Mutter, Thielemann lead appeal for lesser-known artists

German musical celebrities have signed a letter to the federal cultural minister, calling for better security for lesser-known artists.

We, known and unknown artists, remember how often we have been asked over the years, for example after the financial crisis, to accept lower fees, to make a contribution to the diversity of the cultural landscape, and in most cases have done so.

In return we expect you to at least work for adequate default fees through the state-subsidized institutions… For all who work outside of subsidised culture, it is imperative to set them up in such a way that they are able to continue to make their valuable contribution to culture.

The signatories are led by:

Lisa Batiashvili, violinist

Matthias Goerne, singer

Thomas Hengelbrock, conductor

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violinist

René Pape, singer

Christian Thielemann, conductor 

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  • They are 100% right. If we bailout bankers and dentists and CEOs of successful companies, so they can keep getting bonuses in times of crisis, we must also bailout artists on all levels, as we must bailout a whole class of middle class freelance self employed and small businesses. Seems obvious.
    Arguably the middle class is the MOST essential and system relevant class for political stability in (relative) freedom.

  • This is a great start. But I suggest we will need a more holistic, industry-wide approach to get as many presenting organizations and performers through the pandemic shutdown as possible, especially as it may last well into Fall 2020 and maybe even Spring 2021. Perhaps an unprecedented cooperation where artists/agents agree to accept a fee reduction of xx % for any performance which takes place during 20/21, in exchange for a minimally guaranteed yy % payment for each event which is cancelled? If implemented now, it could encourage audience buy-in and hopefully limit the expectation of refunds in the knowledge their contribution is aiding the survival of the organizations and artists they treasure. Just one idea – I think we need to see some bold, swift action if the performing arts eco-system is to avoid mass Covid-19 casualties.

  • Shame more well-paid artists don’t follow the Stephen Hough path and give away some of their own money.
    Rather than signing petitions….

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