This festival, Traces, takes its origin from a glimpse of hope:
to the sound of Jeanne Moreau’s voice, uttering the last closing words in Marcel Ophuls’s documentary on Klaus Barbie.
« This motion picture is dedicated to the late Madame Bontout, a good neighbor ».
Madame Bontout, neighbor to the Kaddouche family, had attempted to save one of their daughters during a « raffle » in Lyon.
Today, a similar hope resonates through the joyful picture of a young migrant from Syria, all bundled up in the snow in Brussels, displayed last year during a Jewish Museum exhibition.
How can a musician today be a « good neighbor »?
There are probably many answers, but for a start, perhaps, a sense of duty towards remembrance.
The trumpets of fame draw us towards the pinnacles of the repertoire, where a very few composers, in fact always the same, keep the public’s interest through the test of, rather unconcerned, times.
Yet, what happens when such a talented composer as Erwin Schulhof disappears prematurely in a nazi concentration camp? Or what occurs after the marvellous and well respected austrian composers Karl Weigl and his wife Waly find themselves anonymous in the United States after having fled the Anschluss?
This festival is our duty. The duty of playing the music of those who have, silently, left a few signs on some hidden pages like bottles to the sea before disappearing.
Each concert will honor a personality living in those troubled days and will be dedicated to them.
This first edition present works from composers amongst the most famous of their generation. Sometimes, placed into perspective with universal masterpieces, they will surprise one with their force and their author’s incredible talent.
TRACES aims to be also a foundation whose purpose is to bring back to life forgotten works and to recover, for the time of a few concerts or recordings, the musical dreams of those who, if they vanished, did not do so without leaving a trace.
I can not thank enough my colleagues for having once again trusted me with this new project. I can not thank enough my students, especially Natalia Kotarba and Kaja Nowak, and last but not least, my friends Marina Solvay, Hélène Godeaux and Maria Grazia Tanese. This festival was only a mere idea in my head, they made it a reality, it belongs to them.