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Leipzig Gewandhaus wants more financial security

The Gewandhaus in Leipzig / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa/Archivbild
The Gewandhaus in Leipzig / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa/Archivbild

The Gewandhaus in Leipzig is facing major challenges. At some point, income will no longer be able to cover everything. A foundation is to provide a remedy.

The "Stiftung Zukunft Gewandhaus zu Leipzig" (Leipzig Gewandhaus Foundation for the Future) is intended to make the financing of the cultural venue more viable for the future. In an interview with the German Press Agency, Gewandhaus director Andreas Schulz said that his house is increasingly facing major challenges. Audiences are changing, as is the job market and the demands on the house's concerts.

"Perhaps we will no longer be able to generate the usual income in the future, which we urgently need as a city-owned enterprise," said Schulz. The foundation should help out. Its establishment is to be announced at a concert on Friday (May 24). Alongside funds from the city, the so-called Circle of Friends and the "Sponsors Club", the foundation set up by six private individuals will therefore be a further pillar of the Gewandhaus' financial architecture.

"We are very satisfied with the financial resources that the city of Leipzig provides us with as the sponsor of our institution," emphasized Schulz. The money can be managed well. "However, additional projects - such as big names in the repertoire or certain touring and music education projects - regularly present us with financial challenges." This would only be possible with additional support.

Dedicated private sponsors have played a key role in the history of the Gewandhaus. In 1743, aristocrats and citizens founded a concert society in Leipzig. Musicians were engaged and paid out of their own pockets. The roots of the Gewandhaus Orchestra were laid.

Among the founding donors of the "Stiftung Zukunft Gewandhaus zu Leipzig" is Arend Oetker, the great-grandson of August Oetker, the founder of the group of the same name. He said that it was a pleasure for him to support the oldest civic orchestra in Germany. Its "outstanding conductors", as well as its connection to Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and the St. Thomas Boys Choir, are particularly special.

The foundation's assets amount to 1.5 million euros. However, the idea of the foundation is not to replace public funds, emphasized Steffen Hildebrand, Chairman of the Foundation Board. The long-term goal is to keep expanding the foundation. "If we succeed in this, we may be able to guide our Gewandhaus through economically challenging times. That's why we welcome any support."

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

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