A conversation with Gabriele von Weizsäcker and Thomas Bruder

Gabriele von Weizsäcker and Thomas Bruder have been chairs of the Heidelberger Frühling Freundeskreis e.V. since 2018, which has now been in existence for over 20 years.

Ms. von Weizsäcker, what is special about the Freundeskreis?

The Freundeskreis is a unique network and a testament to civic engagement since 2001. This commitment, but especially the sense of togetherness through music, is what makes this community so unique. We are united by the conviction that we want to be a supporting backbone for our Heidelberger Frühling and its artists!

Mr. Bruder, the Heidelberger Frühling Freundeskreis has been around since 2001. How has it evolved and where does it stand today?

The plan to give the "Spring" family, which had been growing from the very beginning, an organizational framework was initiated during a dinner at the home of Prof. Dr. Dr. Konrad and Ursula Beyreuther, and the Freundeskreis was then founded with 20 members on 16 October 2001. Over the last 20 years, more and more people have joined this close circle, so that we are now a large circle of about 1,200 members. They are all part of a very lively network from Heidelberg and the region. In recent years, the "family" has expanded to the whole republic and also abroad. What drives all these members is cultural engagement. Because culture, in this case cross-genre music, is a lifeblood of our democracy. Culture constitutes us. It creates identity. It nurtures the past and makes the future possible. And today we need it more than ever. This is what the Heidelberger Frühling Freundeskreis and its people stand for.

And what do the members of the Circle of Friends do when there is no "Frühling", Ms. von Weizsäcker?

There are many attractive offers for the Freundeskreis throughout the year: for example, we go on trips together. The last destinations were the Elbphilharmonie or the Schubert Week at the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin, where the Liedakademie scholarship holders perform every year. After the Heidelberger Frühling Musikfestival, we will all meet again at our summer party at the latest. And then the anticipation for the next season actually begins again, because in September the Freundeskreis receives an exclusive program presentation and enjoys a right of first refusal on all concerts.