Riccardo M Sahiti and Federal President Joachim Gauck during the award ceremony
As part of the award of the ribbon of merit to Riccardo M Sahiti on October 4, 2016 from the hands of the then Federal President Joachim Gauck, the Federal President's Office published the following lines about the award:
"Riccardo M Sahiti, Frankfurt am Main Cross of Merit on ribbon
The conductor Riccardo M Sahiti founded the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra with great idealism in 2002. The internationally unique orchestra mainly includes musicians from these two tribes. They come together from symphony orchestras across Europe to perform works "rooted in or inspired by Roma and Sinti culture". This includes the classic repertoire by Brahms, Liszt or Bizet as well as new compositions by Roma and Sinti. With the "Requiem for Auschwitz" by Sinto Roger Moreno Rathgeb, premiered by the orchestra, Riccardo M Sahiti also helped to keep the painful history of Roma and Sinti alive. His work impressively shows how important the artistic creation of minorities was and is for the German and European culture and preserves the cultural heritage of the Roma and Sinti. "
Riccardo M Sahiti with Frankfurt's Mayor Peter Feldmann and Frankfurt's Department for Education and Integration Sylvia Weber in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt
The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic celebrated 600 years of Roma in Frankfurt am Main with an open-air concert on Frankfurt's Römerberg in autumn 2018: taking the celebrations for the reopening of the historic old town as an occasion, with several 1000 people the first mention of the Roma in Frankfurt to celebrate in concert in 1418. Other events were connected with the spectacular concert in the heart of Frankfurt: a ceremony at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main, a musicology panel on the importance of Roma and Sinti culture for European music history and a ceremony for the anniversary in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt.
Open-air concert on the Römer in Frankfurt as part of the celebrations for the reopening of Frankfurt's historic old town, combined with the celebration of the anniversary "600 years of Roma in Frankfurt"
Ceremony in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt on the occasion of the anniversary "600 years of Roma in Frankfurt"
On August 1st and 2nd, 2019, the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra will be musical guests of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day for Sinti and Roma in Poland. This includes a performance of the "Requiem for Auschwitz" in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków as well as the musical framing of a commemoration in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Remembrance at the memorial of the so-called "gypsy camp" in Auschwitz-Birkenau
On January 8, 2020 the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra will offer a New Year's concert in front of a full house in the Bockenheim depot with the title "Roma Romanticism". Speaker is Dr. Ina Hartwig, head of culture at the city of Frankfurt.
"Roma Romanticism" in the Bockenheimer Depot, in the picture with the soprano Alexandra Ruszó
For the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the "Requiem for Auschwitz" in the Berlin Cathedral on January 26, 2020 together with the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin in the presence of Michael Roth, EU Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office.
Performance of the "Requiem for Auschwitz" with the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin in the Berlin Cathedral
In October 2016, at the Bellevue Palace, Riccardo M Sahiti received the Federal Cross of Merit for the development of the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra from the hands of the then Federal President Joachim Gauck and thus for his services to the musical heritage of the Roma and Sinti and thus also to international understanding. A year later, the city of Frankfurt am Main honored the conductor in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt as "Outstanding Frankfurt personality with a migration background".
Pre-premiere of the film at the Körber Foundation in Hamburg with (from left) moderator Claudia Brüninghaus, Riccardo M Sahiti and film director Margarete Kreuzer in December 2014
In January 2015, the cultural broadcasting station "arte" also premiered the 54-minute documentary film "The Conductor and his Dream - the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra" directed by Margarete Kreuzer. The film received numerous other broadcasts on various channels.
Rehearsal on the stage of the Brauweiler Abbey at the Open Air Classic Nights
In 2014 the orchestra performed at the Classic Nights open air at the music festival Abbey Brauweiler. Patron and speaker of the concert was Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, former Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
In 2013 the orchestra was a guest at the "Gstaad Menuhin Festival" and in 2015 at the "Heidelberger Frühling" festival.
Premiere of the "Requiem for Auschwitz" in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam
In 2012, the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic went international with the "Requiem for Auschwitz" : After the world premiere in Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam on May 3, further performances followed in Prague, Budapest, Frankfurt am Main, Krakow, Berlin and Wiesbaden. The Dutch broadcaster delivered a television broadcast .
The pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa with Riccardo M Sahiti at the end of the concert on the Hessischer Rundfunk
In 2011 the orchestra was the first to appear as a "Roma and Sinti Philharmonic" in a large symphonic line-up at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn to celebrate a celebrated Franz Liszt Night with the audience. The repetition concert with the same program in the broadcasting hall of the Hessischer Rundfunk remained the last encounter for the musicians with the Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa, with whom they played Liszt's first piano concerto before the Roma-born musician died completely unexpectedly in 2012.
Riccardo M Sahiti with wife Elisabeth and pianist Martha Argerich
Concert in the Kurhaus Wiesbaden, in the picture with the soloist Geza Hosszu-Legocki
In 2009 the orchestra presented itself for the first time as a chamber philharmonic in the Kurhaus Wiesbaden, that is, in a line-up expanded to include wind instruments. "Roma and Sinti Chamber Philharmonic Meet Friends" was the title of the concert, which made it possible to meet the world-famous pianist Martha Argerich in a sustainable manner.
The Roma and Sinti String Orchestra in 2007 after their concert in the large hall of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main
The first Roma Music and Culture Day 2007 at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts: During the evening program in the foyer, music and dance created a special atmosphere.
The sixth concert of the string orchestra in 2007 will be remembered as an atmospherically unforgettable Roma and Sinti music and culture day at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main. In addition to a concert by the string orchestra, the Philharmonic Association held a workshop in Roma music for students and offered traditional Roma music from several countries with the performance of various formations. A musicological symposium dealt with the music of Roma and Sinti on a theoretical level. The first German television even devoted a contribution to this event in the ARD night magazine.
Applause at the founding concert in 2002
The history of the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic
(see archive for a detailed chronology)
In 2001 Riccardo M Sahiti founded the Philharmonic Association of Sinti and Roma Frankfurt am Main eV to give the later orchestra a form of association.
With a foundation concert , the conductor Riccardo M Sahiti lifted on 3 November 2002, the Roma and Sinti String Orchestra in Dr. Hoch`s Conservatory launched. Frankfurt Mayor Petra Roth took over the patronage of this premiere. The musical guest was the well-known Roma violinist Roby Lakatos and his ensemble.