Lieder, Sänger und Poeten
(Songs, singers and poets)
2nd Neuhardenberg Singer's Get-together
with Lydie Auvray, STOPPOK,
Cynthia Nickschas, Felix Kramer,
Maria Farantouri and Klaus Hoffmann
In 2019, the Schloss Neuhardenberg foundation made a first attempt to invite six artists who can all be allocated to the singer-songwriter genre to some extent to a get-together that was to fill the Neuhardenberg castle park with poetry and songs from the early afternoon until late into the night. Almost one thousand guests attended this happening and turned it into a successful premiere, together with the invited artists.
The second edition was scheduled to take place in 2020; as everyone knows, the best laid plans... Undaunted, we will try again this year. Like the premiere, this event has once again been curated by the singer-songwriter Klaus Hoffmann, who will also host the evening in his own witty way as well as participate himself by performing some of his songs. The spectrum of the artists who have been invited to take part is again very wide, which also applies to the art of songsmithing in general, where individuality, in contrast to quite a few other singing genres, is almost a condition for belonging.
Lydie Auvray, accordion, vocals
Markus Tiedemann, guitars
Lydie Auvray is the grande dame of the accordion. She has been performing live in front of rapturous audiences for almost four decades. Over the course of her career, she has managed to successfully update her instrument's image by consistently taking it to the limits of its possibilities and beyond. Lydie Auvray has dedicated her current programme Musetteries to her musical origins, musette music, albeit in a wide range of different playful variations of this tradition that avoids all of the clichés that spring to mind at the thought of French accordion music. Together with the guitarist Markus Tiedemann, she will be going on a varied as well as well-balanced journey through a host different musical landscapes with her songs.
Stoppok, vocals, guitar
STOPPOK has been singing perfect songs for over thirty years: a highly original mix of folk, rock, R & B and country. In his lyrics, he transforms everyday language into poetry, painting touchingly direct pictures. With exquisite humour, he pinpoints the adversities of daily life in a way that shows him to be observant yet also critical. STOPPOK's career began in the early 1980s with busking and has since led to over 20 albums, film scores and music for plays, countless awards and celebrated performances at all of the most important festivals in the German-speaking countries. Whether he performs solo, as part of a duo or with his rock band: STOPPOK captivates his audience in all of these constellations as a brilliant musician and entertainer.
Cynthia Nickschas, vocals, guitar
Christian „Z“ Zerban, saxophone, vocals
The songwriter, singer and guitarist Cynthia Nickschas comes from a family of musicians and preferred to learn things the hard way during some eventful years as a street musician, rather than settle down in a monotonous job. Since then, she has appeared at renowned festivals and has performed on television and on the radio. She has shared the stage with artists such as Clueso, Felix Meyer and Konstantin Wecker. With her cheerful, open manner and her moving songs, she captivates audiences across all genres. She unites her positive, life-affirming but in part also reflective lyrics with the courage to experiment and a great number of musical emotional timbres. With characteristic contrariness, Cynthia Nickschas presents realistic visions of another world and takes her audience along with her, out of their comfort zone. Her songs challenge injustice, greed, a lack of empathy and the pressure to achieve head-on; however, they also uncompromisingly celebrate life's bright side and ultimately always end in a message of hope.
Felix Kramer, vocals, guitars
Max Wintersperger, trumpet, keyboards
After a stellar classical music career, the young Viennese lyricist, composer and musician Felix Kramer (mostly) turned his back on the genre two years ago. Since then, Felix Kramer has attracted attention throughout the German-speaking countries with his own cleverly arranged compositions and distinctive lyrics. His debut album Wahrnehmungssache immediately catapulted him into the Top 20 of the Austrian sales charts. Felix Kramer has moved his audience to tears and fits of ecstasy in turn at various festivals in Austria and Germany. His songs are sometimes orgiastic, sometimes fragile, but always challenging and in any case touchingly intimate. The young singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso released his latest album Alles gut in October 2020. Its charming dreamy melodics and harmonies would be simply perfect for a balmy summer evening – if it weren't for the subtle acerbity of the lyrics, which always injects some rather less harmonious reality into any all too scintillating seaside holiday fantasies.
Maria Farantouri, vocals
Henning Schmiedt, piano
Maria Farantouri, who has been called 'Greece's greatest voice' by the press, is the perfect interpreter of Mikis Theodorakis' songs. However, she is also much more. Francois Mitterand wrote about her: 'For me, Maria is Greece. I cannot recall another artist that has given me an idea of the divine to the same extent.' When Greece was ruled by a military dictatorship, she voiced her protest against the regime in concerts all over the world and became a symbolic figure for the resistance. Critics celebrate the expressiveness of her rich, melodious voice and the ease with which she moves from traditional to pop and modern, effortlessly taking in everything from contemporary classical to jazz and traditional Greek music. In her concerts, songs by Theodorakis can be heard together with Byzantine hymns, often arranged and instrumentalised in an updated way. She sings with charm, intensity and humour, accompanied at the piano by her long-term artistic partner Henning Schmiedt, 'for peace, freedom, dignity and all human values'.
Klaus Hoffmann, vocals, guitar
Hawo Bleich, piano
Of course, Klaus Hoffmann will also perform at 'his' singer's get-together. Sensitive, skilful, ironic, melancholic and humorous: that is what his songs, which he views as 'food for people hungry for culture', are like. His large and loyal fan community loves him not only for his innumerable own songs but also for his interpretations of songs by other important European artists, including Jacques Brel's chansons, which he has translated into German himself and performs on stage in new arrangements. Klaus Hoffmann's latest CD Septemberherz was released in 2020. The press welcomed it as 'an ode to life' – an apt accolade, in view of a line in one of the songs by the singer, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday this year: 'In meinem Herzen ist kein graues Haar.' ('There isn't a single grey hair in my heart'). He will once again be accompanies by Hawo Bleich at the grand piano.