Can you imagine concerts held in a moving streetcar, a hospital’s operating room or the apartment building where Oscar Schindler once lived? Architect, Daniel Libeskind with the Alte Oper, will bring together 75 spectacular concert performances in unusual and unexpected venues within Frankfurt, Germany, May 21 to May 22, 2016, and all within a 24-hour period, interpreting One Day In Life.
Guest curated by award-winning architect, Daniel Libeskind, they will explore the connection between urban space, music and everyday existence, in collaboration with Frankfurt’s Alte Oper and close to 200 musicians with a wide genre of musical styles. Performers include prestigious artists and ensembles such as the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the violinist Carolin Widmann, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (The Frankfurt Radio Symphony) and the Ensemble Modern, as well as students from Frankfurt am Main University of Music and Performing Arts. Libeskind has also hand-selected the music, which includes works by Claudio Monteverdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Schubert, pieces by contemporary composers, as well as Indian ragas and electronic music.
“What excites me the most about this project is that it is a kind of experiment of culture – very much the way the city itself operates. I have always experienced music not only as a passion, but as something that deeply informs and shapes my work as an architect. This project exceeds my wildest dreams in terms of exploring and examining these connections between the city, existence, music and space,” says Libeskind.
Other urban concert locations he specifically selected vary from the Sigmund Freud Institute, to large venues such as the 51,500-seat Commerzbank Arena, the VGF Betriebshofand rail yard depot, and the Alte Oper in the heart of Frankfurt. But other locations verge on the totally unexpected – even humorous, including a boxing gym, a bunker, a moving streetcar, and the subway platform in Frankfurt’s central station, as well as several concerts that will be held in locations which are not normally accessible to the public; an operating room ( without the patient!) at the Hospital zum heiligen Geist (Hospital of the Holy Spirit,); the underground repositories of the German National Library; the former great kitchens of the Römer building and the 38th floor of the OpernTurm (Opera Tower.)
Organized into 18 esoteric dimensions of human existence – themes such as Body, Will, Gravity and Memory – which Libeskind brings into context by juxtaposing music and urban space, will unfold in abstract ways. For example, the concept of Work will be explored with a concert of Mozart’s Requiem performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony on the industrial tracks of the VGF Betriebshof rail yard depot.
Each program will be repeated several times at each location in two – hour intervals to allow concertgoers the opportunity to wander through an entire day via the medium of music. Audiences can plan their own personal route with a minimum of three and a maximum of ten stations by using an online ticketing system specially developed for One Day in Life. They will also be offered pre-selected day and weekend passes. The concerts will not feature allocated seating. Visitors will make their own way from concert location to concert location on foot, by bike or using public transport, which is included in the ticket price.
Born to parents who survived the Holocaust in Lodz, Poland in 1946, Libeskind’s family immigrated to Israel when he was 11, and then to New York. A true Renaissance man, Daniel Libeskind possesses a staggering array of creative interests: he has been a free-verse poet, an opera set designer and a virtuoso musician playing piano and accordiaon, before concentrating on architecture. His many buildings include the Jewish Museum, Berlin Between the Lines, one of the most visited museums in Europe; the extension of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England known as The Spiral; Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, L’Chaim To Life; the spectacular extension to the Denver Art Museum known as The Eye and the Wing, and the crystal glacier-like addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Libeskind’s ambitious and highly controversial design for the rebuilt World Trade Center Memorial, Reflecting Absence, is perhaps his most well known project. Despite almost a decade of political wrangling and bureaucratic squabbling, One World Trade opened in 2015 with other public facilities yet to be built.
TOP PHOTO: Architect, Daniel Libeskind stands in front of the opera house, Alte Oper. They are collaborating on a spectacular concert series One Day In Life throughout Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: Norbert Miguletz
One Day In Life takes place May 21 to May 22, 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany