Commemorating 9/11 in Berlin

I spent last weekend in Berlin, the main purpose being to perform at the 9/11 Commemoration Service at the American Church in Berlin organized by the U.S. Embassy there. Along with Andreas Boelcke (who is head of the Piano Academy Berlin and is my partner in the Amitayus Duo), in the middle of the service I played “Prayer” by the Jewish composer Ernest Bloch. The … Continue reading Commemorating 9/11 in Berlin

Ai Weiwei and Sino-German Relations

For the last two months, a stack of German newspapers and internet print-outs about the case of Ai Weiwei seems to have accrued first in my bags in Berlin and Paris and then in my offices in Seattle and Tacoma.  What a treasure-trove of perceptions and misperceptions, opportunity and loss, of connection do these papers constitute!  In a fantasy world that demands little more than … Continue reading Ai Weiwei and Sino-German Relations

Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel

As promised, I am working my way through some of the prolix torrent of analysis and concern levied upon the case of Ai Weiwei by authors in Germany, and by German authors in China. In general, the confrontation between Germany and China over cultural matters and human rights seems now primed to grow exponentially.  Museum directors are now musing openly about bringing the Enlightenment exhibition … Continue reading Analysing the Limits of Soft Power in the Case of Ai Weiwei: Der Tagesspiegel