German is Critical to “Kultur”
Germany’s cultural landscape can be defined by the number of cultural events, institutions and internationally recognized artists:
Germany is home to more than 3,000 museums, each with a different area of focus. Berlin alone is home to 167 museums. More than 100 million people visit Germany’s museums each year.
$2 billion US are spent on theaters, opera houses and orchestras in Germany each year, sustaining as many as 150 publicly funded theaters and 280 private houses.
The German theaters and opera houses engage 250 ballet companies and nearly 1,600 dancers. World-famous John Neumeier, director of the Hamburg Ballet, Pina Bausch of Wuppertal, Johann Kresnik and Sasha Waltz of Berlin are just a few names of renown dance choreographers in Germany.
60 theatre festivals - most famously, the Bayreuther Festspiele (a festival for interpretations of the operas of Richard Wagner) or Theater Meeting in Berlin (with awards for the best plays of the year) - are held in Germany every year.
Roughly 300 international and German-language theatre premieres are staged each year.
There are some 300 classical music festivals in Germany every year. Prime examples: Bayreuther Festspiele, the traditional Beethoven Festival in Bonn and the Bach Festival in Leipzig.
Germany boasts 141 professional orchestras; the country’s leading ensembles are the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic orchestras, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Dresden Staatskapelle – just to name a few. The Gewandhaus Orchestra was led by Kurt Masur for many years, before he left for the New York Philharmonic. The Berlin Philharmonic has been directed by such prominent conductors as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abado and Sir Simon Rattle.
The numerous film festivals are particularly important for the cultural image of cinema in Germany and its reputation abroad. The most important forum for film is the Berlin International Film Festival (the “Berlinale”) – established in 1951, together with the festivals in Cannes and Venice, it is one of the major film festivals in Europe. The film festivals in Mannheim, Oberhausen, Leipzig, Hof, Munich, Lübeck and Hamburg also enjoy international status.
The Bauhaus is probably the most influential school of design and architecture of the 20th century – founded in 1919, it revolutionized the world of architecture and design with its basic principle: Form follows function. The names of the Bauhaus teachers are world famous: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Bruno Taut and Erich Mendelsohn – all had a major influence on international modern architecture.