The 41st Dresden Music Festival has continued its success story under the leadership of artistic director Jan Vogler: under the motto »MIRRORS«, a total of 67 events between May 10 and June 10, 2018 invited concertgoers to reflect upon the power of music in our society. More than 1,500 artists from all over the world brought a vibrant Festival atmosphere to 24 performance venues in Dresden. About 56,000 visitors from Germany and abroad were attracted by this magic atmosphere lasting 32 days. Accordingly, the resulting figures are positive: with 91 percent of seats sold, ticket sales revenue rose from 1.4 million to 1.54 million Euro, despite the strong increase already observed in 2017.
»We are proud that the Dresden Music Festival with its fantastic artists, visionary projects and great artistic variety has once again embodied cultural understanding in Dresden, and has sent this signal out into the world. Dresden has put its best foot forward during the Festival weeks: inspiring performance venues, an ideal audience, groundbreaking performances, international visitors and an open-minded atmosphere – that is the Dresden I would like to show the world,« says Jan Vogler, artistic director of the Dresden Music Festival.
Cellist Jan Vogler continued to set new artistic accents this year as well. One example was »Cellomania«, a festival within the festival featuring more than 20 of the world’s best cellists of our times – and culminating in an acclaimed finale, the »Long Night of the Cello«. The world premiere of the Chinese composer Tan Dun’s »Buddha Passion« by the Munich Philharmonic and the International Choir Academy Lübeck only a few days later brought the vibrant music centre Dresden into the focus of the entire music world. Additional brilliant highlights included the award ceremony of the »Glashütte Original Music Festival Award«, which went to the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, the guest appearance of the English Baroque Soloists under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Daniele Gatti with the pianist Daniil Trifonov, the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer as well as the concert performance of Hector Berlioz’ opera »La Damnation de Faust« by the Malmö SymfoniOrkester under Marc Soustrot with Sophie Koch, Paul Groves, Sir Bryn Terfel and Edwin Crossley-Mercer as soloists.
The Festival’s own formats are now firmly established – including the Dresden Festival Orchestra, the artists’ project »Bohème2020«, the club series »Classical Beats«, the cooperation »Sound & Science« with the Technical University, the join-in project »Sounding City« and the open-air event »Dresden Sings & Makes Music«, which has been popular for generations. All of these help the Music Festival reach a broad audience, beyond the concert hall. For the successful reorientation of the Dresden Music Festival and his activities as an ambassador for the European idea, Jan Vogler was presented with the European Cultural Award »Taurus« on June 8, 2018 in Dresden.
The American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato was presented with the 15th »Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward« during her guest appearance at the Dresden Music Festival on May 28, 2018. The award was presented by Frank Kittel, Managing Director of Glashütte Original, and Jan Vogler, Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival, after DiDonato’s concert entitled »In War & Peace – Harmony Through Music« at Dresden’s Kulturpalast.
»I wish to thank Glashütte Original for this great honour and I know that I stand in a long line of previous winners who have all demonstrated a commitment not just to their art but to bringing the power and magic of the arts to as many people as possible. Art changes lives. It really is as simple as that. I am continually inspired by the saying ›the opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creativity.‹ It is, therefore, fitting that I’m dedicating my prize money to bringing ›In War & Peace‹ to El Sistema Greece, an organisation I’m honoured to be patron of. By working with refugee children across Greece, they are transforming their lives and allowing them to grow and be inspired. My thanks again to everyone associated with this wonderful prize,« said Joyce DiDonato in Dresden.
The »Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward« honours achievements in classical music education and support for young artists. In 2018 it will be donated by the watch-manufacturing company Glashütte Original and awarded jointly with the Dresden Music Festival for the 15th time. The »Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward« carries a cash value of 25,000 Euros, a sum tied to specific aims. As in past years, the trophy of the »Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward« will be designed and made by two students of the factory’s own Watch-Making School »Alfred Helwig«. The prize sculpture combines traditional watch-making craft with modern materials. The overhung tourbillion with its filigree screw balance symbolizes the watch-makers’ virtuosity. It is considered a sign of the highest art of watch-making and was developed by the master watch-maker Alfred Helwig in Glashütte around 1920.
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