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Schiller Institute Participates in Alexandrov Choir Commemoration

On January 3rd, 2019, for the third year in a row, a memorial was held in Bayonne, New Jersey for the victims of the December 25th, 2016 plane crash which took the lives of the many members of Russia’s famous Alexandrov Ensemble, journalists, philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka, and others.  This memorial, organized by the Schiller Institute, took place at the foot of the “Tear Drop Memorial,” a 100-foot statue gifted to the United States by the Russian Federation in 2005 in honor of the victims of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Members of the Schiller Institute and the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, led by Diane Sare, Founder and Co-Director, were joined by the Bayonne Fire Department Honor Guard, Captain Haiber and Chief Weaver of the Bayonne Fire Department, Dmitry Chumakov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, Dr. Louay Falouh, Minister Counselor of the Syrian UN Mission, Father John Fencik of Saint Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, and others in the ceremony. In opening the ceremony, the Chorus sang both the Russian national anthem (in Russian) and the US national anthem.  The Bayonne Fire Department Honor Guard stood at attention throughout the forty five minute ceremony.

These performances were followed by comments from Deputy Permanent Representative Chumakov, who paid tribute to the victims of the 2016 tragedy and spoke to the continuation of the efforts of both the reconstituted Alexandrov Ensemble and the Charity Foundation of Elizaveta Glinka. He concluded with significant statement of Russian policy in Syria: “Considerable progress has been made on Syria in 2018. Now we need to step up joint efforts to launch the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, that would enjoy support of the Syrian parties, in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Syria’s future must be determined by the Syrians themselves in a political process they conduct and control with international mediation. Such an approach would contribute to settling and overcoming the consequences of the war; re-establishing the country’s full sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Mr. Chumakov’s full statement is available on the Russian Federation UN Mission’s website.

Then spoke Dr. Louay Falouh, Minister Counselor of the Syrian UN Mission, who thanked the government of the Russian Federation for their work to support Syria, and expressed his deep condolences for the losses of December 25th, 2016.  Chief Weaver and Captain Haiber of the Bayonne Fire Department separately gave profound remarks expressing their condolences, as well as their thanks to Russia for the comfort they personally felt when visiting the Tear Drop Memorial. Bayonne first responders received enormous numbers of people fleeing by boat from Manhattan on 9/11. Captain Haiber told the audience, “At times like this, we are neither Russian nor American—we are human.” He also spoke in Russian, expressing his wishes for peace and friendship.

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Father Fencik, whose close relative had been the translator at the famous meeting on the Elbe River between Soviet and American forces, gave an invocation saying that these dead will never be forgotten, and then gave a sung prayer in Russian.

At the conclusion, Diane Sare, Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, spoke on behalf of the Schiller Institute and the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, and read aloud the written message from Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Two years after the tragic death of 64 members of the Alexandrov Choir Ensemble on their way to Syria on December 25th, 2016, that country is now almost entirely freed from the terror of ISIS due to the determined intervention of Russia in collaboration with the Syrian army. This liberation demonstrates what human beings can do when they unite with a good plan and for a just cause, and that, as Friedrich Schiller would say, even the most tyrannical foe can be subdued. As now there will be a more hopeful period in the history of Syria, with the economic reconstruction and the return of millions of refugees, the memory of the Alexandrov Choir Ensemble will be written into the history of Syria and should be celebrated every year with beautiful concerts in many cities, celebrating the Russian-Syrian friendship and the immortality of great art and the artists, who devote their lives to the ennoblement of mankind.

— Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Founder, Schiller Institute

Diane concluded her remarks by saying that this moment called to mind to words that Handel had immortalized the his Messiah “Death is Swallowed up in Victory.”

Each of the speakers made a special point of thanking the Schiller Institute for organizing the event. Russian news service TASS, as well as TV stations Russia 1 and RT were present.

Participation in this event had a profound effect on our activists and choir members who joined in.  Patrick from Connecticut said, “I was so glad to be there and be a part of this. As I looked around and saw who was gathered here, I felt like we were on a kind of different planet from the rest of the population – and how important is that we do this.”

View more pictures from the event.


“A Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road” held in Dresden, Germany

On April 21st, the Schiller Institute organized a cultural event in Dresden under the title “A Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road,” with 150 attendees.

Lasting peace, stability and shared well-being should, of course, be at the heart of international relations. But this does not start at the negotiating table of politicians, but in all our hearts. And what could not unite the souls and hearts of our peoples better than the idea of truth, freedom and beauty. Cultural contributions, Music and poetry from different countries and cultures established a new standard of optimism among the audience

This event was a proof, that a qualitatively new world order {is} possible; that we, by seeing our own true self reflected in the beauty of other cultures, find that higher “placement,” from which that persisting nightmare of geopolitics can be overcome, once and forever!

This is the greeting from the Chinese Ambassador to Germany which was read to the audience:

Greetings from his Excellency, the Ambassador Shi of China, to the Schiller Institutes’ “Dialogue of Cultures along the New Silk Road”:
I am really pleased with the fact, that the Schiller Institute conducts a cultural dialogue centered around the implications of the New Silk Road. When the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, presented the historical initiative of the “One Belt, One Road,” it was met with broad approval and support by the international community. During the past several years, the New Silk Road attracted a vast attention globally as an economic and infrastructure program. Yet, it is not only an economic corridor, but a road of a cultural exchange as well.

From a historical viewpoint, the New Silk Road began as a commodities trade route, but its significance reaches far beyond trade and became a major corridor for the communication of the
different cultures of the world. Via the Silk Road, the cultural centers of mankind were able to interact with each other through large distances, and by doing so, the great civilizations like
China, India, Arabia, and Europe learned from one another and respected each other. None of these civilizations at the time lost their independence or space for their own development because of the connectivity through the Silk Road, quite the opposite. The mutual learning enabled the countries to absorb additional knowledge and to gain new potency within their own peculiarities.

In the course of worldwide globalization and digitalization, a transcultural and supra-regional exchange and cooperation became ever more important. China wants to deliberate, build, and
profit from the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in a shared manner with all the countries alongside the New Silk Road. Thus, not only the economies of the countries along the road ought to be developed, but also the cultural exchange between China and the other nations. Until the end of 2017, China already signed more than 300 agreements for cultural exchanges with the governments of the countries along the New Silk Road, and implemented plans to that effect. Multilateral cultural cooperation mechanisms within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as among China and countries of eastern Europe, of Arabic nations, and of the ASEAN states, have already been established. This certainly contributed to the aim of bringing the people alongside the New Silk Road closer together.

It is my hope that the participating experts and artists are able to openly and profoundly exchange their views and thoughts within this dialogue, and I wish you all success.


Schiller Institute Celebrates Dialogue of Cultures in Düsseldorf

On March 7, 2015, the Schiller Institute and friends organized a beautiful German-Russian ‘Kulturfest’ in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, with approximately 70 people participating.

The evening was opened by Kasia Kruczkowski, who identified the necessity of dealing with the current international strategic situation from the highest standpoint, in the context of a cultural dialogue.  Especially today, when the Russians are blamed for being megalomaniacal, the Chinese are blamed for being imperialistic, and the Germans have almost no idea of their own Classical culture,

Kasia Kruczkowski

Kasia Kruczkowski

such a Dialogue of Cultures is even more urgently needed. Only such a dialogue can make people once again associate Germany with the nation of Cusa, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Schiller, Schumann, Beethoven, and so many more; and when they talk about Russia, it is Pushkin, Turgenev, Gogol, and Goncharov who would come to mind. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche has repeatedly made the point that if everyone could look at the cultural history of another nation, in the same loving way as a patriot looks at his own nation, then there would be no longer be any wars!

This was the thread woven throughout all the contributions during the day, which both made the event joyful, and also made all the attendees more conscious of the wealth of beautiful works of art that the German and Russian cultures created.

Elena Bär

Elke Fimmen

Benjamin Lyllof

Karsten Werner

Stephan Hochstein

We heard a pianist and singer, both of Russian background, who presented pieces from Tchaikovsky and Russian folks songs. There were several other German Lieder performed as well as recitations from the poetry of the German poet Friedrich Schiller (1759 – 1805) and the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837).

In one presentation the congeniality of the poets of Freedom — Schiller and Pushkin — was expressed with quotes from both, and their influence on the united effort in the fight for freedom against Napoleon was highlighted.

After a short break with very stimulated and excited discussions, the poetic-musical dialogue continued with more perfomances of piano compositions, poetry, and Lieder.

There was a presentation on Schiller’s influence in Germany, especially on Wilhelm von Humboldt, and in Russia, especially on Schukowski, which emphasized the appreciation of Schiller by Russia. At this point an older German woman from the audience stood up and backed it up by telling a true story from 1945, when the Battle of Königsberg between German and Russian soldiers took place.

Right before the battle started, the Russians put a sign on the statue of Schiller in the city, saying in Russian: “Do Not Destroy — A German poet: Friedrich Schiller.” This monument is still standing there in today’s Kaliningrad, safely.

This evening proved to everyone that beautiful works of art are universal, and can enrich and strengthen us all, to meet the challenges of our time. All the participants expressed their deep gratitude, took a lot of material with them to organize others, helped with donations, and were very eager to attend and organize for upcoming events.

They felt human again. Let us continue!