Saxony Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary for the Re-Opening of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in Dresden and Welcomes New Music Director in Leipzig
Saxony’s Musical Proficiency is highlighted with the ten-day concert series honoring the tenth anniversary of the Opening of the Frauenkirche in Dresden and the election of a new music director for Leipzig’s famous Gewandhaus.
Starting today, Dresden will celebrate the ten years since the re-opening of the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, that originally fell into ruins three days after the firebombing by Allied pilots. From October 22 to 31, the Protestant church will host a multifaceted program with musical concerts highlighting works from Saxony’s famous composer citizens, including Schumann and Bach. Also, at this time, Saxony is rejoicing over the election of a new musical director for the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Andris Nelsons, currently with the Boston Symphony, will take the place of Riccardo Chailly in 2017 but also direct at least six concerts next year with the Gewandhaus.
Saxony has always been, and is still today, a treasure trove for musicians, composers, artists, philosophers and singers. The state is famous for its contemporary technology, such as the development of singing wall paper, the ancient and on-going expertise of the musical instrument makers, the famous St. Thomas Boys Choir and educating well-known professionals, such as Jan Vogler, now head of the Dresden Music Festival, or A Capella groups, such as Amarcord. Today music still plays a big part of Saxony’s culture as the state celebrates ten years of the Frauenkirche’s restoration and mourns the loss of the original in 1945 to war.
The organ concerts in the Frauenkirche on October 28 and 29 will be a highlight of the ten day memorial celebration. Often called the “Heart of Dresden” for its symbolism and beauty, the Church of Our Lady represents the hopes of the citizens of Dresden who many decades later, with support from American Nobel Prize winner, Günter Blobel, raised enough funds to rebuild the church. Blobel was raised in Saxony and witnessed the burning of the city from his home in the countryside. Although he lives and works in America, his incredible donation to re-build the Church was representative of his love for Saxony, and the City of Dresden, in particular. For the reconstruction of the church, the same footprint and even the same stones were used where possible. Today the Frauenkirche stands for peace that can be found after destruction, and is a daily reminder of the power of hope.
The present-day Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig was also destroyed in WWII in a firebombing, but today’s building carries with it the history of the orchestra. Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra has a long and impressive history, and one of its most famous directors, Felix Mendelssohn, kept the position until his death in 1847. Many famous composers premiered their orchestras here including Schumann, Wagner and Brahms.
This year, the Gewandhaus announced that for the 2017/2018 season there will be a new music director, Andris Nelsons, a Latvian who lives and works in America. Nelsons is currently the director at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has been since 2014. In May and June 2016, Nelson will conduct six different concerts in Leipzig before taking over for the 2017/2018 season. Nelsons is only 36 and already has a dynamic career. He will be staying with the Boston Symphony Orchestra until his contract expires in 2022. Boston and Leipzig are working together to create an extraordinary experience in the coming years as the Boston Symphony will perform in Leipzig and the Gewandhaus will perform in Boston, both under the direction of Andris Nelsons.
At all times of year, visitors to Saxony can hear world-class music ranging from A Capella contests with performers from all over the world, a Bach festival in the city where Bach spent the last 27 years of his life, to a Mendelssohn concert in the composer’s actual home and famous operas and symphonies in grand settings.
Courtesy Saxony Tourism/VKLarsonCommunications.com