Cellist Jan Vogler, head of the Dresden Music Festival, takes a bow with Antonio Pappano after playing Tchaikovsky.
(Dresden Music Festival photos by Oliver Killig) by Rodney Punt
DRESDEN — Bobbing cheekily in the air above Dresden’s Neumarkt Square this week are portrait balloons of the G7 heads of state. Their finance ministers are convening here to tweak the world’s economic order. While the opaque G7s resolve to seek the best major accords in finance, however, more fun can be found a few doors away at the Dresden Music Festival, where G7 chords resolve to C majors in the Saxon capital’s splendid Baroque chambers. The two unrelated events are at this moment raising Dresden’s political and cultural profiles to more visible prominence in Germany and Europe.
Portrait balloons of G7 heads of state near the Frauenkirche. (Punt)
Music Festival intendant Jan Vogler has conferred the title “Fire Ice” as this year’s theme, referring to a mash-up of influences at the outer edges (and beyond) of the European continent. The idea is that music inspired by the Mediterranean’s sunny climate contrasts with that created in snowy terrains near the Arctic Circle. Dresden’s Mittel Europa position is then positioned to play bridge and broker between the received ideas of northern intellectualism and southern lyricism.