Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Teutonic tunes for a good cause

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Some of Taiwan's most respected musicians will perform German classics such as Robert Schumann's Widmung this Sunday to raise money for charity.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SINO-GREMAN CULTURAL CENTER

The Sino-German Cultural Center in Taipei is holding a charity concert on Sunday to raise money for the Catholic Private Savior Star Home (救星教養院), a charity organization located in Taitung dedicated to helping mentally and physically handicapped children. This feast of German melodies features some of Taiwan’s most respected musicians who have studied abroad.

The music includes compositions by some of Germany’s most famous composers and musicians including Felix Mendelssohn’s Ich harrete des Herm, Robert Schumann’s passionate Widmung and Charles Gounod’s 19th-century adaptation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ave Maria.

The program is the result of a collaboration between artists Charlotte Han (韓宜靜), president of the Sino-German Cultural and Economic Association, and Jurgen Gerbig, director of the Cultural Center.

Gerbig has worked since his arrival here five years ago to increase cultural and educational exchanges — especially in music — between Taiwan, Germany and Austria. His work with Han has given rise to many concerts in Taiwan and said that this time he felt compelled to give something back to the community.

“We have been doing concerts for musicians of all kinds — composers, singers, instrumentalists — who lived and studied in Germany and Austria. The fruits of these exchanges are one of the reasons for this charity concert,” he said.

The Catholic Private Savior Star Home is an institution established to improve the medical treatment and special education needs of those disabled and physically challenged Aboriginal children. Administered by the Catholic Sisters of the Catholic Holy Cross convent, the sisters have been providing needed care to Aboriginal children for more than 30 years.

“If culture and cultural exchange is not about charity then what is it good for? Everything we should do in this non-profit area should be for the welfare or charity of the people who are interested,” Gerbig said.

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