Fly me, I love classical music

The May issue of Das Orchester magazine, obligatory reading for musos with a smatch of German, contains an uplifting interview with a chap from Lufthansa who set up a five-year spnsorship deal with the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, for no better reason than the declaration that he’s a Musikliebhaber (he likes the stuff) and so is his boss, Stephan Gemkow, the airline’s chief financial officer.

They can see a synergy in the operations of the two companies. They call it Zusammenklang, which you could translate as singing off the same hymn sheet. Lufthansa now brands itself ‘first golabl partner of the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne’. Nice, right.

Only in Germany, I fear. You couldn’t imagine the CFO of Continental Airlines breezing into the hard-pressed Houson Symphony and saying ‘we wanna be your global partner’. Or British Midlands offering in-flight puffs for ‘our partners at the CBSO’. Or Easyjet playing Brucknet in the lounge. Or Ryanair stopping treating every musician passenger like an appalling encumbrance.

But those boys at Lufthansa are no fools. There must be something in this for them. When I find out what it is, you’ll be the first to know.

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  • This is not all that unusual. The Sydney Symphony’s principal sponsor is an airline. Qantas? No. Emirates! Makes a lot of sense when conductors and soloists often need to fly across the world to get here.

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