Concert on eve of the 2018 UNESCO World Heritage Day: Silk Road Symphony Orchestra on 2 June 2018 at the Neues Museum

Neues Museum

On the eve of UNESCO World Heritage Day (this year, Sunday 3 June), the Silk Road Symphony Orchestra will be performing a concert in the Neues Museum’s staircase hall. The concert, entitled ‘Spurensuche’ (which loosely translates as ‘Traces of the Past’), brings together works by Johann Sebastian Bach with texts by poets and thinkers from Europe and the length of the Silk Road.

The actors Linn Reusse and Steffen Lehbrink will read excerpts from Homer’s Iliad, the Bhagavad Gita – one of Hinduism’s key texts – and the Gilgamesh, an epic from around 2,400 BC. The readings will be interspersed by performances by the Silk Road Symphony Orchestra featuring soloists Monika Mauch (soprano), Elisabeth Popien (contralto), Johannes Gaubitz (tenor), and Wolf Matthias Friedrich (bass), who will be performing a selection of cantatas by Bach: ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’ (BVW 4), ‘Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit’ (BWV 106), and ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’ (BVW 12).

Founded in 2016, the Silk Road Symphony Orchestra is an intercultural music project comprising around 60 musicians from more than 20 countries. Under the artistic direction of its conductor Jan Moritz Onken, the orchestra plays music from the global North, South, East, and West as a way of promoting cultural exchange between different parts of the world. A source of inspiration for the orchestra is the interactive platform ‘Silk Road Cultural Beat’, where music lovers can upload their own personal classical music highlights and so continue the Silk Road’s tradition of cultural exchange in the digital age.

An event by the Callias Foundation in cooperation with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, supported by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, the ArteMusic Stiftung Frankfurt, and Deutsches Theater Berlin. The event takes place under the aegis of the German UNESCO Commission and is part of the ‘Culture Opens Worlds’ initiative.

Tickets (priced between €16 and €48) are available for advance purchase from public sales offices and at