© www.pkfotografie.com, Philipp Kirschner

Music in Leipzig and its surrounding region

Leipzig, where music sets the tone.

You can feel the fascinating power of music everywhere in Leipzig – in the streets and squares, in churches, concert halls and the many authentic locations where famous musicians worked and lived. And there is a long tradition: In past centuries, more than 500 composers lived here, including great names from music history: Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Clara und Robert Schumann as well as Richard Wagner, Edvard Grieg, Albert Lortzing, Gustav Mahler and Hanns Eisler.

The rich musical heritage also includes the Gewandhausorchester and the world-famous St. Thomas Boys Choir. And of course, let's not forget: Leipzig Opera, which has always been committed to Wagner's legacy and numbers amongst the oldest civic music theatre stages in Europe.

But Leipzig does not only have a great musical history. Here the tradition is still alive. The city honours its musicians annually with high-profile festivals that thrill guests from all over the world. Leipzig's record-breaking calendar of musical events ensures the city will always be an attractive destination for classical music fans.

Follow in the musical footsteps of the world's greatest composers and discover the City of Music: Leipzig.

City of Music Travel Offers :Leipzig

”Oh, how I envy Leipzig for its music.“
– Clara Schumann

Leipzig Opera Festival

Wagner 22 at the Leipzig Opera

© Kirsten Nijhof

All Wagner operas in 3 weeks: 20 June to 14 July 2022

In Summer 2022, the eyes of the music world will be on Leipzig Opera: In Richard Wagner's birthplace, all thirteen operas by the composer will be performed in chronological order. Only the four parts of the "Ring of the Nibelung" are on the programme as a separate cycle.

Leipzig Opera with its more than 325-year-old tradition is one of the flagships of Leipzig, City of Music, and has earned its place in music history with composers such as Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Wagner. Wagner's birthplace is a popular destination for enthusiasts of his works from all over the world. This is due to the top-class musical quality offered by the Gewandhausorchester as one of the finest ensembles in the world. It is therefore not surprising that for numerous international stars in the Wagnerian world, it has become fashionable to perform Wagner's works together with the Gewandhausorchester and its Artistic Director and General Music Director Ulf Schirmer.

The WAGNER 22 programme will be performed by the proven and Wagner-experienced ensemble of the Leipzig Opera as well as guests associated with the institution, who are known worldwide for their Wagner interpretations. Already confirmed are: Evelyn Herlitzius (Kundry), Jennifer Holloway, Lise Lindstrom, Daniela Sindram, Manuela Uhl, Markus Eiche, René Pape, Iain Paterson, Andreas Schager (Tristan), Stefan Vinke, Klaus Florian Vogt and Michael Volle (Wotan in »Das Rheingold«).

WAGNER 22 is dedicated to the musician, composer and conductor Gustav Brecher (1879-1940), who shaped Leipzig's musical landscape from 1914 to 1933 as General Music Director and later also as Director of the Opera. He was the first to have the idea of performing Richard Wagner's celebrated music-dramatic works in chronological order. He was already preparing the mammoth project when the National Socialists forced him out of office in 1933.

Official Wagner 22 website

of Leipzig Opera

© Kirsten Nijhof/ Leipzig Opera

The Wagner 22 programme

13 master works in chronological order

The Fairies

Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love)

Rienzi

Der fliegende Holländer

Tannhäuser

Lohengrin

Tristan und Isolde

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Das Rheingold

Die Walküre

Siegfried

Götterdämmerung

Parsifal

Gewandhaus Festival Leipzig

Mahler Festival 2023

© formdusche

11–29 May 2023

In May 2023, the Leipzig Gewandhaus will be entirely dedicated to Gustav Mahler. The time Gustav Mahler spent in Leipzig had a huge impact on his artistic work. He evolved from a hard-working conductor to an internationally renowned composer. This development is attributed to Leipzig.

A unique programme: all his symphonies as well as other orchestral works will be performed by ten world-class orchestras in 19 days in the city where Mahler became a symphonic composer. From 1886 to 1888, Mahler spent two pivotal years of his life in Leipzig, during which he set the course for his further career. Leipzig and the Gewandhausorchester guarantee an authentic atmosphere. Twelve years after the first Mahler Festival in 2011, Europe's top orchestras will once again present their individual interpretations of Mahler's symphonic universe of sound. Alongside Gewandhausorchester concerts conducted by Gewandhaus Musical Director Andris Nelsons, the programme includes performances by the Munich Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Individual tickets have been on sale since November 2021.

Leipzig Bachfest 2023

8–18 June 2023

© formdusche

Every year in June, the city of Leipzig honours its important Thomas Cantor Johann Sebastian Bach with the Bach Festival. It pursues a tradition of honouring Bach which was originally initiated by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Leipzig Bachfest 2023 »BACH for Future«

The Bachfest Leipzig 2023 will focus on the 300th anniversary of Bach's appointment as Thomaskantor. Under the motto "BACH for Future", Bach's masterpieces will be presented in new, exciting contexts. The crème de la crème of Bach interpreters will be joined by young ensembles.

In the 2024 season, Leipzig will celebrate - after 2022 - part 2 of the Bachfest under the motto "BACH - We Are Family". Once again, numerous Bach choirs from all over the world will travel to the city in order to commemorate the composer in the place where their idol lived and worked – following in the footsteps of the many branches of the Bach family of musicians, who in the 17th and 18th centuries used to meet once a year to make music together. At various Chorale Cantata concerts, the audience is expressly encouraged to join in and thus become part of today’s global Bach family.

 

 

Bach Festival Leipzig, concert venues

Bach Festival Leipzig, dates

  • 8–18 June 2023

  • 7–16 June 2024

  • 13–22 June 2025

First Leipzig Bachfest

© www.gertmothes.de, Gert Mothes
St. Nicholas Church with its architecturally impressive interior is just one of many venues for the Bach Festival, as well as an important site of the Peaceful Revolution.

The first Leipzig Bachfest took place in 1908. It was organized for the unveiling of the "New Bach Monument".

Selected pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach are performed at the festival. Bach lived and worked in Leipzig as the Thomas Cantor at St. Thomas Church from 1723 to his death in 1750.

Around 100 different events take place every year as part of the Leipzig Bachfest.

Bach Competition

© Gert Mothes

The Johann Sebastian Bach competition is a globally significant event for young musicians launched in 1950. Since 1996, it has been taking place every other year in June in three alternating subjects: piano, harpsichord and Violin. 

The competition is open to instrumentalists and singers between the ages of 16 and 33.

Broadcast: Reiselust (Travel Favourites)

Prof Dr Michael Maul, Artistic Director of the Bach Festival Leipzig, talking to Klassik Radio (Excerpt from the "Reiselust" programme broadcast on 26.09.2021)

Podcast Tip

Bach's Cantatas with Maul & Schrammek / mdr Klassik

This podcast by Prof. Michael Maul, Artistic Director of the Bach Festival Leipzig together with the musicologist Bernhard Schrammek, is devoted to the sacred cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Mendelssohn Festival Leipzig

The festival is a cooperation between the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Mendelssohn House

© formdusche

31 October to 6 November 2022

The memory of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is very much alive in Leipzig: Traditionally, the city honours the composer and musician every year with various concerts around 4 November on Mendelssohn Day, the anniversary of his death. Since 1997, he has also been honoured by the Mendelssohn Festival which took on a new form in 2021 when Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Mendelssohn House began working together to present a varied and sophisticated programme.

In 2022, Leipzig will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the composer's death  – with many events culminating in the Mendelssohn Festival.

Another occasion will be the 25th anniversary of the museum in the Mendelssohn House. The celebratory year will be opened with a concert on Felix Mendelssohn's birthday on 3 February. This will be followed at the end of May by "Mendelssohn im Frühling" (Mendelssohn in the Spring) with concerts and a garden party. From 31 October to 6 November, the final event will be the "Mendelssohn-Festtage" (Mendelssohn Festival) with well-known musicians playing concerts at Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Mendelssohn House.

You can find all the highlights of the Mendelssohn jubilee year at www.mendelssohn-stiftung.de/de/programm-festjahr

Tip: Opening concert, Mendelssohn Festival Leipzig 2022

Monday, 31 Oktober 2022 at 7 pm – Mendelssohn Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus

Mojca Erdmann, Soprano
Elena Bashkirova, Piano

Gewandhaus Quartet

  • Frank-Michael Erben,Violin
  • Anton Jivaev,Viola
  • Yun-Jin Cho,Violin
  • Jürnjakob Timm,Violoncello (guest)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847): Quartet for two violins, viola and violoncello op. 13 MWV R 22 – Lieder
Robert Schumann Aribert Reimann: "Orpelia"-Lieder
Robert Schumann (1810–1856): Piano Quintet in e-flat major op. 44

>>> All events at the Mendelssohn Festival 2022

”Mendelssohn was … a brilliant, incredibly versatile, European and modern-thinking man. Here is the place where you can feel all this.“
Patrick Schmeing, Mendelssohn House Director

Mendelssohn House

© Robin Kunz
© formdusche

Mendelssohn Monument

Broadcast: Travel Favourites

Patrick Schmeing, Mendelssohn House Director talking to Klassik Radio (Excerpt from the "Reiselust" (travel favourites) programme broadcast on 26.09.2021)

The Leipzig Podcast – Music in the Air!

Mendelssohn House: Empathy and Music

Leipzig Music Trail

Follow the trail of Leipzig's musical tradition

Leipzig boasts a worldwide unique concentration of originally preserved places where world famous composers lived and worked. The Leipzig Music Trail has been bringing this musical cultural heritage to life for tourists since 12 May 2012. Since individual points of interest are not far away from one another, they can be comfortably visited on foot.  At each point of interest, you can get thrilling insights through musical excerpts and information in both German and English. You can also get the full experience on a unique 360° panorama tour.

The Leipzig Music Trail connects the most important original locations in Leipzig city centre over 5.1 km. Curved steel elements embedded into the ground mark the meandering path through the city centre. You can start and end your tour at any of the points of interest. More athletic music-lovers can discover Leipzig's musical history by bicycle from a completely different fascinating perspective on the Leipzig Music Bike Trail.

5.3 km

of Music Trail link up the original musical sites in Leipzig's city centre

23 Points of interest

are linked via a curved stainless steel band, "intarsia"

225 m

is the average distance from one point of interest to the next

800 years

of musical history can be discovered over a short distance

Steel band in St. Nicholas Church Square © www.pkfotografie.com, Philipp Kirschner

Leipzig Music Bike Trail

Tour by bike

Leipzig Notenbogen (Music Arc)

Walking tour

© www.pkfotografie.com, Philipp Kirschner

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