Celebrating the WZB’s 50th Anniversary
On June 19, 800 guests gathered at the Pierre Boulez Saal for a grand celebration of the WZB’s 50th anniversary. Highlights included the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s new piece, Labyrinth IV, as well as a performance by children from the art lab S27. The entire evening carried the umbrella theme of “Europe: Myth and Vision.”
Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, used her opening speech to highlight the importance of solidarity and of winning back trust in times of rising populism. Michael Müller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, recalled the WZB’s foundation in February 1969: The institution has been an important initiative force in Berlin society and politics and has carried its influence well beyond the city limits ever since. In his speech, Maestro Daniel Barenboim spoke of Europe as a continent of culture and emphasized creativity as the seed of learning – a philosophy that also lies at the core of the WZB’s work.
WZB President Jutta Allmendinger used her speech to take a stand in defense of scientific freedom, which currently faces multiple threats. When the veracity of results is denied, it is time to draw a definitive line. She went on to point to another task of research: sharing its results not only with the scientific community, but with politics and civil society as well. The close connection between culture, music, and science could also provide important springboards for reaching a broader public.
A selection of photographic impressions from the evening is available in the gallery below. Simply click on the arrow to navigate through the images.
The audience were not only treated to the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Labyringth IV, but also to a democracy-themed science slam by WZB researcher, Christian Rauh, and to an enthusiastic performance by the children from S27, in which they portrayed different way of working and thinking at the WZB.
After the concert, the American artist, Joe Ramirez, presented his installation entitled The Gold Projections: Vermilion, which included films specially produced in celebration of the WZB’s 50th anniversary.