“Without God’s help I would not be where I am today!”

Rebekka Hartmann first began playing the violin at age five. Today she gives concerts around the world on her Stradivarius. Despite hard work and success, Rebekka Hartmann has never forgotten who gave her the talent.

In 2012, Rebekka, a New Apostolic Christian who is a member of the Starnberg congregation in the south of Germany, celebrated her greatest success. After many years of hard work she was awarded the ECHO Klassik, Germany’s classical music award, presented by the Deutsche Phono-Academy annually to honour productions and artists from the field of classical music. “To receive an ECHO for a solo CD is a great honour! I was quite proud and happy!” the violinist says.

Every artist is of course tremendously happy to win such a prestigious prize. Rebekka Hartmann says: “I was and still am grateful to God that He has given me this gift to touch people’s hearts with my playing. Without God’s help I would not be where I am today!”

“It is important to go my way with God”

Sometimes the stages of a career are rather bumpy and can be full of surprises. This is where faith can bolster us and help us stay calm in difficult situations. Rebekka Hartmann is convinced: “God paves the way for us! We certainly have our own will, but it is important for me to go my way with God at my side. He knows what He is doing and where He wants to lead us. Right through my career I always felt that God was with me. And I was always fortunate enough to experience that I was able to touch people’s soul with my playing.”

Also in her private life Rebekka experienced help from above. “At age 16 I had to undergo a serious operation because my spine was severely deformed. Nobody could guarantee a full cure. I could have ended up in a wheelchair,” she says.

She is the only musician in the family, but they all share her passion for music. “My mother sang in our congregational choir and my father loves classical music. But neither of them plays a musical instrument. Only my brother, he had piano lessons until he was 16.” The most fascinating thing about playing the violin for Rebekka is the bond she has with her violin.

Music speaks to the soul

How does she manage to live her faith with such a strenuous and time-consuming profession? A professional musician’s weekends and evenings are booked. But Rebekka still lives her faith—even between orchestra rehearsals, concerts, and tours. “I have been given a gift and I think it should be used. Divine services are very important for me. Unfortunately, I cannot always go. When I can go it makes me all the happier,” says Rebekka Hartmann.

It is said that music is the language of the soul. This is something Rebekka has often felt: “I think we musicians have many opportunities to touch people’s hearts. After concerts people have often approached me to tell me under tears that they saw their whole life in front of their mind’s eye as if on fast forward.” When she plays in our church she says that she feels the effect of music particularly intensively: “I was privileged to play in a number of divine services. A wonderful experience every time!”

Photo: Stephen Lehmann

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Sonja Rehberg, Elwina Friebus
Germany, Music, Congregational life, People/Personalities