Germany has a special relationship with its neighbour the Czech Republic. To underscore this, the German Bundestag has made available funding to the Federal Foreign Office so that the musica non grata project can be carried out. The project will run for several years and will honour the memory of a group of female and male composers who were persecuted by the National Socialists, as well as artists who have a special relationship with Prague and the Czech Republic. Prague’s three historic opera houses are participating in the project. These include the Prague State Opera House, which was founded at the initiative of German-speaking residents of Prague; it was inaugurated on 5 January 1888 and will reopen on 5 January 2020 with a gala concert.
Federal Foreign Office Minister of State for International Cultural Policy Michelle Müntefering issued the following statement today (23 December):
Beginning in 2020, the Federal Foreign Office will sponsor the musica non grata project, which will run for four years. 75 years after the end of the war and 30 years after the Velvet Revolution, this musical programme will span several seasons in all three of Prague’s historic opera houses. Through it, we will be paying tribute to the music of artists who had a special relationship with Prague – and in particular the work of female and male composers who were persecuted by the National Socialists.
Our aim is to reconnect people with the names and works of these composers who were persecuted and killed during the German occupation of Prague. Because keeping their memory alive is an important part of the efforts to come to grips with the injustice they suffered. The project underscores our partnership with the Czech Republic and also highlights how valuable and worthy of protection our shared European cultural heritage is.