The Kissinger Sommer, the international music festival of the Lower Franconian world heritage city of Bad Kissingen, came to a successful end with the final concert on 17 July 2022. The festival's theme was "Vienna. Budapest. Prague. Bad Kissingen" and offered a top-class and wide-ranging musical experience with 55 concerts.
This year's Kissinger Sommer came to a glorious close with a concert by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra on the evening of 17 July in the Max Littmann Hall. The 36th season of the festival, planned for the first time by the new artistic director Alexander Steinbeis, followed cultural-historical cross-connections between Bohemia, Austria, Hungary – the core of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its successor states – and Bad Kissingen.
On 31 festival days with 55 concerts, the Kissinger Sommer was able to captivate with an outstanding and multi-faceted programme. These included, above all, guest performances with top-class orchestras such as the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the hr Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, who, together with world-class conductors and soloists, captivated the audience in the Max Littmann Hall. Numerous chamber concerts ranging from duos to larger ensembles, musical readings, the traditional Kissinger LiederWerkstatt, open-air formats with trumpeter Till Brönner, a silent film evening with accompaniment, summer matinees and classical-electronic encounters made the festival experience complete. The Luitpold Prize of the Friends of the Festival was awarded to the piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen.
With new, open, free and accessible formats, the festival succeeded in being even more present within the city than before and in musically catching up with and inspiring both Kissing residents and guests in their everyday lives: Among other things, with ten Prélude concerts, which were jointly performed by members of the guest symphony orchestras and local Bad Kissingen ensembles in public squares, but also with the first Bad Kissingen "Symphonic Mob", a large play-along orchestra in which more than 300 amateur musicians played music together with members of the hr Symphony Orchestra in the open air.
In addition to numerous radio broadcasts in the stations of BR Klassik, Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur, ten concerts of the festival could be experienced for the first time as a live video stream on the internet. ARTE Concert broadcast the opening concert on 17 June, Bayerischer Rundfunk the concert on 8 July. Eight further concerts were broadcast by the Kissinger Sommer itself as part of its new music education project "Gesund mit Musik" (Healthy with Music), with which the festival brings the analogue concert experience in a digital way to people who cannot or can no longer come to the concert themselves: With livestreams in partner institutions from the health sector, which additionally offered a thematically appropriate accompanying programme on site. In this context, the Kissinger Sommer would like to thank the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media for its generous support. The festival also thanks the Free State of Bavaria for additional support.
Although the Corona pandemic has still not been overcome, the festival itself could be held without any restrictions. On the part of the artists, too, there were only a few cancellations due to illness, for which top-class replacements could be found. A total of almost 17,000 concert tickets were sold. More than 4,000 people took advantage of the festival's free on-site offers. This corresponds to about a quarter of the total audience. By the end of the festival, the free streaming offers of the Kissinger Sommer had been accessed over 15,000 times via the various platforms. The next Kissinger Sommer will take place from 16 June to 16 July 2023. However, from 6 to 9 October 2022, the Kissinger KlavierOlymp already offers the opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow in its pianistic competition, the winners of which can then be heard at the summer festival in 2023.
The Kissinger Sommer would like to express its sincere gratitude for the generous contributions of the City of Bad Kissingen as the sponsor of the festival and its equally generous partners and sponsors, first and foremost the Free State of Bavaria, the District of Lower Franconia, the County of Bad Kissingen, the Sparkasse Bad Kissingen, the Stadtwerke Bad Kissingen, the Anton and Katharina Schick Foundation, the numerous other supporters from business and the media, and especially its sponsoring association and the many private donors.