Gisela Lange Music Centre
Gisela Lange - the person
As long-standing representative of the German government in the Cape for press and culture, Gisela Lange devoted herself, even after her retirement in 1998, to classical music. She received the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Honour) for her years of service in 1998. Gisela Lange, in retrospect, was for us the grande dame of the Cape. Bubbling with life and ideas, selfless to the point of asceticism, inspiring and visionary, she infected many with her intense enthusiasm for classical music with her. This elegant well-bred lady was always the focus of interest wherever she went: preferably in the concert halls – apart from the city hall, especially in the Konrad Taeuber Hall of the DSK which she helped to plan and substantially finance. The adjoining smaller hall bears her name too. It was especially here with her organisation Musica Mundi, that she organised many concerts which became famous in the German-speaking, musically aware community. We will, in compliance with her wishes, continue this tradition of organising further concerts that touch the soul, reaching out further than the German community alone.
But Gisela Lange did not only attend and organise concerts, she was also a sought after patron of the arts. With her Gisela Lange Music Fund she encouraged young musicians. She subsidised the German School, positively influencing the architecture for many students and teachers and – last but not least – brought the Gisela Lange Music Centre into being. Here the aim is to discover and foster talents way beyond the scholastic use. Here the German community should be able to demonstrate what talents are lying dormant in the local and immigrant children; here contact between the different cultures should take place.
Gisela's life, to those who had the privilege to know this wonderful personality, should inspire us in our efforts to realize her vision: that in the mother city of Cape Town the love of music and the understanding of the splendid sounds of classical music should remain alive and that our young talents have a future here.