Of family ties, fraternal strife and elective affinities in the world of music

What is the real value of friendship nowadays? Admittedly, social networks, communities, peer-groups and circles of friends have never had such a standing. And yet, people called »friends« are chosen by clicks or measured quantitatively in terms of being followers whilst social media do indeed connect everyone but make us keep our distances in analog spaces.

At the same time, there is also a growing countertrend driven by the wish to bring back old types of community, where people »create together« – such as urban gardening or district projects. We devote ourselves to the topic of friendship, in other words our social contacts, more than ever.

Aristotle considered friendship the nucleus of society. It is worth to newly consider this smallest unit of »community spirit« especially in an age of social tensions. Ancient thinkers were very clear on this: Friendship means first and foremost sympathy and trust.

The Music Festival Potsdam Sanssouci turns its focus to freely chosen, interpersonal relationships with its 2023 theme of »In Friendship«. The Festival explores how strong mental and emotional ties combined with mutual interests can influence and shape music – whether in terms of patronage, in the relationship between siblings, in elective affinities or even in prolific competition, treason and quarrel.