Berlin: US organ star boosts Ivan Fischer’s refugee appeal

Berlin: US organ star boosts Ivan Fischer’s refugee appeal


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2015

Exclusive report by Stephanie Tassone

The American organist Cameron Carpenter today took centre stage at an open-air lunchtime concert at the Berlin Konzerthaus to show support for local refugee organisation “Moabit Hilft”.

Performing on his International Touring Organ, Carpenter played to a large crowd on the steps of the Konzerthaus in the afternoon sunshine. Fans and onlookers were invited to contribute donations so as to enable “Moabit Hilft” to continue their tremendous support of hundreds of refugees in Berlin.

The concept for this charity performance was sparked by an appeal from Iván Fischer – the chief conductor of Konzerthausorchester Berlin and music director of Budapest Festival Orchestra – during the season opening at the Konzerthaus, where he called for tolerance and generosity towards refugees from the people of Europe.

Carpenter posted on his Facebook page after the September 4th concert: “RIGHT ON, MAESTRO: I’m so glad I didn’t miss Iván Fischer’s timely message (auf Deutsch) from the stage of the Konzerthaus Berlin two nights ago. The essence: that music, as a humanism, “has its part to play” in opening the doors and hearts of the world, and particularly of Western Europe at this moment.”

cameron carpenter berlin

UPDATE: Video report here.


  • william osborne says:

    There is one refugee per every 699 people in the world. Listed below are the countries with the most. The second number is the number of refugees per citizens. We see that refugees are concentrated in Middle Eastern countries, mostly due to the lack of a Palestinian homeland. Jordan and Lebanon have refugee ratios three to four hundred times higher than the USA, and about 40 times higher than Germany. Sadly, a second reason refugees are concentrated in the Middle East is due to wars in which the USA has played a central role in fomenting.

    1 Pakistan 2,600,000 — 70
    2 Jordan 2,485,650 — 3
    3 Turkey 1,633,560 — 4
    4 Syria 1,254,634 — 17
    5 Lebanon 1,172,753 4
    6 Iran 996,468 — 74
    7 Kenya 650,610 70
    8 Germany 571,685 — 144

    And the ranking for the USA and UK:
    12 United States 264,763 –1216

    17 United Kingdom 193,510 — 319

    • william osborne says:

      The three countries that are the source of the largest number of refugees are Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. Now why would that be…….

  • Justthemfacts says:

    Is Cameron German or Hungarian? That’s news.

  • william osborne says:

    The United Nations High Council for Refugees lists the USA as the source of 3778. (!) See:

    I wonder who they are and why they are refugees from the USA.

    (I suspect that 92% are opera singers……..)

  • Roberto says:

    This is a classical music board. Nevertheless, I have something to say. While I agree that the US should have never intervened in Iraq, there has been wars in the ME for centuries, way before the US even existed.

    • Holger H. says:

      Yet any informed human will tell you, that it was primarily US foreign policy, that destabilized the whole subcontinent from Afghanistan to the Maghreb.
      Iraq, Syria, Libya, were countries run by authoritarian dictatorships, the common form of government in the region btw, and had
      -good public education systems
      -good public health care system in their regions (Libya had the best in Africa)
      -law and order (except you were actively fighting as a dissident against the ruling party)
      -secular forms of government, law and public service.
      -most progressive WOMEN’s rights of the Islamic world. women could relatively freely participate in public life, education, professional development etc.
      etc. etc.

      Then comes the west, led by the US and its global hegemony strategy concerning Eurasia, and destabilizes these countries systematically and throws millions into misery, no better outlook in sight…
      It actually is that simple, unfortunately.
      We have an obligation to help, first as humans, but second also as those people who have a responsibility for the misery of these war refugees.

      • Roberto says:


        This “any informed human will tell you” tells everything about you.

        I am sorry if I am uninformed and ignorant. To make it easier, we should have a rule somewhere that the Unites States is responsible for all the problems in the world. United States and Israel. We cannot forget Israel.

        Don’t bother having the last word. I won’t read.

  • Thomas P. Mayer says:

    Shirtless Organist Cameron Carpenter takes care for other people? Cameron Carpenter is supporting refugees? Don’t make me laugh! This gentleman is only interested in his own person. He misuses the refugee-debate for promoting his career and his instrument. This is highly cynical. Sad that a famous institution like the Konzerthaus takes part.

    • Neven P. says:

      Mr. Carpenter does not seem to realize that an average member of the crowd he is supporting would most likely prefer to see him stoned to death.