»How musical is Dresden?« This question was asked by the 2016 Dresden Music Festival, calling on amateur musicians and professionals, young and old, from Saxony and elsewhere, to turn Dresden into a »Resounding City«, at the same time emphasizing tolerance and open-mindedness. The result: more than one thousand active participants at eleven different venues, and an ocean of music all over the city!
In the 2016 season the Dresden Festival Orchestra celebrated its 5th year of existence and on this occasion has recorded its first CD under its chief conductor Ivor Bolton and with Jan Vogler as soloist. Featuring Schumann's Smphony No. 2 and his cello concerto the musicians turned to its core repertoire by composers of the 19th and early 20th century who left their musical calling card in Dresden.
The Dresden Music Festival celebrates its 40th Festival season from May 18 to June 18, 2017 with an especially dazzling program. Having chosen »LIGHT« as the season motto, Intendant Jan Vogler has invited world-renowned artists and orchestras to Dresden for this coming year, ensuring brilliant moments in 58 events spread throughout the performance venues as well as a guest appearance in Berlin.
It is a great pleasure for me to present to you our program for the 40th Dresden Music Festival, for which we have chosen the motto »LIGHT«.Light is humanity’s life elixir, but also a symbol of enlightenment, freedom, transparency and energy. In German, we like tocall people who lead us into the future through their courage and visions »Lichtgestalten« – »figures of light« – in English we have the term »torch bearers«.
Consider Bach, Beethoven, Shostakovichor Stravinsky: they all wrote musical history mainly because they poured social developments into music, or because their compositions sparked their own musical revolutions. Today we also have musicians who are pushing the boundaries and revolutionizing our musical life – some shrilly, some very quietly. We have invited many of these fantastic artists to tell the story of revolutions in music, to trace the path that light has forged through music, all the way to our very present. I should like to thank all the public and private patrons and sponsors whose far-sightedness and enthusiasm help assure Dresden’s future as a major festival city. I hope you enjoy browsing our anniversary program, and I hope to meet you in Dresden, city of art and culture, during the 2017 Festival.
Yours, Jan Vogler, Intendant
Greeting from the Honorary Patron
I am pleased to assume honorary patronage of the DresdenMusic Festival 2017. I wish everyone a successful anniversary.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
Greetings from the Mayor
The one who controls light can change the world: by creating its own light, mankind has overcome the natural rhythm of day and night. It has also captured light, harnessing its energy. When the Music Festival dedicates itself to the motto »LIGHT«, it touches upon the essential character of this city: its innovative power, but also its enjoyment of friction.
The program of the 40th Dresden Music Festival focuses on Beethoven and Shostakovich, two revolutionary composers of their times. It reflects upon the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation, and offers diverse kinds of sound revolutions. This anniversary edition of the Festival also highlights Dresden’sapplication as European Capital of Culture. It displays the stylistic breadth of music and invites trendsetting personalities of the international music scene to our diverse performance venues. You are cordially invited!
Dirk Hilbert, Mayor of the City of Dresden
About the Music Festival
Over the course of it's 40 years history the Dresden Music Festival has established itself as distinctive cultural institution in Dresden and attracts an audience far beyond Germany’s borders between May and June to this city on the River Elbe. During three festival weeks renowned orchestras, top-class soloists and ensembles come to Dresden to perform at the most beautiful venues in its historic center and surroundings and fill the city with music.
Although the Dresden Music Festival has its historic precursors in the »Muses' Games« and »Zwinger Parties« of the Saxon Electors, they owe their current existence to a government decree issued in the midst of the Cold War. From Berlin, capital of the GDR, the SED's Central Committee and Ministers' Council decreed: »Beginning in 1978, Dresden will have an annual music festival of international renown, the Dresden Music Festival!« This enacted musical event had to face considerable competition alone in the former GDR like the »Berlin Festival«, the »Musikbiennale«, the »Handel Festival« among others and had also started with high artistic requirements. Indeed, this decree »from above« proofed to be very productive, and despite a lack of foreign currency, the launched Festival became a cultural event.
World stars such as Marilyn Horne, René Kollo, Barbara Hendricks, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau came to Dresden, following its reputation as a center for music, or to perform with the »Kapelle«. During the the iron curtain era legendary guest performances of famous orchestras include Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado and the orchestra of the Scala in Milan, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
After reunification the Dresden Music Festival had to meet new challenges and the Festival had to find its place in a more open Europe as it was growing together. During the more than 30 seasons not only grand operas, ballets and fireworks, following the tradition of the Saxon court, were offered but also orchestra, chamber and solo concerts, early music and contemporary music, world music, jazz and dance – a variety that characterizes the program of the Dresden Music festival until today. Every year, the Festival presents a new theme continuing a tradition that exists since its inception and thus annually puts the focus on a new musical world that the audience can discover.
»Dresden singt & musiziert« (Dresden sings & makes music) that was founded in 1981 under the motto »The Music Festival comes to its audience« has become another popular tradition which attracts hundreds of singers and thousands of visitors to Brühl’s Terrace. The open air concert is a gift to the audience that is not only invited to enjoy music in front of the historic city center of Dresden but also to join the performance by participating in the concert.
The Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward
The award ceremony of the Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward, initiated in 2004, is an important event of the Dresden Music Festival. The award honours personalities of the classical music scene who rendered outstanding services to the advancement of young artists or to projects which are committed to the education of classical music.
The Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward Winners
2004 Kurt Masur 2005 John Neumeier 2006 Joachim Herz 2007 Gidon Kremer 2008 Christa Ludwig 2009 Gustavo Dudamel 2010 Valery Gergiev 2011 Berliner Philharmonikerand Sir Simon Rattle 2012 Hélène Grimaud 2013 Thomas Quasthoff 2014 Hilary Hahn 2015 Mariza 2016 Andris Nelsons
Since the 2009 season, Jan Vogler has been intendant of the Dresden Music Festival. Through the growing resonance of the music festival, his vision is »to sustainably fortify Dresden's attraction as a cosmopolitan, heterogeneous and lively metropolis of culture and to turn it into Germany's most significant authority within the international festival circuit«. In this position he supports the idea of tolerance and the encounter of people from all over the world in Dresden through the power of music.
The Artistic Directors of the Dresden Music Festival
since 2008: Jan Vogler 2002 to 2008: Prof. Hartmut Haenchen 2001 to 2002: Torsten Mosgraber 1993 to 2000: Dr. Michael Hampe 1991 to 1993: Mattis Dänhardt 1977 to 1991: Dr. Winfried Höntsch
Dresden Festival Orchestra
»By introducing a mixed taste The Royal Orchestra under Concertmeister Mr. Pisendel ... was brought to such tenderness of execution, that I ... have not heard any better.«
With these words, Johann Joachim Quantz describes the former court orchestra whose unique constellation is revived by the Dresden Festival Orchestra. The Dresden Festival Orchestra was launched in the spirit of the legendary »Orchestra di Dresda«. The former court orchestra of August the Strong was considered to be the best ensemble of its kind in the period of Dresden’s cultural flowering and it assembled the most prestigious instrumentalists of its time. Three centuries later, the Dresden Festival Orchestra unites international specialists for historically informed performance practice from the finest early-music ensembles in Europe - the perfect basis for the once praised »mixed taste« by Quantz.
The wide range of its repertoire and the creative power are the fundament of the unique fascination that is evoked by this ensemble. With great joy of discovery, precision and a keen sense for authentic interpretations, the Dresden Festival Orchestra explores the original sound of various epochs. Already at its celebrated premiere during the 2012 Music Festival the ensemble thrilled both audiences and critics with boundless joy of playing, precision and vital enthusiasm. Revelling in discoveries, the Dresden Festival Orchestra uses precision and a keen sense for authentic interpretations to arrive at the original sound of various epochs. The musicians play original instruments, varying with the era and historical background of its repertoire, which means that the strings use gut strings and the winds offer a completely new sound.
Renowned solists that performed with the orchestra inculde Simone Kermes, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Bejun Mehta and Jan Vogler. During the 2014 Festival season the orchestra paid homage to Richard Strauss in his anniversary year, offering a brilliant rediscovery of his opera »Feuersnot« (a coproduction with the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden), originally premiered in Dresden, that was nominated for the 2015 »International Opera Award«.
THE CONDUCTOR: IVOR BOLTON
has been chief conductor of the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg since 2004, with whom he has appeared annually at the Salzburg Festival since 2000. He enjoys a close relationship with the Bayerische Staatsoper where, since 1994, he has conducted a wide range of new productions, most notably of Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious »Bayerische Theaterpreis« for his outstanding work in Munich. Since his Covent Garden debut in 1995 he enjoys a frequent collaboration with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Guest performances include the Opéra National de Paris, the Vienna State Opera, the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, the Zurich Opera House, the festival Maggio Musicale in Florenz, the Teatro Real Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona. Ivor Bolton not only collaborates with the most prestigious British Symphony Orchestras but also with the world’s leading orchestras. Engagements of the las seasons led him to Vienna, New York, Boston, the Royal Concertgeouw Orchestra, to Paris, Florenz, Milan, Rotterdam, to the WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne, the Philharmonische Staatsorchester Hamburg or the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. With Concerto Köln he performed Handels »Athalia« with guest performances in New York, Paris and London. In 1993 he made his BBC Proms debut where he conducted Bach‘s »St. John Passion « He took up the position of Music Director of the Teatro Real Madrid in September 2015. Since its foundation in 2012 he has been Chief Conductor of the Dresden Festival Orchestra. In September 2016, he will take up the post of Music Director of Basel Symphony Orchestra.
SELECETION OF INTERNATIONAL PRESS COMMENTARIES
»Orchestra, conductor, and audience were united in a love-fest of enthusiasm... an auspicious beginning for the Dresden Festival Orchestra.« Jens F. Laurson, Seen and Heard International, 30th May 2012
»Ivor Bolton is most fortunate to have such a fine group of players who were clearly relishing the music and the responsive Albertinum audience. [...] Two encores, then it seemed over all too soon. «Michael Cookson, Seen and Heard International, 22nd May 2013
»On the original instruments of the festival orchestra, the textures emerged with raw clarity, creating an understated effect that contrasts with the more brilliant sound of modern string and winds.« Rebecca Schmid, Classic Voice North America, 12th June 2014
In its 40th edition the Dresden Music Festival celebrates mavericks and revolutionaries of the music history and their music and inventions who have shaped the sound of its epoch over the course of the centuries. Download Season Brochure
In the 2016 season the Dresden Music Festival explored the thrilling interplay of time and music and offered a multi-facetted program inspired by the motto. Download Season Broschure
In 2015, the Dresden Music Festival invited guests on a journey between fire and ice, north and south. A multifaceted program full of contrasting concerts celebrated the interplay between the temperaments and temperatures of music. Download Season Broschure
The 2014 season of the Dresden Music Festival under the theme »Golden 20s« was steeped in the special inspiration of the Twenties, throwing a new light onto the magic of these golden decades of five centuries. Download Season Broschure
Under the theme »Empire« the 2013 season followed the musical traces of England as Musical Island but also the sound legacy that the great empires in our history have left within the different musical traditions in the world. Download Season Broschure
With the 2012 theme »Heart of Europe« the Dresden Music Festival plunged deep into the triangle between Vienna, Budapest and Prague. Renomwned artists celebrated the variety of the musical culture of the center of the continent. Download Season Broschure
In 2011 theme »Five Elements« opened up a wonderful field of action with plenty of room for imagination and musical associations and bridged European culture and Asian philosophy, connecting and juxtaposing different religions and ideals in life. Download Season Broschure
In 2010 the Dresden Music Festival turned its focus to the East and presented a grand retrospective of the rich and vivid Russian music where great musicians of today also send exceptionally strong signals throughout the world. Download Season Broschure
The 2009 theme allowed the festival visitors to discover the tradition of the musical exchange between Europe and America and how the great composers of both continents have influenced each other in their music. Download Season Broschure