Berlin Tour!

A tour of Berlin, Germany this past March was a life-enriching time. Steve travelled with his family and students from the Lutheran Campus Ministry at Colorado State Unversity to study churches' response to the Holocaust (Shoah), and to visit Wittenberg--where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses (debating points). We lived in the Martin Niemöller Friedenzentrum (peace center) in Dahlem-Dorf (Berlin) which had been his parsonage before his arrest by the Gestapo. We made a pilgrimage to Sachsenhausen, which Himmler proudly described as a "model concentration camp: modern and infinitely expandable." Steve played 3 concerts, including a benefit for the youth music program at the John F Kennedy (bi-lingual) School. (A review of that concert is available at the Press link to the left.) Another concert was at a church in Spandau and in St. Annen-Kirche, a church built in the 1200s, the parish from which Niemöller was arrested in 1937. (Click Photos for images from the trip.) Other highlights include: an exhibit of "Melancholie" at the New Berlin Museum and the Instrument Museum [I saw and photographed (1) hackbrett--hammered dulcimer and (4) helmzitters --mountain dulcimer cousins.] In thanks for the benefit concert for the school, we were given a tour of the Berlin Philharmonie by violist Matthew Hunter and the entire group was able to attend the dress rehearsal (and recording session) of Holst's "The Planets"--complete with the additional work by a British composer for Pluto--and 4 brand new commissioned works entitled "Asteroids" as they were premiered with the composers hearing them played by the orchestra for the first time!