Chuck France/University Relations

A delegation from Eutin, Germany, one of Lawrence's sister cities, recently visited to KU to finalize details for a musical exchange between to the two cities. Pictured are, from left, Hans Hagen, director of the Eutin Volksbank; Robert Walzel, dean of the School of Music; David Neely, director of orchestral activities; Joerg Fallheier, Eutin Festival artistic adviser and stage director; Ludwig Oestreicher, Eutin Festival public relations director; and Wolfgang Nimmich, Eutin brewmaster.

Sister city delegates visit KU to put finishing touches on musical exchange

Several School of Music students and faculty members had a unique audience this month. A group of spectators visited a rehearsal and arranged for performances this summer in Germany.

A delegation from Eutin, Germany, Lawrence’s sister city, was on campus April 13-18 to visit with school officials and students to finalize plans for a summer music institute in Eutin. The summer performances will be a culmination of a musical partnership born last year.

Frank Baron, professor of Germanic languages and literatures and an active participant in the sister city partnership, put David Neely, symphony orchestra director, in contact with Hans Willhelm Hagen, treasurer of the Eutin Trade Association. They discussed the idea of a musical exchange, and in January, Neely, Robert Walzel, dean of the School of Music, and five KU students performed a benefit concert for the summer festival.

Eutin has held open-air community summer music festivals for more than 60 years. They extended an invitation for KU students to perform this summer. During the visit, the Eutin delegates finalized plans for the KU German-American Music Institute, a six-week residency this summer for students. In July and August, the KU Orchestra and singers will perform “Hänsel and Gretel” for German audiences. The orchestra will provide the music for two performances of “Don Giovanni” by a German cast. The musicians will also perform two concerts, one of classics and one Neely describes as “a concert with some humor.”

During their time in Lawrence, the Eutin delegates paid their first visit to the School of Music and were treated to a 70-member reception at the Free State Brewery. The brewery crafted a special beer for the occasion, Eutin St. Michael's "Tafelbier," with the recipe provided by the Eutin Brauhaus.

Lawrence and Eutin have been sister cities since 1990 and have several cultural and economic collaborations.

“I think the sister city connection is a vital one,” Neely said. “It’s a particularly strong and fruitful relationship and we’re proud to be part of it.”

The summer performances will be especially valuable for the students taking part, he added.

“It’s great for the students to get a different perspective on things. Germany is the Mecca for classical music in the world, really. It will be an enriching experience for them, both as musicians and as people.”

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