Jonas Kaufmann offers donation to Covid-hit artists

Jonas Kaufmann offers donation to Covid-hit artists


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2020

The tenor is making a gift to a fund for performers left workless by Covid.

He writes:

Ihr Lieben, wie angekündigt möchte ich gerne $5000 spenden, um zu helfen, dass die vielen Künstler die durch die COVID Krise in eine katastrophale Arbeitslosigkeit gedrängt wurden, die Zeit bis zur Wiederöffnung der Kunst überleben. Viele von euch haben in den letzten Tagen nachgefragt, wohin sie spenden sollen. Ich habe mich dafür entschieden die Opernsänger in meinem Land zu unterstützen:

Ich möchte euch aber gerne dazu auffordern die zahlreichen Künstlerorganisationen in eurem jeweiligen Land zu unterstützen: #WeWillMetAgain ist beispielsweise eine Organisation des arbeitslosen METOrchesters, die mit verschiedenen Projekten versucht für ihre Musiker durch die schwere Zeit bis zur Wiederöffnung der Metroplitan Opera zu überbrücken.

Dear friends, as announced, I would like to donate $5,000 in order to help artists who have been forced into unemployment due to COVID to survive the crisis until they can work again. In the past couple of days, many of you have asked where to donate. I‘ve decided to help opera singers in my country:

I would, however, like to ask you to maybe donate to one of the many artists associations in your respective countries: #wewillmetagain, for instance, is an organization of the unemployed METorchestra, which is trying to get their musicians through the hard times until The Metropolitan Opera can open again. They have many ongoing projects through their organization.


  • annnon says:

    He put out a press release for all of … $5,000?

    Want to make a real contribution? How about declining your next engagement and asking management to hire an underemployed, local, tenor? (Hint: start with Naples)

    • Helena says:

      And what a joy it would be to you dear “annnon” if Kaufmann would actually do that. Then you could be raving mad here in this forum and post comments “KAUFMANN CANCELLED!!!!”.
      I have been listening to classical music for decades. I started to follow Slippedisc because I hoped to read intelligent and interesting discussion on this fascinating music genre. What I mostly see here is hostile and nasty comments towards artists and fellow contributors. I wish Mr. Lebrecht and everyone else all the best. Stay safe and enjoy music. Goodbye.

      • Christopher says:

        Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Karen.

      • Mouse says:

        Dear Helena, I agree. What surprises me most is the lack of fantasy and self-reflection of many of the comments here. I mean we all can agree most people around here have some education and a certain affection for classical music? While thanks to new technologies and the opportunity of travel classical music has never been as widespread and as easy to access in the history of mankind as it is today, and people – young and old, rich and poor – can enjoy recordings of a Horowitz, Kleiber or the stream of a live concert just taking place, even in the most remote corners of the earth, it is almost ironic how negativity and cynicism convey to young, unbiased people to what bitterness the occupation with classical music seems to lead to. Have you ever thought about young people not wanting to be identified with such a peer group?

    • Jay says:

      It could be it is all he could afford to donate to
      his cause and he is not too embarrassed to let
      us know that for all his fame this is the best he could do. One might suggest he give a concert
      which should attract many ,with all the proceeds
      going to the cause .I am sure such a concert would
      bring in more than the 5 thousand he was not too
      shy to let us know about. Think on it, a Kaufmann
      concert to benefit unemployed musicians !!His stock would be even higher than it is now .

    • Maria says:

      What a horrible and bitter comment!

      • fflambeau says:

        Maria, I don’t think that Jay’s comment is bitter at all. Good idea to give a benefit concert and donate the proceeds rather than the pitiful amount given.

    • mary says:

      Didn’t you hear? Italy ran out of tenors. And need to import German ones. At least according to Kaufmann in a recent SD post.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      I’ve never been a fan of Kaufmann’s singing, but to demean his gesture is insane. If every famous and wealthy musician and music lover who can afford to give that sum (which I can’t) would do so, a ton of money would materialize quickly. But who would want to follow Kaufmann’s example when its only ridicule they have to expect?

    • Jay says:

      annnon.The Met gives him a recital and he in turn plugs the Met. The hypocrisy never ends.

  • Faith, Hope and Charity. says:

    Bravo Jonas!

  • IntBaritone says:

    Arguably the most in demand tenor in the world.

    Certainly making 5 figures per night.

    Certainly making 7 figures per season.

    Puts out press release for donating 4 figures to thousands of artists – ie (at best): here’s 5 euros each.


    • Tamino says:

      I agree. If that‘s the amount you want to donate as an artist of that revenue level he is, do it quietly. How so many others did.
      A gesture out of touch with reality.

  • jack says:

    I’m amazed at how many on here seem to have intimate knowledge of Kaufmann’s financial situation.

  • Melisande says:

    Matthew 6: 2 – 4

    Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.

    Learned this a.o. at school at the age of eight and found it odd. Only years later I understood the meaning of this saying.

  • fflambeau says:

    $5,000 is not much at all.

  • Damned if you do...... says:

    Shame on you who fault Jonas for his contribution. Where were you raised and by whom? Are you so jaded that you must condemn someone’s act of kindness and generosity while you yourselves give nothing? Perhaps the amount could have remained confidential. But what is confidential in today’s world? He could have donated one million dollars and it wouldn’t have been enough for the haters and those envious of his success.