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Presentation of the 2024 festival program

On Tuesday, January 16, the Kissinger Sommer and its artistic director Alexander Steinbeis presented the program of the 2024 festival, which will take place from June 21 to July 21, at a presentation in Berlin.

A presentation of the Kissinger Sommer in Berlin? Of course, the location was not chosen by chance, as the metropolis on the Spree plays an important role in the 38th International Music Festival. Exciting, varied and top-class concert programs, numerous guest performances by world-class orchestras and outstanding artists promise a first-class festival experience in the magnificent ambience of the Kissinger concert halls..

»I still have a suitcase in ... «

After the places of longing in the south, which the Kissinger Sommer visited musically last year, the festival now focuses on Berlin - the capital, city of music, culture and entertainment, whose inhabitants have enjoyed making pilgrimages to Bad Kissingen since the 19th century to find rest and recuperation. The painter Adolph von Menzel and the writer Theodor Fontane were among them, as were Empress Auguste Victoria and Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who moved his seat of government to Kissingen for four weeks "to slim down" a whole 15 times.. 

Berlin was and is also a place of longing, and not just for the icons Marlene Dietrich and Hildegard Knef, whose song "Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in ..." gave the 2024 festival its motto. The city with its eventful history presents itself here with a grandiose musical panorama that spans the brilliant entertainment culture as well as the greatest art - from miniature cabaret chansons to operettas and symphonies. To this day, Berlin exerts an enormous attraction on world-class artists, and many of them are guests at the Kissinger Sommer this year, as well as three orchestras, two choirs, two opera houses and numerous ensembles from the metropolis. Composers such as C.P.E. Bach, Busoni and Mendelssohn, who lived and worked in Berlin, can be found on the program as well as those who only had professional ties to the capital, including Brahms and Bruckner, Wagner and Strauss, Hindemith and Schönberg. 

Orchestra Concerts at Max Littmann Hall

The BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo opens the festival with a festive concert gala based around Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - with actress Martina Gedeck as the narrator. The conductor and orchestra can also be heard with the magnificent Vilde Frang and Elgar's Violin Concerto and Beethoven's Sixth. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra will also be performing twice: Under Edward Gardner with Brahms' Fourth and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with Veronika Eberle, under Krzysztof Urbański with Mendelssohn's Fourth and Schumann's Cello Concerto with Kian Soltani. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle bring together Brahms's Second and Wagner's "Walküre" - with Anja Kampe and Michael Volle - while the Munich Philharmonic under Paolo Bortolameolli burns down Latin American fireworks with the Los Pitutos ensemble. The focus on Berlin also brings numerous capital city orchestras to Bad Kissingen: Anton Bruckner's "Romantic" Fourth will be performed by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester under Tugan Sokhiev and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester under Vladimir Jurowski with the Seventh. Joana Mallwitz conducts her Konzerthausorchester in Ives and Beethoven's "Eroica", star violinist Christian Tetzlaff explores two generations of Bach with the Berlin Baroque Soloists and oboist Marie Tetzlaff, and the Kammerakademie Potsdam stages an exciting conversation between Prussian music of the 18th century and Viennese Classicism. Stegreif - The Improvising Symphony Orchestra brings its "Symphony of Change" of recomposition, performance and improvisation to the stage, while the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Jérémie Rhorer perform Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" and Hindemith's "Amor und Psyche". Finally, Trevor Pinnock and the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg will bring the festival to a close in an almost Olympic manner with summit works such as Mendelssohn's "Hebrides" Overture and Mozart's "Jupiter Symphony".

Keyboard Games

Piano music and its performers will also play an important role at the Kissinger Sommer 2024. The famous Hélène Grimaud devotes herself to Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Busoni, while Grigory Sokolov will surprise the audience with the program of his piano recital at short notice. Jean-Frédéric Neuburger will bring an absolute rarity to the stage with Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto, Martin Helmchen will perform Mozart, Lucas and Arthur Jussen will play Mendelssohn's Concerto for Two Pianos, Jan Lisiecki Beethoven's First Piano Concerto and Mihály Berecz, the winner of last year's KlavierOlymp, Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. Competition participants Martina Consonni and Mirabelle Kajenjeri will perform an afternoon concert together and the piano duo Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen will explore Schubert's music for four hands.

Chamber Music an more

The festival's chamber music programs are also top-class. Clarinettist Sabine Meyer is a loyal companion of the Kissinger Sommer. This time, together with violist Nils Mönkemeyer and pianist William Youn, she will be exploring the interplay between romanticism, folk music and brilliant sound art. The piano trio of Julia Fischer, Daniel Müller-Schott and Yulianna Avdeeva also promises a summit meeting of stars. Cellist Raphaela Gromes and pianist Julian Riem will present poetic and unforgettable works by female composers, while violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Rafał Blechacz will perform violin sonatas from Beethoven to Szymanowski. The Fauré Quartet will perform piano quartets by Schumann and the Mendelssohn siblings, while the Simply Quartet and pianist Lukas Sternath will perform Haydn, Brahms and Schönberg. Timothy Ridout and Federico Colli dedicate themselves to works for viola and piano, and mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital takes an open-air journey from the Baroque to the present day with accordionist Ksenija Sidorova.

Divas, Chanson and Operetta

With a prominent cast, the capital's great and magnificent cabaret scene is just as much a guest at the Kissinger Sommer as the light muse in elegant garb: an absolute highlight is Barrie Kosky's production of Oscar Strauss' operetta "A Woman Who Knows What She Wants!" - sung and performed by Dagmar Manzel, Max Hopp and the Komische Oper Berlin orchestra. Katharine Mehrling performs songs from Kurt Weill's Berlin period together with the orchestra. Chanson singer Tim Fischer searches for happiness in songs by Jacques Brel, Georgette Dee and Thomas Pigor, while Désirée Nick, glamorous all-rounder and "the last living diseuse", devotes herself to the grandes dames of cabaret and also appears a few days later as a reciting dancer. "Berlin, Du coole Sau" is the title of a fast-paced revue with singers Sharon Brauner and Meta Hüper, travesty artist Ades Zabel and the Capital Dance Orchestra. And finally, the phenomenal Moka Efti Orchestra musically revives the dance club of the same name from the hit series "Babylon Berlin".

Dance and Literature

Never before has there been a dance matinée at the Kissiner Sommer: choreographer Andreas Heise brings a special kind of "retrospective" to the stage with his ensemble, three instruments and dancing narrator Desirée Nick. Actor Thomas Thieme reads from biographies, memoirs and correspondence by Otto von Bismarck. 

Vocal and Sacred Music

Songs and ballads by Schubert, Wolf and Carl Loewe are presented by baritone Konstantin Krimmel and his piano accompanist Ammiel Bushakevitz. With two concerts, the "Kissinger LiederWerkstatt" continues the tradition established in 2006 of juxtaposing popular art songs with commissioned works, this time by Marta Gentilucci, Christian Jost, Daria Pavlotskaya, Steffen Schleiermacher, Manfred Trojahn and Ying Wang. The Rundfunkchor Berlin, one of the best vocal ensembles in the world, returns to the Kissinger Sommer with Rossini's "Petite Messe solennelle". The RIAS Chamber Choir places Renaissance masses in the context of today's and their contemporaries, and the ladies of the BBC Singers join their orchestra. Two concert services with local ensembles will once again accompany the festival. The program this time includes C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat and Haydn's "Theresienmesse".

Cinema, Jazz and Open Air

In the footsteps of George Gershwin, the famous BigBand of the Deutsche Oper Berlin performs open air in the inner courtyard of the Luitpoldbad. The trio led by vibraphonist Oli Bott promises top-class musical enjoyment at lunchtime with a jazzy adventure through music history, as does the Frank Dupree Trio, which follows jazz from New York to Moscow to Berlin with works by Weill, Kapustin and Gershwin. The director Walter Ruttmann captured the capital's "Symphony of the Big City" on the screen in 1927; the legendary silent film can be experienced with the original salon orchestra music with the Staatsbad Philharmonie Kissingen.

Concerts for everyone, concerts to participate in

In 2024, members of the guest orchestras and choirs as well as ensembles from Bad Kissingen ensembles will once again set the mood for the weekend concerts in ten prelude concerts. They will take place on Friday and Saturday at 6 pm in various squares in Bad Kissingen and offer a free, relaxed and low-threshold open-air prelude to the festival evenings. Here, the town becomes a stage and the whole of Bad Kissingen is welcome. This also applies to the Kissingen Symphonic Mob, where all music enthusiasts and amateur musicians are cordially invited to join conductor Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform highlights by Brahms, Grieg, Prokofiev and Wagner.. 

For Children and Young People

The Puppenphilharmonie Berlin has become an indispensable guest at the festival, delighting young and old music lovers alike with its programs. "Der gute Ton" combines magical puppetry and fun, playful music education with baroque masterpieces and creative sounds of today. And the "Symphonic Mob" is of course also open to all age groups.

Before and after the Concert

"For a coffee with ..." is the name of the popular matinee format for which Artistic Director Alexander Steinbeis welcomes prominent artists from the festival every Saturday morning for a lively discussion in the White Hall of the Regentenbau. Concert introductions with expert and music-loving speakers take place every Friday afternoon at 5 pm in the Green Hall. Finally, the After-concert Lounge in the Schmuckhof on Fridays invites you to round off the concert evening in the cozy courtyard of the Regentenbau with subtle music, a glass or two of good wine and a relaxed chat. 

Unique Venues

The fact that the Kissinger Sommer has made an excellent name for itself internationally is undoubtedly due to its top-class musical program. However, the ambience of the location, in particular the quality of the concert halls, which is hard to find anywhere else in the world, also contributes to the enthusiasm of the audience. The major orchestral concerts take place in the Max Littmann Hall in the Regentenbau, which boasts phenomenal acoustics thanks to its sophisticated cherry wood paneling. The Rossini Hall in the adjoining arcade building is ideal for chamber music in all instrumentations. The Kurtheater offers space for musical theater and other performances. Other permanent festival venues include the Protestant Church of the Redeemer and the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, and the architecturally attractive inner courtyard of the Luitpoldbad for open-air events. Matinee concerts also take place in the Grand Hotel Kaiserhof Victoria and in the Kurgarten Café, and guided tours in the Bismarck Museum. The Kissinger Sommer also hosts selected concerts outside the city in the ballroom of Maria Bildhausen Monastery near Münnerstadt, at Aschach Castle and at the Brückenau State Spa. 

Concert Packages and Bus Service

Once again this year, Kissinger Sommer is offering small and large concert packages for the festival's weekend programs, allowing customers to benefit from savings of up to 10%. Guests from Fulda and Würzburg can look forward to an inexpensive, convenient shuttle bus service from both cities and back before and after all evening concerts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.