Commemorating 9/11 in Berlin

I spent last weekend in Berlin, the main purpose being to perform at the 9/11 Commemoration Service at the American Church in Berlin organized by the U.S. Embassy there.

Along with Andreas Boelcke (who is head of the Piano Academy Berlin and is my partner in the Amitayus Duo), in the middle of the service I played “Prayer” by the Jewish composer Ernest Bloch.

Performing Ernst Bloch's "Prayer" in "From Jewish Life," Berlin, Germany, September 11 2011 -- photo courtesy American Embassy in Berlin

The front-row audience for the event included Germany’s President (Christian Wulff), the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the U.S. Ambassador in Germany, and assorted other political heavyweights on the political scene in Berlin. [A photo gallery of some of the front-row spectators is here.]

More photographs should be on the way soon, but as this event — and the whole notion of commemorating a trans-national disaster as well as the business of moving on — has been on my mind of late, I wanted to share with readers of this site.    And China was unavoidable on this trip as well, from visits to the Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin to readings by Ha Jin from his unpublished manuscript on Nanking to a visit with colleagues and Sinophone libraries in Frankfurt.  Perhaps there shall be more to come.