The German Minister of State for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters and Kirill Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, have jointly assumed the patronage of the national fund-raising drive of the German Orchestra Foundation (#MusikerNothilfe).

Patrons of the emergency aid fund the German Orchestra Foundation (C) Monika Rittershaus

The musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker are participating substantially and, together with their chief conductor, appeal for contributions to this campaign.

Monika Grütters said: »For the many freelance musicians in orchestras and ensembles, the cancellations of their concerts and projects result in losses of income which are a threat to their livelihood. Because solidarity is more necessary than ever in this situation, I am deeply grateful to Kirill Petrenko for immediately supporting the incentive of the German Orchestra Association and its Orchestra Foundation with his generous contribution to an emergency aid fund for musicians. I hope that his example will set a precedent, also in other sectors. Therefore, I have gladly assumed the patronage of the initiative of the Orchestra Foundation. In order to stimulate cultural life in Germany as quickly as possible after this crisis, in addition to the unprecedented emergency measures of the federal government, we also particularly need the commitment of civil society and the solidarity of the strong with the weaker. I am convinced that if we who love music collaborate in this way, we will have the best chance that our musical culture will not suffer irreparable damage.«

On behalf of the entire Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Andrea Zietzschmann, General Manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Chief Conductor Kirill Petrenko and Orchestra Board Member Alexander Bader said: »With this campaign, everyone who has the privilege of a fixed salary or greater reserves at the moment can support those whose livelihood is threatened as a result of the current dramatic situation. Together we appeal to you to contribute. Help us preserve the cultural life we all know and love!«

Gerald Mertens, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the foundation, is pleased: »The assumption of patronage by Mrs. Grütters and Mr. Petrenko is a strong signal for the entire music scene and hopefully an encouragement for further donors. We have over 2000 requests for help from freelance musicians. Because of the concert cancellations and the loss of all sources of income, they are in turmoil. We are therefore aiming for a donation goal of at least 1 million euros. «

With the emergency aid fund the Foundation, which after ten days has already collected more than 420,000 euros, will help needy freelancers who currently find themselves in a social crisis. A sum of up to 500 euros will paid out to those affected before Easter, until the government assistance is distributed.

The donation account is:

Deutsche Orchester-Stiftung – Reference: Nothilfefonds

IBAN: DE35 1004 0000 0114 1514 05

BIC: COBADEFFXXX

Further information: orchesterstiftung.de/Nothilfefonds/