The High Value of Diplomacy
Nothing is more difficult to write about than the history of a continuing success. On paper - in drastic contrast to in reality - it has a slightly monotonous effect, thereby converting the actual quality of an event into its opposite. Musicians abroad are measured by the strictest of standards, all the more so should they come from Berlin: they are viewed as ambassadors of their city, even of the nation. The Twelve Cellists have never had any difficulties with this role, one they have played to perfection. When it is a question of the diplomatic status of musical ensembles, they may well constitute an undisputed acme. How often have they received invitations to presidential receptions? They are even expected to accompany heads of state on official visits. Who else would have been invited to give concerts in the most sacred and most exalted location of the Japanese state, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo? The Twelve have been invited five times already, and were even accompanied on the piano by her Royal Highness, the Empress Michiko.
They were among the entourage in 1988 when Richard von Weizsäcker 1988 made an official state visit to Sweden. They have their devotees and their lobby among the highest levels of this Republic, they enjoy both recognition and trust, and people often turn to them when it is a question of rapidly organizing effective assistance. They gave a benefit concert for the victims of the earthquake in Japan's Kobe; at Frankfurt am Main, they contributed proceeds from a concert to the battle against multiple sclerosis, dedicating a performance to the great Jacqueline du Pré, who died of this terrible disease; and they have performed in Potsdam for the benefit of the Court Theater of the New Palace.