One of the great delights of the stay in Berlin is having a chance to see some friends much more than we have in past years. Obviously, that includes some old schoolmates of mine.
But it also includes longtime family friends, some of whom offer a particular angle on cultural events in Berlin.
ABA and her husband DA have lived in Berlin for many, many years. They are also the parents to my oldest godchild, of course, and lived nearby our first Berlin apartment.
ABA has now become very active in efforts to welcome refugees through cultural events. She hosts groups of refugees for dinners at her house regularly, but also visits various musical events with interested refugees on an almost weekly basis. Many of these visits go a little off the beaten track of classical music to venues and events that are very interesting and that we’ve enjoyed joining in on. This has included some events that really stretch our notions of classical music and offer all kinds of surprises as to the sounds that classical instruments can make.
Another longtime family friend GS adds to this. She’s a musician who is an accomplished classical cello player, but she is also part of the Asian Art Ensemble. They collaborate with Asian musicians and try to find an interaction between very different musical traditions and instruments. Also, very interesting and surprising!