A charity concert for the benefit of cancer patients at the Comödie Dresden on 7 May invited visitors to make musical and scientific discoveries. The audience heard new compositions with sounds from everyday hospital life, an avatar at the piano and well-known pieces on rare instruments. At the same time, the audience enjoyed an insight into the future of cancer surgery. The concert, supported by the Foundation for University Medicine, benefited the guide program for patients at the NCT/UCC. Donations amounting to around 7,500 euros were raised.
Review 2022: Classical music, singing saw and tumour research
A cancer diagnosis throws life out of sync from one moment to the next. Fixed components of everyday life - work, a multitude of current appointments - suddenly move into the background. At the "Takte gegen Krebs" concert at the Comödie Dresden, this experience became the starting point for an artistic, humorous and thoughtful examination of one's own cancer illness. "For me, the bad time in the hospital was also a time of pause. Usually I am always in action, suddenly I had time to listen," recalled Henry Schneider, musical director of the benefit concert and cancer patient at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC). The idea grew to bring the sounds of the hospital, the acoustic dimension of cancer therapy, onto the stage and transform it into music.
Henry Schneider, former violist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and initiator of the Stilt Festival near Reuth, had gathered musician friends from all over the world on stage. With a great deal of joy in experimentation, the artists combined sounds from everyday hospital life with specially composed music and newly conceived sound objects. In addition, well-known pieces by George Frideric Handel or Camille Saint-Saëns were played on rare instruments such as the singing saw or the nyckelharpa.
Musical and scientific expedition
The musical expedition also focused on current developments in cancer research. For example, the visitors learned how a data glove not only helps people play the piano, but will also be used in cancer surgery in the future. "In Dresden, we are researching the exciting question of how we can make the skills of experts accessible to other people, with artificial intelligence and very fast, stable Internet," said Prof. Frank Fitzek, head of the German Telecom Chair for Communication Networks at TU Dresden and spokesman for the Center for Tactile Internet with Human-Machine Interaction (CeTI) cluster of excellence at TU Dresden. "In the future, the developments should also help surgeons to operate on tumors even more precisely or to collaborate in telemedical applications over long distances," added Prof. Stefanie Speidel, head of the Translational Surgical Oncology department at the NCT/UCC Dresden.
Guides for patients
The charity concert benefited the guide program for patients at the NCT/UCC. The diagnosis of cancer hits many patients like a storm on the high seas. The guides provide information, have time for a personal conversation, and can accompany patients to examinations and doctor's appointments if desired. Two employees of the NCT/UCC Prevention Center and another employee at the NCT/UCC are currently active as guides. In a pilot phase of the program, they accompanied a good 20 sarcoma patients who were receiving a particularly complex, interdisciplinary therapy. In the future, the program will be open to all patients at the NCT/UCC. The donor-funded program requires further funding to continue and expand in the coming years. The concert raised donations amounting to 7,500 euros.