Classical music from Germany – Selected Links

The links below refer to sites directly related to classical music and music theatre. For sites that cover several different genres, check out our list of general links to German music societies and institutions.

Institutions and Associations

Concert Halls

  • Baden-Baden - Festspielhaus Europe’s second-biggest opera house first raised its curtains in 1998 in Baden-Baden. The one-time train station concourse in neoclassical style was transformed into a festival theatre that seats 2,500 for concerts, ballet and opera performances.
  • Bamberg - Konzerthalle Opened in 1993, Bamberg’s Konzerthalle is a modern complex designed for congresses and concerts of all sorts. Joseph Keilberth Hall is home to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra – and to Europe’s second-biggest concert organ, built by Georg Jann.
  • Berlin - Konzerthaus Situated in midtown Berlin (Mitte), the venerable four-hall Konzerthaus is home venue for the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. This masterpiece of classicistic architecture in Germany was built around 1820 based on drawings by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and rebuilt after World War II.
  • Berlin - Philharmonie The Berlin Philharmonie, built in the early 1960s by Hans Scharoun, is one of the foremost concert halls in Berlin and home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This circus-like theatre in the round with a pentagonal auditorium provides an equally good view of the stage from every side.
  • Bielefeld - Rudolf-Oetker-Halle Rudolf-Oetker-Halle dates from 1930. It is not only home to the Bielefeld Philharmonic, but also a venue for conferences and congresses. It was designed as “The Ninth” by architects Tietmann & Haake, whose concept is reflected in the nine-arched foyer held up by pillars that rise three storeys high.
  • Bremen - Die Glocke “The Bell”, near Bremen’s historical market square, presents a wide-ranging programme of music. Whilst the building sports an imposing Hanseatic gabled façade, the auditoriums and foyer are designed in 1920s Art Deco style.
  • Dortmund - Konzerthaus Dortmund’s Konzerthaus doubles as philharmonic for the region of Westphalia and home venue for the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra. This is a new complex, opened in 2003, a blend of concrete, wood and multicoloured stained-glass façade, whose main auditorium boasts state-of-the-art acoustics and seats 1,500.
  • Düsseldorf - Tonhalle The Tonhalle on the bank of the Rhine in Düsseldorf was originally designed by Wilhelm Kreis in 1925 as a planetarium. This brick rotunda with its green cupola is the home venue for the Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra.
  • Essen - Philharmonie Essen’s Philharmonie, whose century-old auditorium was completely overhauled in 2004, is now the biggest venue for concerts and events in the Ruhr region. Home to the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, this modern hall in pale wood with red and blue highlights holds roughly 2,000 people.
  • Frankfurtam Main - Alte Oper The Alte Oper (Old Opera House), an historic edifice amidst modern office buildings, is a hallmark of downtown Frankfurt. It was destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt in 1981 in its original late-neoclassical style. The erstwhile opera house is now a major international concert hall where renowned artists give daily performances of every kind of music.
  • Frankfurt an der Oder - Konzerthalle "C.P.E. Bach" Carl Philip Emanuel Bach Hall on the Oder river bank is a reconstruction of the 13th-century brick Franciscan church that once stood there. It has been holding concerts and other events since 1967 and accommodates Frankfurt’s Brandenburg State Orchestra.
  • Freiburg im Breisgau - Konzerthaus Freiburg’s Konzerthaus opened in 1996 and has since served as the seat of the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg. In addition to a small amphitheatre-like concert room, its main auditorium can be variously adapted for concerts, congresses and conferences thanks to state-of-the-art stagecraft.
  • Halle - Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Halle Inaugurated in 1998, Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Halle in Halle on the River Saale is the first new congress and concert hall to be built in Eastern Germany. Halle’s State Philharmonic Orchestra is based in the main auditorium. The venue’s musical repertoire has been enriched since October 2000 by the addition of a big concert organ built by Johannes Klais.
  • Jena - Philharmonie im Volkshaus The big auditorium of the Volkshaus (est. 1903) in Jena is home to the city’s philharmonic, but also a concert venue for other music genres.
  • Kiel - Schloss Kiel Castle, once the most eminent Renaissance building in Schleswig-Holstein, was destroyed in 1944, then rebuilt in 1965 as an arts centre with architectural references to the original edifice. The main auditorium, which recalls Baroque opera halls with its gilded tier and red-upholstered seats, is the chief venue for the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
  • Köln - Philharmonie Opened in 1986, Cologne’s Philharmonie houses the Gürzenich and WDR Cologne Symphony orchestras. Events are held daily in the vast modern amphitheatre.
  • Leipzig - Gewandhaus The Gewandhaus Orchestra, Germany’s oldest civic orchestra, got its name in the 18th century from its first venue, a cloth merchant’s hall. And it got a permanent modern concert hall in 1981: the eponymous Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, which boasts Europe’s biggest contemporary ceiling fresco, by Sighard Gille.
  • Lübeck - Musik- und Kongresshalle The Music and Congress Hall (MuK for short) by the River Trave in Lübeck was designed by Meinhardt von Gerkan and opened in 1994. Whilst the foyer holds some 3,500 people at pop concerts and congresses, the big auditorium panelled in light-coloured wood holds 1,900 and, thanks to its excellent acoustics, is not only home to the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra, but also centre stage for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
  • München - Gasteig Munich’s Gasteig arts and education centre opened in 1985 in a large brick complex on the Isar River. It holds a number of institutions, including the municipal library and music conservatory, and concert halls, such as the “Blackbox” and Carl Orff Hall. Its biggest facility is the philharmonic amphitheatre, with a capacity of over 2,000, home to the Munich Philharmonic.
  • Nürnberg - Meistersingerhalle Inaugurated in 1963, the Meistersingerhalle, with two halls and six conference rooms, is Nuremberg’s biggest venue for concerts, conferences and galas. This multifunctional hall situated in Luitpoldhain park presents concerts by the Nuremberg philharmonic and symphonic orchestras.
  • Potsdam - Nikolaisaal Designed by Rudy Ricciotti, the Nikolaisaal for concerts and other events in Potsdam was opened in the year 2000. The futuristic architecture of the big auditorium starkly contrasts with the building’s Baroque exterior. Concerts are given here regularly by the Potsdam Kammerakademie (chamber academy), Babelsberg Film Orchestra, Brandenburg Symphonic Orchestra and Brandenburg State Orchestra at Frankfurt an der Oder.
  • Stuttgart - Liederhalle The design of the Liederhalle in Stuttgart’s city centre stems from plans by Rolf Gutbrod and Adolf Abel and, when completed in 1956, it was the world’s first asymmetrical concert hall. It has since been extended to include 20 conference rooms and five auditoriums, including the Beethoven, Hegel and Mozart halls, with a capacity of up to 6,000.
  • Weimarhalle The congress centrum neue Weimarhalle designed by Gerkan Mark & Partners opened in 1999, the year of Weimar’s official stint as European Cultural Capital. This modern building of concrete and cedar is situated on an elevated terrace in Schwanseepark. Concerts in a wide array of musical genres are held regularly in its main auditorium, with is home to the Weimar Staatskapelle.

Festivals

  • Bayreuther Festspiele Performances of Richard Wagner’s operas at the historical venue
    Annually in July/August
  • Beethovenfest Bonn Works by Ludwig van Beethoven with a different theme each year
    Annually in September/October
  • Brandenburgische Sommerkonzerte Summertime concerts in castles and churches in the Brandenburg March region
    Annually between June and September
  • Deutsches Mozartfest Two-week Mozart festival at alternating venues
    Annually
  • Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart European festival featuring choral and orchestral concerts, master classes and lecture concerts
    Annually in August/September
  • Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig International a-cappella festival of vocal works in various genres
    Annually in April/May
  • Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Chamber and orchestral concerts at unusual venues, spotlight on aspiring artists
    Annually from June to September
  • Heidelberger Frühling Springtime chamber and orchestral concerts, master classes, lecture concerts, symposia
    Annually in March/April
  • Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg International festival to promote young singers with opera workshop and master classes
    Annually in June/July/August
  • Kissinger Sommer Summertime chamber and orchestral concerts featuring international artists
    Annually in June/July
  • Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele International multipartite festival of music, literature, theatre, dance
    Annually between June and September
  • MDR Musiksommer Performances of everything from Early to New Music at various locations in eastern central Germany
    Annually from July to early September
  • Mozartfest Würzburg Germany’s oldest Mozart festival, held at the Würzburg Residenz
    Annually in June
  • Münchner Opernfestspiele Festival premieres, opera, ballet, Lieder recitals
    Annually in July
  • Musikfest Berlin Chamber and orchestral music, world and German premieres
    Annually in August/September
  • Musikfestspiele Potsdam Orchestral and opera works, literature, cultural history programme at Sans Souci palace
    Annually in June
  • Oberstdorfer Musiksommer Classical music festival in the Allgäu region with master classes and concerts
    Annually in July/August
  • Rheingau Musik Festival Europe's biggest music festival to be financed by the private sector: Classical music, jazz, world music and cabaret
    Annually from end of June to end of August
  • Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestral and chamber music, choral and orchestral academy, master classes, children’s programme
    Annually in July and August
  • Schwetzinger Festspiele Musical theatre, concerts, premieres and featured composers
    Annually between April and June
  • Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker Summertime ensemble and orchestral concerts, lectures, workshops, commissioned works, spotlight on aspiring artists
    Annually in July/August
  • STIMMEN-Festival Lörrach International vocal and choral music festival
    Annually in June/July

Specialized print and online media

  • Das Orchester Job offers, information on current cultural policy, training of musicians, education in music, orchestra management, reviews of major national and international performances
    11 issues a year
  • Klassik.com Classical music portal: current reviews, calendar of events, new releases radio, artist contacts etc.
  • Klassikinfo Online magazine focused on classical music
  • Niusic Young online magazine focused on classical music and musical culture
  • Operabase International opera portal: overview of venues, premieres, festivals, agencies etc.
  • VAN Online Magazine focuses on classical Music
    Published weekly