in downtown Davenport, Iowa. We are looking forward to a 2:30 performance today at Augustana's Centennial Hall and then we load buses back to the Twin Cities and bid our German friends a final auf wiedersehen.March 4th, 2012
What a successful night at Ted Mann Concert Hall with our performance to a sold out crowd of the Britten War Requiem! It was amazing to connect with donors, performers, conductors, and other students from the U.S. and abroad on such a unifying work of peace. We are currently loading the buses to drive to the Quad Cities for performances in Davenport, IA on Saturday night and Rockford, IL on Sunday afternoon. We feel fortunate to be able to perform this work again!March 2nd, 2012
Today's the Day!
We are so excited to present the Britten War Requiem today! We've had several nights of intense rehearsal and what we've been working on sounds amazing! The concert will begin with a semi-lecture to talk through this amazingly intricate piece and after a short intermission, the War Requiem will begin.
I personally have found it incredibly touching to be performing this piece both on German and American soil with both German and Americans. I can't help but shiver when baritone, Phillip Zawisza, sings, "I am the enemy you killed my friend..." Here I am sitting next to a German student from Detmold, Felix, who would be considered an enemy of America only sixty some years ago and yet, I consider him my new friend. I hope you all get to experience with us this incredibly moving piece whether today in Minneapolis or Saturday and Sunday in the Quad Cities.
-Zachary Colby, Master's in Vocal PerformanceMarch 1st, 2012
Conductor Mark Russell Smith Interviewed on Classical Minnesota Public Radio
Listen to the School of Music's artistic director of orchestral studies Mark Russell Smith on Classical Minnesota Public Radio with host John Birge on Britten's War Requiem and the School of Music's Britten Peace Project.
Then read about the Britten War Requiem concert on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's "Big Gigs for week of 2/24."February 28th, 2012
U of M news!
Here's a great article about our project on the U of M news website.February 27th, 2012
Here we go!
The students from Detmold are here in Minneapolis and we are cooking on the Britten War Requiem. Last night the students in the choir got together with the University of Minnesota University Singers, Kantorei, and the Macalester Concert Choir got together and rehearsed through the piece. Today student conductors and singers got together and read through some American composers' pieces. Tonight will begin one of three rehearsals with the University of Minnesota Orchestra and Detmold Hochschule chamber orchestra putting the piece together! I hope you all are excited as we are to engage with this amazing work!February 27th, 2012
Kaffe und Kuchen
After a rehearsal with the orchestra, today we had Kaffe und Kuchen with all of the University of Minnesota University Singers! We thought bringing the German tradition that we so loved to our friends in the states would be a great bonding session!February 24th, 2012
Blake High School Informance
Mark Russel Smith and the members of the Chamber Ensemble for the War Requiem visited Blake High School's band and orchestra class and performed sections of the War Requiem for the students. Professor Smith gave historical background for both Wilfred Owens's poems as well as Britten's concept of his War Requiem and what it achieves in performance. The Blake High School students seemed enthusiastic and well versed in their World War I history.February 24th, 2012
University of Minnesota faculty react to their German experience
Singing is a profound way of being together. It can lower barriers between individuals and communities, reminding us of how much we have in common. It can serve to strengthen social bonds and heal rifts that may have opened between us. It is also about taking risks - about looking beyond what is familiar and opening ourselves to a larger world.
American conductor Robert Shaw once said "We come together so that we can collectively create something of more lasting value and beauty than we could ever manage as individuals."
The Britten Peace Project and our trip to Detmold exemplified the connective power of music. It was a time of friendship and community, of viewing our craft in new ways, of sharing in the richness of another culture, of musical and spiritual growth, of experiencing something greater than ourselves.... and ultimately, of personal transformation. In returning to Minnesota, we look forward to bringing together out consortium of German and American performance partners to further explore the profound meaning of Britten's War Requiem, a work that is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.
-Kathy Saltzman Romey, Director of Choral Activities, University of Minnesota
Students of the University of Minnesota and the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold dine together and their final night together in Germany.
University of Minnesota Voice Professor and War Requiem Baritone Soloist, Phillip Zawisza reacts to his experience in Germany.February 24th, 2012
A day-trip to Hannover
On our last full day in Germany, having completed our War Requiem performances, eight members of the choral division took a day trip to Hannover, the capital of Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany. With limited internet access in Detmold, most of us had not had a chance to do much research on Hannover before we embarked on the 9:01 train, so we were grateful for the "Red Thread," a tourist guide similar to Boston's Freedom Trail, which takes visitors past a number of Hannover's great historical, cultural and commercial landmarks. With two Red Thread guidebooks in our hot little hands, we began to follow the painted line through the city.
Here's the thing about Hannover: it was majorly destroyed by repeated air raids during World War II, so a lot of the architecture is new. We visited the City Hall (Neues Rathaus), which sustained minimal damage, and is one of the few older buildings remaining. There we saw models of the city from four different times: 1689, 1939, 1945, and 2000.
We were most moved by the 1939 model, in which the city was intact and beautiful, and the 1945 model, which showed in great detail the devastation of the WWII air raids. The 88 air raids killed more than 6,000 people, and destroyed over 90% of the city center.
As a result of all the destruction, most of the city has a more modern feel than Detmold, where we had been living for the last week. In fact, there were only about 40 houses left standing after the war, and they were moved to one area of the city, now called "Old Town," which is accessed by a beautiful stone arch, and really does make you feel as if you've momentarily stepped back in time. Nonetheless, Hannover has not forgotten the damage of World War II. Near the opera house is a memorial to all the Hannovarian Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis. It lists each person by name, and indicates where and in what year they were sent by the Nazis to exile or to concentration camps.
About 20 minutes away from the memorial is the Aegidienkirche, a church which no longer has a ceiling, but whose walls still stand. The church was not rebuilt after the air raids, but was left as a memorial, and a current installation has colored glass panes strung across the otherwise empty windows, indicating the lost stained glass windows. A bell gifted by Hannover's sister city, Hiroshima, rings from this church at four different times during the day to remind the city of its loss. The bell rings at five minutes past the hour so it will not be drowned out by the other bells in the town.
It would have been a very different experience to see this town before our two performances of Britten's War Requiem in Detmold. It's one thing to read about the effects of war. It's another thing to come that close to them. Although we were spared any grotesque imagery of human injuries or deaths, seeing the destroyed buildings and how the town has had to rebuild itself over the last half a century has changed the way I'll perform the War Requiem in Minnesota and in the Quad Cities.
On a lighter note, we singers were delighted to come upon the Hannover Opernhaus, where they were currently presenting Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. We couldn't see the inside of the theatre itself, but walked around the lobby briefly and loved the statues above the entrance depicting great poets, playwrites and composers. Across from the opera house is the GOP Variety Theatre, where famous performers such as Marlene Dietrich have appeared. We were happy to take our Kaffee und Kuchen at the Markthalle (covered market) at the center of the city, which houses vendors (cheese, fruit, bread, meats and more), and many casual restaurants. The market was crowded with locals who had popped in for a bit of afternoon wine or coffee, and we stopped to do the same.
We had a great time, and perhaps when we return it will be for Hannover's Oktoberfest, which is the second largest in the world...
-Anna Degraff, Doctoral Candidate in Vocal PerformanceFebruary 24th, 2012
Post Concert Reflections
When history books recall my Generation Y's coming of age, the attacks of September 11th might very well define the culture of a new American millennia. Yet as a young Midwesterner with no immediate loss in that tragic day, I've often struggled with a certain disconnect; my heart aches for those in continued mourning, yet knows no such pain personally.
But tonight, when sharing Benjamin Britten's War Requiem for a sold-out German crowd, a people's pain from two world wars was ever present in performers and audience alike. It was for these people that I believe Britten wrote the requiem - a hope filled, healing balm probing for peace through the words of a young, poignant poet. As I sang the text, "this day of wrath shall consume the world in ashes," I knew the elder man next to me understood those words in a different way -- his family lost their home and loved ones in the World War II bombings of Hannover. And as we, a choir of masses and soloists, concluded with the words "let them rest in peace,"a full minute of silence conveyed a communal act of ennobled remembrance and propelling hope.
-Matthew Olson, masters choral conducting
Conductors Mark Russel Smith, University of Minnesota and Karl-Heinz Bloemeke, Hochschule für Musik, Detmold converse together about aspects of the performance.
Conductor Benjamin Klemme, who sang in the chorale reacts to the performance.February 24th, 2012
Shown Detmold by a Local
Greetings from Deutschland! Yesterday a hometown girl, Gisela Bollhoeffer, gave the Americans a tour of our host city, Detmold. Gisela was in her teens during World War II and saw the city rebuild itself from post war depression to the thriving artists' culture it is today. Gisela took us around the city, starting with the Princess's Palace in the center of town, reconstructed during the Renaissance. She personally had breakfast at the palace with the Princess that morning with her husband who is president of the historical society of Detmold. As we toured around the Palace we saw the fortifications of the old medieval castle remain as well as parts of the original moat.
Also in the town are incredibly old homes, some as early as the 1600's. The buildings have inscriptions carved in them including the builder, dates constructed, and prayers for the prosperity of its residents. The school of music, in fact, is a converted palace that the residents rebuilt after World War II, when more than just the economy needed to be healed. Gisela explained that the music and arts of the town helped the hungry and homeless Germans have hope for the future. The artists established the school of music and along with that a beautiful concert venue, built by one of the Princes which now has performances every week from ballet, theatre, and music. The Detmolders are dedicated to preserving these historic places.
The love and pride of Detmold's long history was displayed on Gisela's face. Here is a clip of our new friend and guide, Gisela, sharing how music has touched her life.February 23rd, 2012
On Rehearsals, Brianna Farah
As we walked into the performance hall at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold, Germany there was an air of excitement and curiosity. The singers filtered onto the stage as they arrived, some sat quietly waiting for rehearsal to begin while others began to attempt conversation with each other. There was a lot of laughter and a great deal of patience and understanding. Everyone was excited to be there and curious to learn about those who they were going to perform this mammoth work with.
While it was difficult to be rehearsing with a conductor that spoke another language than my own, the two elderly German women standing next to me were quick to help me out if they saw I needed translation. I found the atmosphere of the rehearsals as well as the performances to have an energy of complete collaboration that held great meaning because of our shared history. It was very moving to perform Britten's War Requiem with a generation who survived the war we fought against them. As our lovely tour guide put it "It is better to talk about it than to hide it." This collaboration meant so much to everyone who was involved and was evident by the tears in our eyes at the end of the performances. I feel lucky to have participated in this project and am thankful that it is now possible to have peace with this amazing culture.
-Brianna FarahFebruary 23rd, 2012
Bonding with our German Friends
Upon entering a country of which I had never been before, I was a little hesitant as to how everything would work out. I can honestly say, the students of the Detmold Hochschule fur Musik were some of the most generous, and genuine people I have ever met, and made me feel at home in their community. I was very lucky to spend a great deal of time with students from the Hochschule such as, Sina Gottbrath, Sebastian Schaffer, Lukas Kout, Juliane Beckmann, and Konstantin Ingenpass.
Every night, after a rehearsal or performance, I had the opportunity to go out to a local bar and spend some time getting to know each one of these people. They explained to us their experiences with music at the Hochschule in Detmold, their interesting life stories, and shared many experiences with me that I will never forget. What was truly wonderful about the trip was when Sebastian offered to bring a few of us to see the sites of Hermann and to see the Externsteine. These monuments were completely breathtaking to witness, and to share the experience with a few people from the University and with Sina and Sebastian from the Hochschule, created a great bonding experience that I will never forget. I am so very thankful to have created such great friendships with people that I have only known for one week, and so very happy to have had so many memorable, and moving experiences.
-Michael Hoffman, Junior, Vocal Performance Major
Du sollst deinen Nächsten lieben wie dich selbst.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
In the almost 25 years of my short life, I have never experienced such an embodiment of this cornerstone of humanity as this past week. Barriers swiftly came down. Enduring friendships began so naturally as to give the impression they were not beginning at all, rather resuming after a time apart. I think we all became aware within a few hours of the immense commonalities we all share: love of choral music, good singing, and fellowship. Even more refreshing to discover were our mutual struggles and goals toward better music making. Actually, toward better living, really. Finding colleagues who share ideology and mindset so closely is a great gift; to find them on another continent is all the more inspiring and miraculous. These are professional and personal relationships which have that rarest of possibilities: to challenge and direct the way music exists in our generation. What a blessing to begin this project with such solidarity and singleness of purpose, both within and without the concert hall.
Du sollst deinen Nächsten lieben wie dich selbst.
-Andrew Stoebig, Masters, Choral ConductingFebruary 23rd, 2012
John Grau on German Cuisine
I went to Germany believing that there is no better way to experience another culture than by indulging in a variety of their foods. After consuming delicious pastries, mouth-watering meals, and satisfying bier, I left Germany with a wonderful appreciation for their food and culture.
Upon arriving at our hostel, one of the first foods that we were exposed to was Berliners. A Berliner is a central European doughnut made from sweet yeast dough, which is fried in fat, filled with jam, and topped with either a powdered sugar or glaze coating. I found Berliners at most pastry shops and street stands, and by last count, I had eaten over 20!
Another delicious meal that I had was Schweineschnitzel. This was a breaded pork dish that was served with mushroom sauce and fries. It was presented to me warm and was very tender to cut. I think that this dish would be good with ketchup and maybe a squirt of lemon, but the mushroom sauce added a sweet and smooth finish that reminded me of turkey and gravy at Thanksgiving.
A visit Germany would not be complete without a bratwurst. A few other singers and I shared a brat in the train station prior to leaving Hannover, and I believe that this was one of the best brats that I have ever had. The brat was longer than I typically find in the states and had a wonderful sausage spice flavor. It was served in a very fresh and soft bun, which provided a contrasting texture to the brat.
Any meal requires something to wash it down with, and the local Detmold brewery didn't disappoint. One fine drink is the Detmold Pillsner, which is a tasty lager and light in feeling. This would have been perfectly paired with the Schweineschnitzel that I had. The other brew that I tried from local brewery was the Detmold Landbier. This beer was amber colored and made from roasted malts. It was refreshing and full-bodied, and would compliment a bratwurst very well.
Of course we all tried and preferred different things, but the foods that I mentioned in this post left me with a wonderful taste for Germany and did not satisfy my hunger for travel. I will have to go back for more!February 23rd, 2012
Collaborating with the Detmold Hochschule für Musik Voice Department- by Dale Kruse
The Vocal Performance students from the choir received a few special opportunities while we were in Detmold. On Thursday (2/17), we were invited to attend a final dress rehearsal of two Detmold Landestheater Studio Artists who were presenting a Liederabend concert later that weekend. As a part of their training, the baritone and mezzo both take lessons at the Hochschule. When speaking with them after their program, we were surprised to find out how nervous they were about their English (which was very good!) because we were there. On Friday (2/18) we were treated to a master class led by Soprano soloist and head of the Hochschule Voice Program, Caroline Thomas who was assisted by Thomas (Opera Studio Stage Director) and Fabio (Opera Conductor/Opera Studio Coach) at the piano. University of Minnesota graduate students Brianna Farah, Anna DeGraff, Zachary Colby, and John Grau sang in addition to sophomore Tim Murray (B.M. Voice Performance and B.A. Theater) to whom I posed the following questions:
DK: Have you sung in a master class before?
TM: This was not my first master class, but I was extremely excited to receive feedback from teachers that have different ways of viewing opera and performance.
DK: What were your expectations before you sang?
TM: I expected to sing and receive feedback and work through my selection. I expected there to be a sort of "fourth wall" between me and the teachers, where I'm on stage and they comment from the audience.
DK: So, were your expectations met?
TM: Yes, for the most part, but I have never been in a master class where the coach stands right next to you and acts along with you while you sing! It was great to feed off Thomas's (the Stage Director) energy and I got some great tips and ideas for coloring my piece!
DK: Any lasting impressions?
TM: I was so thankful for Caroline Thomas's directness. I feel that many times in America, we are so worried about hurting student's feelings, but Caroline was so direct and got right to the heart of the problem instead of "sugar-coating" every comment. I also really enjoyed the collaboration of Thomas, the Opera Stage Director, who focused on the acting of our pieces, Caroline, a voice professor, who focused on vocal technique, and Fabio, the Opera Conductor, who focused on diction and coloration. Together, the three coaches were outstanding! It was so helpful to gain a different perspective and discover new ways of thinking about vocal production and performance!
One final unexpected and unplanned interaction came on Sunday (2/19) when Anna and I were eating lunch all alone in the Mensa (Hochschule Cafeteria). Fabio saw us sitting there and asked if we would be interested in watching him work with a Chinese soprano who was a graduate of the Opera Studio and who was in Detmold to coach the role of Violetta in La Traviata for an upcoming professional engagement. It was an amazing experience to watch him coach her in the Italian text of the opera (his native language), speak to her in German and to us in English. As we left his studio, we both felt extremely fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time.
Here's a video of Dale and Tim in the anticipation of rehearsal!February 23rd, 2012
Detmold Hochschule für Musik
The Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany was founded just after World War II as a way to cultivate music education and performance after the devastation that had taken place. The conservatory offers degrees in performance, church music, music education, and conducting. There are over 400 concerts per year, including performances at the professional Summer Theater. Students at the Hochschule with whom we worked while in Detmold include conductors, singers, and instrumentalists. The main building in which the school is housed was converted from an old palace. It is complimented by the newer performance hall.
Below are pictures of the main school building and the University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra and soloists rehearsing in the performance space.February 23rd, 2012
Rehearsals with the German choir by Andy Morgan
One of the most unique aspects of our trip to Detmold was the cultural exchange involved in our choral rehearsals. Knowing this would be such a rich experience, additional choral sessions were organized with the Hochschule's choral director, Anne Kohler.
Anne's ensemble consists of 32 vocal performance, music education, and church music students, and specialize in a cappella repertoire from the 19th century to present. In our first session with her choir, Anne took us through music by Poulenc, Brahms, and Peter Eben. I was immediately impressed with their tone: fabulous blend and intonation, minimal vibrato, yet rich in color and depth of tone. Anne's rehearsals are almost entirely a cappella, which helps the singers build their self-reliance in learning parts, and also helps singers listen actively within the ensemble. In our second rehearsal, Anne led us through Brahms's Warum ist das Licht gegeben, encouraging discussions about the piece and sharing her own reflections and insights into analysis of the work. Learning Brahms from a German conductor, and singing with a German choir, all in a city where the composer once lived helped to make it a great experience, one of the most enjoyable choral experiences I have had in years.
February 23rd, 2012
Anne Kohler's presence was equally meaningful in our rehearsals for the Britten. She led highly creative group warm ups in both English and German. Her singing exercises often included kinesthetic motions, miming activities, and diverse metaphors to help illuminate ones understanding of vocal technique. Rehearsals with the orchestra were mostly in German, with Herr Blömicke giving instructions to the chorus, and subsequently translated into English by Kathy Romey or Anne Kohler. My German is über-minimal (when ordering a beer, I would be lucky to put together a statement along the lines of, "I can has one big beer, pleases thanks?), so following along in the rehearsal was at times a real challenge. Fortunately, I know numbers a bit, so I could at least stay in the right place!
Arriving in Detmold
We began our journey at 5pm February 21st in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. Following a nine hour flight from MSP to Amsterdam and a four hour bus ride to Detmold, we finally arrived Wednesday evening at about 5pm German time. After a long day of travel, we were all glad to stretch our legs and get settled in at the Jungendherberge (youth hostel). Upon our arrival, a donkey in the front yard greeted us as well as our guide, Herr Beyer.
The rooms were rather spacious and each had a bathroom and shower. The hostel staff provided us with our first 'Kaffee und Kuchen' hour, which was greatly appreciated and delicious! Soon after dinner at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, many of us went to explore the streets of our new city. The buildings and homes were all historic and very charming. Many were half-timbered houses and others were highly ornamented buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The overall atmosphere was very quiet. It was 8pm and we were the only people on the streets. Our first encounter with the locals was not until we stepped into the Brauhaus, a local bar, for our first German beer before heading back to the Hostel. By this point, exhaustion had taken over the entire group and we were all eager to get a solid night's sleep before rehearsals started the next day.
Here's a video of Kelley on our arrival in Detmold.February 23rd, 2012
Willkommen zurück in die Staaten!
We are back from Detmold, Germany and ready to get charged for next week when we host the students of the Hochschüle für Musik. All of the U of M students that traveled abroad cannot express their gratitude in words for those who donated and allowed us to the incredibly moving experience that we had in Germany. This partnership has forged bonds across the sea and allowed us a look into our own human nature as Americans and Germans and how we move forward in establishing a global community. As we get settled back in the U.S. we will be posting much about our trip with pictures and video so make sure to check back in the next few days!February 22nd, 2012
Successful Concert in Detmold, Germany
From David Myers, Director of the School of Music
The U of M School of Music's collaborative performance of the War Requiem in Detmold, Germany was, in two words - outstanding and moving! Our students and faculty were absolutely spectacular, and the entire performance was a thrill, as was seeing the wonderful interchange between our students and those of the Hochschule für Musik Detmold. We can be enormously proud of our students and, of course, of the work of our faculty in preparing them.
We look forward to hosting students and faculty from the Hochschule für Musik Detmold next week and for the Twin Cities performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem on March 1 at Ted Mann Concert Hall.February 21st, 2012
U of M School of Music Britten 'War Requiem' Concert Featured in German Newspaper, 'Lippische Landes-Zeitung'
U of M School of Music's Britten 'War Requiem' concert in Detmold, Germany was featured in the German newspaper Lippische Landes-Zeitung.February 20th, 2012
Britten Peace Project Day 1: From Kelley Sundin, Voice Student
Britten Peace Project
Day 1: From Kelley Sundin, SOM Graduate Voice Student
The day has come, we have reached our destination in Detmold, Germany, and are about to embark on the performance journey of the Britten War Requiem. We have studied the work and rehearsed the piece extensively over a the Fall semester and are very excited to begin the runs of the first German performances of the War Requiem. The journey studying this piece thus has been very thought provoking, as this piece has great depth from a cultural and historical perspective. Today, we traveled eight and a half hours by plane and five hours on a bus to arrive to the beautiful city of Detmold, where we were greeted by our host from the Hochschule at the Youth Hostel on the top of the hill in Detmold for Kuchenessenuhr (cake eating hour). It was a wonderful way to enter German culture after our long travels from Twin Cities. Tomorrow, we begin our rehearsals to mount the Britten War Requiem. Tschüss!
Photos from a recent Britten Seminar at the SOM
February 15th, 2012
Britten Peace Project: Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey Pre-Detmold
University of Minnesota School of Music Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey discusses traveling to Detmold, Germany to perform Britten's "War Requiem" with U of M students.February 14th, 2012
School of Music Graduate Student Sergei Bogza Pre-DetmoldFebruary 14th, 2012
U of M SOM Britten Peace Project: Pre-Detmold Interview with Michael Hoffman
February 14th, 2012
After choir rehearsal on Friday, February 10 undergraduate, Michael Hoffman, talks about going on this trip to Detmold, Germany to perform Britten's "War Requiem."
U of M School of Music Britten Peace Project: Claire Shares Her Thoughts on Traveling to Detmold
February 14th, 2012
Claire, U of M School of Music student, shares her thoughts on traveling to Detmold, Germany to perform the Britten's "War Requiem."
Students Anna DeGraff and Brianna Farah Sound Off on the Britten Peace Project
University of Minnesota School of Music Students Anna DeGraff and Brianna Farah share their thoughts on their upcoming trip to Detmold, Germany to perform Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" as part of the Britten Peace Project.February 14th, 2012
Welcome to the Britten Peace Project Blog!
The University of Minnesota School of Music is embarking on an international project inspired by Benjamin Britten's transcendent work, War Requiem, a large-scale, non-liturgical setting of the Requiem Mass (Mass for the dead) with nine poems by English poet and fallen World War I soldier Wilfred Owen interwoven throughout the piece.
This project presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for School of Music students and faculty to perform a 20th century masterpiece for audiences in four cities across the globe and culminates in concerts in February and March of 2012.
This blog will follow School of Music students as they embark on this exciting and life-changing journey.February 1st, 2012