A conversation with Gabriele von Weizsäcker and Thomas Bruder

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

Ms. von Weizsäcker, what is special about the Circle of Friends?

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 in existence since 2001. How has it evolved and where does it stand today?

The plan to give the "Frühling" family, which had been growing from the beginning, an organizational framework was initiated during a dinner at the home of Prof. Dr. Dr. Konrad and Ursula Beyreuther. The Freundeskreis was founded with 20 members on October 16, 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 Freundeskreis and its members stand for.

And what do the friends do when it's not spring, Ms. von Weizsäcker?

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