The premiere of the new series of concerts “Classic for Future” in Augsburg – Munich

Jane is a fan of Beethoven. This is what Lorenz Knauer, president of the Jane Goodall Institute in Germany, told him, says pianist Yojo Christen. Consequently, Christen played Beethoven’s “Appassionata” at a party with the famous behavioral researcher at Munich’s Showpalast in June 2019 and decorated his performance with improvisation as a tribute to Jane Goodall. That an 88-year-old educated British woman likes Beethoven is obviously no surprise, and a primate researcher with gray hair tied back would also fit in with the distinctive “silver lake” that opens up to the classics. the musicians, when they enter the (often old) audience, look.

Yojo Christen, born in the Altmühltal in 1996 and only 26 years old, naturally doesn’t mind older listeners. But thanks to the new series of concerts “Classics for Future”, which he now wants to develop together with his girlfriend Anna Glaser, it is aimed primarily at young audiences. He himself will organize the first concert on Saturday, September 10 at the Little Golden Hall in Augsburg. The program includes: Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin and “Appassionata”. Works that can develop not only the amazing technique and explosive dynamics of a pianist, but which are also perfectly capable of attracting young audiences, according to the motto: Beethoven Rocks. And the Jane Goodall Institute should also benefit from this. After all, it’s about the future.

“I had the idea for the series back in 2020 and of course the name is inspired by Fridays for the Future,” says Christen during a meeting at the Munich coffee shop on Beethovenplatz. One of the basic ideas is to attract young people to concerts with young artists. “When they come in, they’re excited too,” says Christen. According to the concept, this live experience should be triggered by virtuosos of the U30 age group. In addition to Christians, the next concerts will be played by young pianists Alexander Maria Wagner (December 3) and Christoph Preiß (February 2023), which are to be held every two or three months. Like him, you are a former apprentice of pianist and composer Franz Hummel. The violinist Ronja Sophie Putz will also perform. “Everyone thinks it’s a great idea.”

Frustration with the situation artists like him found themselves in fueled the idea

The youth approach ties in with the demand to “highlight one of the main issues of our time,” as Christen put it: climate protection and species protection. Jane Goodall Institute Germany is a partner of the series, will have an information booth at a concert in Augsburg and will receive a share of the proceeds.

The frustration at artists like him also fueled Christen’s idea. With all the reputation he has earned as a gifted beginner, idiosyncratic pianist (and composer), his return to the stage has been slow. Organizers now rely more on world stars: “It’s very difficult for people who aren’t that well known yet.” I want to create a podium for them.

“He is the visionary, I am the performer,” says Anna Glaser. He knows Christen, who toured when he was seven years old, from his childhood and school days in Ingolstadt. The two had already dated before they broke up and got back together during the pandemic. Glaser lives in Augsburg, works in product and project management and has taken over the organizational tasks at “Klassik for Future”. “It’s an economic game,” he says. If the series is well received, in the medium term they want to organize concerts elsewhere in Munich and outside Bavaria. “We also want to make a breakthrough in advertising,” explains Glaser. For example, reach young potential concert listeners via social media.

Christen finished composing his first symphony during the pandemic, and the film team also recorded it in Munich’s Herkulessaal, which can be accessed via an online video store and due out on CD and Blu-ray this fall: Christen plays h- Sonata minor i Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata. If Beethoven’s lover Jane Goodall had come to the “Classics for Future” concert herself, it would of course be amazing.

September 10 concert, Kleiner Goldener Saal, Augsburg. Information below

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