Musicians from the internationally-renowned ensembles in Berlin and Munich, as well as the orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, staged a minute's silence at the start of their respective concerts set to start at 8 pm, according to video footage posted on social media.
And on Twitter, using the hashtag #ohneKunstundKulturwirdsstill — German for “without art and culture there is silence” — a wide range number of artists posted pictures of records turning without any sound.
They argue that not enough support is being made available to people in the sector as Germany shuts down its theatres, concert halls, opera houses and museums for the next four weeks as part of a wider tightening of measures to try to curb a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Ok, here we go… just as jobs were starting to come back again: 5 concert cancellations for November and another lockdown in Germany and Austria. But we’re going to make today’s Mozart Requiem count!! #ohneKunstundKulturwirdsstill #SaveTheArts #Requiem pic.twitter.com/ZxmxxfzXGv
— Eva Maria Summerer (@EMSummererMezzo) November 1, 2020
Freelance musicians in particular are finding it difficult to survive as they frequently do not qualify for the furlough schemes introduced for paid employees in other sectors. Germany has set aside extra funding, however, for freelancers in the arts.
Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said she was “greatly concerned” for the industry.
“Even if the new restrictions are understandable” from a health point of view, they constitute “a catastrophe” for the sector, she said.
The German government has said it will make up to €10 billion in additional funding for the hardest hit sectors in the new lockdown measures.