The former chancellor Helmut Schmidt is to mark his 90th birthday, on December 23, by releasing a CD on which he performs piano works by Bach. A film is also to be released to mark the birthday of Germany's oldest living chancellor. On the CD, Chancellor and Pianist, Schmidt is accompanied by pianists Gerhard Oppitz and Justus Frantz, and the conductor Christoph Eschenbach. In a poignant interview Schmidt has said a growing problem with deafness is slowly destroying his ability to appreciate music, particularly that of Bach and Mozart, who he said had shaped his life.
Kate Connolly is the Guardian and Observer's Berlin correspondent