|By Lawrence Cosentino|
Touring German youth orchestra smuggles big guns into the MidwestWhen conductor Michael Klaue brings his
67-member Ahrensburg Youth Symphony from north Germany to the Midwest
this week, there will be more on his agenda than music making.
The group will play a big program of
But the enrichment runs both ways. Klaue
“The newspapers here do not always tell the truth about American life,” Klaue said.
The negative press in Germany runs from criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to ordinary Americans’ eating habits.
“Many people here think that for breakfast, lunch and dinner you eat burgers, burgers and burgers,” Klaue said.
The orchestra’s tour of Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois is sponsored by Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake.
Klaue said the students are especially
Uh — Milwaukee?
“There are many Harley Davidson fans in Germany,” Klaue pointed out.
The chance to stay with five different
Try getting 67 instruments, some of them with cases big enough to house a Newfoundland dog, through American customs.
“Once you are in the United States,
This year, the forwarding agency handling the orchestra’s essentials gave Klaue an extra hard time.
“They complained to me,” he said. “It’s
Once they get here, there will be some
Marx wrote the symphony five years ago to celebrate the naming of his hometown, Stralsund, as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The music weaves old Lutheran hymns with
“It’s not really weird contemporary music, but it’s nice to hear and he’s always got an idea, a philosophy,” Klaue said.
Just when an idyllic violin solo begins
“It blasts you out of your seat,” Klaue said.
The Ahresnburg Youth Orchestra was formed
“They are highly motivated,” Klaue said.
When Klaue first came to Blue Lake 40
“Lake Michigan is just about the size of
As his career in Germany progressed,
“I’ve experienced ups and downs in the
Ben Baldus, the orchestra’s contact man
Their last time together, Baldus and
“He’s a very enthusiastic organ person,” Klaue said of Baldus. “Those are some old organs — 400, 500 years old.”
They went to Saxonia, where Bach supervised organ building, and visited Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach was cantor.
Baldus called Klaue a “pretty decent organist.”
“I’m pretty, but I don’t play the organ,” Klaue countered.
He may not be a threat to America, but his English is dangerously good.
Ahrensburg Youth Orchestra