REED. Cultural life has been on hold for months due to the corona pandemic. The Jeunesse and the LMS-Kulturkreis Ried are known for top-class concerts. However, concerts are still not allowed. Tips spoke to Eduard Geroldinger, director of the Ried State Music School and Jeunesse concert organizer, about the current situation.
In Ried, too, corresponding concerts were held year after year before Corona in cooperation with the LMS culture group. Particularly popular are the Jeunesse school concerts, which introduce children between the ages of six and twelve to the world of classical music in a playful and light-footed manner. However, concerts are still not allowed.
Tips: Corona has also hit culture hard. What is your conclusion?
Geroldinger: Art and culture stand for creativity, curiosity, debate and, ultimately, quality of life. The fact that artists have not been allowed to address their audiences for such a long time brings many of them into existential difficulties. But the audience also has an irrepressible longing for cultural offers, which is articulated in numerous requests to speak: “We get vaccinated, we go for tests, we come with a mask and keep our distance – but we want to enjoy concerts again soon!”
Tips: The Jeunesse introduces children and young people to the world of classical music in a playful way. How are the children doing or are there any questions about when to start again?
Geroldinger: We keep receiving inquiries as to when there will finally be children’s concerts or music workshops again. Children and young people are particularly open to discovering new worlds, engaging in imaginative stories and being enthusiastic about the vast cosmos of music. Since many concert formats are specially tailored to one age group, some children will have fewer opportunities to get to know the popular Jeunesse children’s concerts.
Tips: Are there any plans for 2021?
Geroldinger: We had many plans for 2020 and there are also finished plans including sophisticated security concepts for 2021. Planning for the 2021/22 season is almost complete. Since each of the planned projects is very valuable, we of course also try to make up for canceled concert events. After all, there are always outstanding artists behind a planned event, who have worked out an interesting program for months, have invested a lot and are often among the great hopes for young talent. They all need this performance platform just like the audience needs the concert experience.
Tips: In your opinion, would it be possible to host events or concerts again?
Geroldinger: It goes without saying that you must comply with the applicable regulations and make safety the top priority. The framework conditions have to be right accordingly. After we have great opportunities for open-air events available (e.g. LMS arena), extensive prevention concepts have been worked out, and investments in hygiene measures and the improvement of ventilation technology have been made, we are always ready to welcome guests again. As soon as we receive permission to do so, we will again offer listening experiences for young and old in a clearly defined framework.
Tips: At some point, the pandemic will be over. What will then have changed in our society and in cultural life?
Geroldinger: Some offers will no longer exist and some things will have to be redesigned. Outstanding young artists will no longer be available because they have reoriented themselves professionally out of concern for their future. Large rifts are to be feared in society. It will take a great deal of effort to bridge the gap between solidarity and selfishness. Here, too, the value of art and culture cannot be overestimated. I hope that a new spirit of optimism will be able to overcome many a depression. There will also be less “routine” in the cultural sector and an even higher quality standard – which I think is a good development.
Tips: What do you personally wish for in 2021?
Geroldinger: I would like as many people as possible to recognize that you can achieve a great deal by working together. It depends on each and every one of us to make constructive contributions for a pleasant further development. And I’m really looking forward to the moment when two bright eyes sparkle at me from an uncovered face while I shake hands with a friendly person without a guilty conscience.