Anne-Sophie Mutter: Why is religion given priority over art?main
The German violinist, who is now playing in churches, sends a challenge to her government in an interview on a religious radio station:
We have a basic right to freedom of art and freedom of religion. I cannot understand that religion is given priority over art, because this basic right is food and not luxury. Art gives us hope and a view into another beautiful dimension and a shared sensual experience, as of course does a church service. I am very grateful that there are church services in which, as in the history of the church, music has always played a major role. This now enables us to be there musically for a few people and appeal to solidarity and ultimately to charity…
The service in the Berlin Cathedral this Saturday is prompted by the German Orchestra Foundation, which founded an emergency fund in March to make life a little easier for freelance artists. This fund urgently needs support. That is one of the reasons why we offer musical accompaniment in church services. It is not only a gift – hopefully it will be seen that way – to the worshipers, but it is also an appeal for solidarity for freelance musicians.
Since March we have been banned from performing almost continuously, which entails insane financial losses. Bear in mind that 95 percent of artists live on the poverty line. I think a music teacher gets 11,000 euros a year. Every Advent concert, every other appearance that is lost is a catastrophe in every respect. There is national assistance, but it is extremely bureaucratic and the criteria are often set in such a way that many cannot access the money at all. The November aid is probably a little easier to get. Incidentally, 3000 euros for a year in which practically no income could be earned is too little. So you can’t die from it, but you can’t live with it either.
UPDATE: Where Mutter got it wrong