Wednesday 6 May 2020

Music Never Sleeps: Dresden Music Festival's 43rd edition goes on-line with 24 hour event

Music Never Sleeps NYCI have been visiting the Dresden Music Festival since our first visit in 2014, highlights have included the 40th festival in 2017 with Beethoven's Leonore (the 1805 version of Fidelio) in concert [see my review] at the restored Kulturpalast (a new concert hall created within the restored shell of the Soviet-era building), and a new cello concerto for the festival Intendant, cellist Jan Vogler, written jointly by Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig and Zhou Long in 2019 [see my review]. The festival provides an opportunity to hear music in some of Dresden's historic buildings, and part of the charm of our festival visits has been watching the reconstruction of the city.

On our first visit, in 2014, we were able to visit the newly restored Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in the Residenzschloss, a reconstruction of the spectacular early 18th century settings for the Electors of Saxony's Kunstkammer, and since then more of the Residenzschloss has been restored and reconstructed. For our visit this year (2020) we were looking forward to hearing an 18th century opera by one of the Saxon princesses (a pupil of Carl Maria von Weber), and for exploring the recently restored State Apartments in the Residenzschloss, the grand early 18th century reception rooms which were burned out during World War Two.

However, this year's Dresden Music Festival (the 43rd) takes a totally different format to previously and intendant Jan Vogler has put together an on-line festival on 16 May 2020, for 24 hours from 6pm (Central European Time). This non-stop live-stream festival is presented in collaboration with Music Never Sleeps NYC, Jan Vogler's New York based initiative which was presented in March. For the Dresden festival, more than 50 of the festival’s musicians along with artists that have been connected to the festival for years will carry the unique festival atmosphere to living rooms across the globe.

The programme will be co-hosted by Jan Vogler and Ute Lemper. As with previous editions of the festival, the artists span the popular and classical worlds, with some major names including conductor Fabio Luisi, jazz singer/songwriter Jamie Cullum, singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, conductor/composer Omer Meir Wellber, jazz trombone player Nils Landgren, soprano Simone Kermes, pianist / composer Francesco Tristano, counter-tenor Valer Sabadus, mandolin player Avi Avital, violinist James Ehnes, cellist Mischa Maisky, pianist Martin Stadtfeld, tenor José Cura and violinist Gil Shaham. Recordings from previous festivals will feature the period instrument Dresden Festival Orchestra, conducted by Ivor Bolton and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Ann Kern, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Ann Kern, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
The stream will be broadcast on the Dresden Music Festival’s website, YouTube and Facebook channels, along with the channels of Music Never Sleeps NYC. The latest news regarding the program can be found with the hashtag #musicneversleepsdmf or on the festival’s website.

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