Summer Festivals Part VI - Germany

#Classicalbuzz direct form the source :) - photo by Anneleen Lenaerts!
There are lots of festivals all over Germany and this list is by no means complete and will be continued. Quite a few were founded inspired by the success of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik-Festival. Modeled after the idea of Tanglewood it started out in 1986. It is amazing to see how many of today’s managers made their first steps into the business as 'Künstlerbetreuer' at the SHMF. All of us who have been there a rainy summer carry found memories and learned how to properly (!) drive a car on the narrow roads of Schleswig-Holstein and on the Autobahn A1 and A7!

For the 2015 edition the SHMF has chosen to highlight the composer Peter Tchaikovsky and our founding member Martin Grubinger . Martin has been scheduled to appear in 10 concerts in the festival, teaming up with wonderful artists such as Thomas Hampson, Manfred Honeck and the Festival Orchestra (alas he had to cancel the first 3 concerts, but thanks to a speedy recovery he headed back to North Germany). He will also be performing with his group the Percussive Planet and other long standing collaborators like Leonhard Schmidinger, Martin Grubinger sen. and two of our other founding members: Ferhan and Ferzan Önder . Of course some Tchaikovsky was needed in their programme, a Nutcraker suite has been assembled by Martin’s father specially for these concerts which is combined with other works for percussion and two pianos.

Denis Patkovic is involved in another interesting evening. Together with german singer-songwriter Volker Lechtenbrink he explores the relationship between Tchaikovsky and his confident Nadeshda von Meck. The two had sent each other more than 1.200 letters which now give us a great insight into the composer’s soul.

Daniel Hope created a mini-festival within the festival. The weekend before last he gathered friends and family for his programmed titled Familienstücke - of course his longstanding piano partner Sebastian Knauer was part of the line up.

You can also hear young violinist Eric Schumann twice - in two different chamber music concerts. In Plön he will be performing works for piano trio together with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Anna Vinnitskaya. In Kiel the three have invited Christianne Stotijn and others to join in for a night of Tchaikovsky celebrations.

Towards the end of the festival summer Ekkehard Runge is appearing with his piano partner Jaques Ammon to present their new project CelloCinema. Music by Nino Rota, Bernard Herrmann, Astor Piazzolla, Ennio Morricone will accompany snipets of the films they have been written for, but now set for the intimate combination of cello and piano.

The Armida Quartett is performing twice in mid-Augst - in Lüneburg and in Schenefeld. As part of their busy summer, they too are visiting the festivals in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Wildbad Kreuth and Rheingau as well as wonderful places in France and the UK.

The Rheingau Musik Festival is in full swing - some of our members already performed in June and July. After orchestral concerts in Israel and several recitals, Olga Scheps brought her exiting Chopin / Prokofiev / Rachmaninoff programme to Schloss Johannisberg at the beginning of July. Gabriela Montero visited the festival for the first time around the same time and amazed all with her improvisations. Another recital - sadly also already over - is Kit Armstrong's appearance in the the Next generation artists series.

You can still catch Fazil Say who is teaming up with the Minetti Quartett and Josef Gilgenreiner for Schubert’s Forellenquintett ( a programme they are also taking to Austria and France).

And the festival is long enough that we can still look forward to the stop of the San Francisco Symphony on their European tour as well as Herbert Blomstead conducting Bruckner VII with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra (a bunch of their players have recently become HELLO STAGE members and we are eager to learn more about them starting out - Dorran Alibaud , Quentin Debroeyer and Giuseppe Mengoli who is not only a violinist but also a young conductor.

Anneleen Lenaerts is back from Aspen and invited Daniela Koch to join her to present the wonderful combination of Flute and Harp at the mdr Musiksommer. Together they also took the music by Bach, Smetana, Debussy, Schubert, Ravel and Fauré to the Burghofspiele also situated in the beautiful Rheingau (where Anneleen also took our cover photo she posted).

The Trio Karénine is visiting the mdr Musiksommer as well. The young french Piano Trio have been awarded several prizes at the ARD Musikwettbewerb in 2013 and in the meantime has performed in major halls including Wigmore Hall in London, Salle Pleyel and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal to name only a few.

Bettina Mehne manages the relationships with Artists, Ensembles, their Managements as well as Promoters on HELLO STAGE. She toured Orchestras around the world, worked for London and Germany based Managements, took care of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as their Artistic Manager and headed the Artistic Planning at the Wiener Konzerthaus for six seasons. Follow Bettina on Twitter - you can also always reach out to her at bettina@hellostage.com
Author: Bettina Mehne HELLO STAGE
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