This year’s Kunstfest Weimar probed the boundary that separates genius from madness. Based on the motto “Feux follets – Irrlichter” (Will-o’-the-wisps), the festival presented over 30 music and dance performances, readings and discussions from 20 August to 12 September 2010. As in past years, the Kunstfest opened with the concert series “Gedächtnis Buchenwald” (Memory Buchenwald). The series featured works by Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Anton Bruckner, performed by the Staatskapelle Weimar and conducted by Michael Boder. The Yugoslavian writer and Buchenwald survivor Ivan Ivanji gave the commemorative address. The grand opening of the festival took place the following evening in the Weimarhallenpark.
The Kunstfest has focused on the works of Franz Liszt in past years, and the outstanding pianists Boris Berezowsky and Valery Afanassiev continued the tradition. Berezowsky performed Liszt’s bravura piece “Feux follets – Irrlichter” (Will-o’-the-wisps) which was also the motto of the seventh Kunstfest Weimar. The Austrian Ensemble for New Music presented a production by Boris von Posit with “Eight Songs for a Mad King” by Peter Maxwell Davies, “Pierrot lunaire” by Arnold Schönberg and “Drei Lieder des Narren” by Luigi Nono.
The focus on dance included a spectacular tap dance performance by Israel Galvan, the “Nijinsky of flamenco” and Savion Glover’s “Bare Soundz”. The legendary Merce Cunningham Dance Company – on its final world tour – presented two productions for the first time in Germany. Before Merce Cunningham passed away in New York in 2009, he clearly expressed his wish that his pieces continue being shown on a Legacy Tour for two more years, after which the company would be disbanded. The two performances by his company took place at the Theater Erfurt. Two dance-media projects addressed the future of dance at the Nietzsche Commemorative Hall (“SENDER WEIMAR”) and the Van-de-Velde buildings of the Bauhaus, where the dance classes of the HfMdK Frankfurt were working together with the young media artists of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
The award-winning violinist Carolin Widmann and her brother, the clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann, were the artists in residence at the festival. Together they have developed a chamber-music programme that included works by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, as well as Alban Berg, Bartòk, Boulez and Jörg Widmann.
Artistic director: Dr. Nike Wagner
Artists: Valery Afanassiev, Boris Berezowsky, Michael Boder, Israel Galvan, Savion Glover, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Carolin Widmann, Jörg Widmann, Staatskapelle Weimar and others