From the 24th to the 27th of October, the city of Leipzig launched its new campaign: “City of Music: Leipzig,” under the auspices of Leipzig Tourism and Marketing in New York City. A light and sound installation, “25 Her(t)z will immerse visitors who come to the World Trade Center next to the Oculus to enjoy this multi-sensory musical experience.
After traversing continental Europe, the light and sound installation from the City of Music: Leipzig, “25 Her(t)z,” traveled across the Atlantic for the first time to the heart of New York City not far from Ground Zero. The installation of light cubes, which, like a crossword puzzle, revealed the most important musical composers and musicians from Leipzig, drawing visitors’ attention to the famous musical heritage of the city.
For four days, from October 24 to October 27, podcasts informed visitors about well-known Leipzig composers and institutions while classical and contemporary music compositions from Leipzig entertain and provide atmosphere. A virtual reality experience also transported visitors to the musical heart of Leipzig within seconds. VR glasses with 360° views showcase the musical highlights including the flagships of the Leipzig classical experience: The Gewandhaus, the Opera and the St. Thomas Church where Bach conducted for 27 years.
With the onset of darkness, the light and sound presentation, created in cooperation with the French artist Philippe Morvan and the Leipzig DJ Mike Dietrich, comes alive. On Thursday, October 24, dancers from the Leipzig Ballet performed around the installation; and on Friday, October 25, Dale Henderson, New York cellist, Bach enthusiast and founder of the worldwide movement, Bach in the Subways, performed a special selection.
This four-day installation marked the official start of City of Music: Leipzig’s campaign when four of the city’s music institutions will showcase their performances under one umbrella. The Gewandhausorchester, the Opera, the Bach-Archiv and the Mendelssohn House are planning one major festival each year beginning with the Bach Festival next year. In addition to these major festivals, visitors can stroll the unique “Leipzig Music Trail,” which connects 23 of the locations where famous composers lived and worked. The unique musical ensembles, events and places make Leipzig the number one classical music destination in the world.
Music is always a blend of tradition and Zeitgeist, and Leipzig has been bringing music to life for over 800 years. The St. Thomas Boys Choir, founded in 1212, was markedly influenced in the Baroque era by its most renowned Cantor, Johann Sebastian Bach. Back then, no-one had any idea that the boys’ choir would still be performing his motets and cantatas in St. Thomas Church today. The history of the now world-famous Gewandhausorchester began with the “Grand Concerts” founded by citizens of Leipzig in 1743. Leipzig Opera – the third oldest music stage in Europe – came into being as far back as 1693. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Musical Director of the Gewandhausorchester founded the first German conservatoire in 1843. Clara and Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler also worked there, creating works that are outstanding in the history of music.
Leipzig Bach Festival BACH – We Are Family 12 – 21 June – 150 events in 11 days
In 2020, the Neue Bachgesellschaft (The New Bach Association), founded in 1900, will be the joint host of a unique Leipzig Bach Festival: In line with the festival theme “BACH – We Are Family,” more than 40 Bach choirs, societies, festivals and associations from six continents will be travelling to Leipzig. In doing so, they will be continuing a tradition of the extensive Bach family of musicians, who in the 17th and 18th centuries, played music together.
Mahler Festival with the Gewandhausorchester 10 world-class orchestras in 12 days | 13 to 24 May 2021
From 1886 to 1888, Mahler spent two formative years of his life in Leipzig, Audiences will be able to enjoy 14 concerts by other orchestras and their principal conductors, including the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. The concerts will be complemented by film and recitals, city walking tours themed around Gustav Mahler in Leipzig.
WAGNER 2022 | 13 Wagner operas in three weeks | 20 June to 14 July 2022
The opera house in Richard Wagner’s city of birth will be performing all thirteen of the composer’s works in chronological order. Nowhere in the world has this been done before. Leipzig Opera has a tradition stretching back 325 years, and has long been one of Leipzig’s musical flagships. Wagner’s hometown remains a popular destination for lovers of his works from all around the world.
MENDELSSOHN IN LEIPZIG | Festival in collaboration with the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall and the Mendelssohn House
The memory of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is kept very much alive in the city of music. Traditionally, the composer and musician is commemorated by the many concerts held on Mendelssohn Day on November 4 every year, the anniversary of his death. In 2022, Leipzig will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the composer’s death with many a wide range of events. One highlight will be the Mendelssohn Festival.
For further information, please go to www.leipzig.travel/cityofmusic and www.leipzig.travel/25hertz
LEIPZIG. WHERE MUSIC CALLS THE TUNE.
By Victoria Larson, Editor, Side of Culture
VK Larson Communications