Franziska Giffey, Governing Mayor of Berlin

Regierende Bürgermeisterin von Berlin, Franziska Giffey,
Copyright: Jonas Holthaus

Dear Festival Enthusiasts, Dear Visitors,

this year the Louis Lewandowski Festival brings together three celebrations: 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany, the crowning of the organ as “Instrument of the Year,” and finally the 200th birthday of the man who gave his name to this wonderful festival, the outstanding composer Louis Lewandowski. This anniversary triad fits together well, because the work of the Berlin synagogue composer has had a significant impact on German and Jewish history as well as on music. His name is associated above all with the reform of Jewish sacred music, and the organ played a prominent role in this. For Lewandowski, the organ was always the “instrument of instruments,” and it can therefore be assumed that he would have greatly welcomed this year’s crowning of the organ as “Instrument of the Year. Your motto “Louis 200: the unknown Lewandowski” promises to give us an insight into a new chapter of his musical work. You are inviting us to explore completely new sounds of Jewish music. This is wonderful, and one thing is already certain: anyone who has attended the Louis Lewandowski Festival will be permanently enchanted by the wonderful singing of the choirs from Israel and around the world. I would like to thank everyone who made the festival with its diverse program possible, the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin, as well as all sponsors and partners. They give us confidence and hope in challenging times. I wish all festival guests much joy at the concerts and wonderful hours of cultural enjoyment.

Best regards

Franziska Giffey
Regierende Bürgermeisterin von Berlin