Tags: folk music | pandemic | auschwitz liberation

Folk Musicians in Pandemic: Auschwitz Liberation Commemoration Concert

Folk Musicians in  Pandemic: Auschwitz Liberation Commemoration Concert

Folk musicians Karsten Troyke and Daniel Weltlinger. (Used by permission)

By Tuesday, 19 January 2021 10:22 AM Current | Bio | Archive

We first learned about how German folk musicians Karsten Troyke and Daniel Weltlinger are faring during the pandemic Here. The artists were interviewed by email.

Is your government helping musicians in any way?

KT: First they gave immediately some thousands of Euros (in April and May), but it is still not clear, if we have to give it back — it was actually not dedicated to the livelihood, but for monthly costs of the work. What monthly costs has a singer? He has to eat and pay the apartment!

DW: I think musicians, artists and freelancers in general have to count their lucky stars to be in Germany. Almost from the very beginning at the end of March we had assistance from the government. I managed to get two grants from the "Corona Zuschuss" and this really helped me enormously. I had already saved some money from previous work, so I have actually been okay the whole time and can survive with what I have. I believe there have been further grants and assistance made available, but I haven't needed more assistance personally up till this point.

What measures are you willing to take to perform, if allowed?

KT: Wearing masks at the train to the cities where I perform (what else can I do), but that's it. I prevent from letting them test me and I wouldn't take the vaccine, if that was the question.

DW: I'm happy to perform full stop. If there's a limited audience, so be it. Masks for me are never a problem, and while I don't particularly like livestream concerts if asked to do this I wouldn't say no.

Are there buskers on the streets?

KT: Rarely. And at the moment, it's too cold. I'm not sure if it is allowed anyway. I remember last May, there were some colleagues in a park (as reported on Facebook), singing and playing Klezmer music. They've been stopped by the police and sent home.

DW: It's a bit too cold at the moment for there to be buskers on the streets, Corona or no Corona. But yes, there have been buskers on the streets from time to time in my area. I haven't seen anyone take any issue with this.

What is the state of vaccines in Berlin?

KT: They started with nurses and and doctors and people older than 90 years. Now they include the people in their 70s and 80s. The vaccine was first the "Pfizer" one only, now they added the "Moderna" as well. In the media they say, that there's not enough ordered, but on the other hand, there are only 40% of the medical staff who are willing to take the vaccine. I do not watch every day all these discussions. I think, there are pretty much, let's say: enough, vaccines.

DW: From what I've read briefly, they've started vaccinating people across the country. There is a vaccination center that has opened in Berlin, the first of six planned for the city.

Tell us about what you're hearing from other musicians in Germany.

KT: They are very upset and some soft rallies took place (petitions), but since everybody wants to be a good guy (keep solidarity to prevent others from spreading viruses), most of the musicians seem to be undecided what to do and desperate at the same time.

DW: I think for everyone it has been really hard. Musicians miss performing, miss being able to travel and live freely, miss one another, miss the vibrant life that Berlin is famed for. Even with help from the government some people do also still struggle with money and feel helpless with no sense of direction as to where everything is going. A lot of my friends — like me — are OK everything despite (this), have been able to survive and make music at home or make the best of the situation. What many of us find hard is a number of stories of colleagues who have suffered from deep depression and many other problems, some of whom have committed suicide under the circumstances we are all in. This has been, I think, the hardest thing the musician community here has faced.

Troyke, Weltlinger and other musicians will perform a livestreaming concert commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, April 27, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST/Noon CST. More information, as well as website information, can be found​ Here.

Tamar Alexia Fleishman was the youngest girl violinist to solo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Having traveled the world, Tamar shares flavors, history, arts and insightful interviews with fascinating folks from all walks of life. She’s held her own on TV with celebrities like Bill Maher, Greta Van Susteren, Dr. Phil and Peter Frampton. Tamar has a B.A. in Political Science from Goucher College and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore. She is a practicing member of the Maryland Bar and a Kentucky Colonel. Read Tamar Alexia Fleishman's Reports — More Here.

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Troyke, Weltlinger and other musicians will perform a livestreaming concert commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, April 27.
folk music, pandemic, auschwitz liberation
Tuesday, 19 January 2021 10:22 AM
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