Carla García Heredia plays the sonata for flute and piano "Undine" by Carl Reinecke. On the piano: Anna Kirichenko.

Music meets science

Under the theme “Breaking Boundaries,” young musicians from the Barenboim-Said Akademie are giving concerts at the MDC in Mitte/BIMSB at irregular intervals, followed by seminars for PhD students. The inaugural concert on November 12 was a great success, with not a seat left empty.

It is hard to imagine a bleaker November morning in Berlin. The sky is dark gray, and the clouds hang low over the city. In the large conference room of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin-Mitte, five spotlights are aimed at the stage platform. Young musicians are busy tuning their instruments. Where experts from the scientific community usually give lectures, the emerging musicians of the Barenboim-Said Akademie are kicking off a new concert series with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in F Major for Oboe, BWV 1053.  

The Lunch Time Concerts are held under the theme “Breaking Boundaries” and aim to build a bridge between the natural sciences, the humanities, the arts, politics and the public. The young orchestral musicians, including the oboist Rafaela Carvalho and the flutist Carla García Heredia, captivate and enchant the audience, mostly students, in the packed conference room. They are accompanied by the pianist Anna Kirichenko.

The host is Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky, the founding director of BIMSB. He hatched the idea for the concert series and says that just minutes after he sent his students the invitation to the inaugural concert, all the seats were taken. The series strikes a chord with young scientists, who happen to be very interested in the work of musicians of the same generation.  

Einstein liked to play the violin

Time for exchange for students between concert and seminar.

Publicist and politician Professor Michael Naumann, former German commissioner for cultural affairs and founding member and rector of the Barenboim-Said Akademie, spoke at the opening. He recalled that the scientist Albert Einstein was very fond of music, and is said to have reached for his violin when faced with scientific challenges and never entered the Academy of Sciences without his violin case.

Before moving on to the seminar, the students had the opportunity to speak with their musical colleagues at a reception. The origins and the nature and length of the training programs were intensely discussed. The institutions where the prospective musicians and researchers are completing their training are international in character. Carla García Heredia played the transverse flute in the Undine Sonata for Flute and Piano by Carl Reinicke. She comes from the Spanish island of Mallorca and has been studying at the Berlin-based Barenboim-Said Akademie for two years.

In the last piece, Rigoletto-Fantasie for Two Flutes and Piano by Franz Doppler, Carla García Heredia and Mutlu İşdar brilliantly executed the flute parts. The virtuoso operatic melodies in the arrangement for flutes and piano participation left the audience elated as the weekend approached.

Text: Ida Luise Krenzlin

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