Anne Sophie Mutter’s concert in the Peenemünde power plant hall was so popular that she played the dress rehearsal in front of an audience on Saturday morning – together with the New York Philharmonic. “You can’t miss such a unique thing, that’s why I’m already in evening wear here in the morning,” said an expectant visitor in front of the door.
Anne Sophie Mutter plays her violin concerto by André Previn
The actual concert followed in the evening in the unique atmosphere of the gigantic power plant hall. The violin concerto was played by André Previn – he had composed it for mother and named it after her.
There was also great virtuosity on the opening night on Friday with Jan Lisiecki on the grand piano. The 26-year-old played Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto. The audience was greatly impressed. A spectator afterwards: “I knew he could do something, but the fact that he played so well knocked my socks off.” Another visitor added: “It’s unique that something like this can happen on such a small island.”
Country MV: Support for New York Philharmonic performance
The fact that something like this could succeed on the small island of Usedom was on the one hand due to the diplomatic skills of the artistic director Thomas Hummel, because you can’t just book a world-class orchestra like the New York Philharmonic. On the other hand, the undertaking was promoted by the decision of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to make one million euros available for it.
State President Birgit Hesse was involved in the negotiations: “The New York Philharmonics made it a priority for us to come to New York and hold a press conference there,” says Hesse. “We were actually able to show that we stand behind it. So I’m happy that it worked.”
Director Thomas Hummel: It took a lot of patience
The Peenemünde concerts have been held on Usedom for 20 years – and they ensure that the sounds bring people together not only across the Baltic Sea, but now also across the Atlantic. Intendant Hummel: “It was important to us that it was a residency that took place here for a week, not a concert from Berlin or Hamburg. That’s why it was so difficult to get the New York Philharmonic. It took a lot of staying power – That’s why we’re all the happier that we succeeded.”
Two European premieres were part of this three-day concert program, both commissioned by two American composers. At the last concert on Sunday evening, the audience heard the New York Philharmonic with the American baritone Thomas Hamspon and songs from Gustav Mahler’s “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”.