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1770_1827 Beethoven Metamorphosis

The Kissinger Sommer announces its programme for 2020!

Konzert Metamorphosen

In 2020, the year of Beethoven's anniversary, the Kissinger Sommer operates under the motto „1770_1827 Beethoven Metamorphosis“. The festival will be defined by its coverage of the Vienna classical composer with 58 concerts from the 19th of June to the 19th of July. Other than the Missa solemnis and the 9th Symphony, performed masterfully by Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and French orchestra Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, there also are more novel formats played in our historical concert sites. Artist in Residence is French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.


As expected of any classical music festival, the Kissinger Sommer will present a selection of Beethoven's most important works such as symphonies no. 1, 8 and 9, piano sonatas 3 and 5 as well as the violin concerto and all the violin and cello sonatas. Five chosen pianists of the Bad Kissingen Piano Olympics will tackle Beethoven's piano sonatas. The titular Beethoven Metamorphosis will be renditions and new perspectives on the composers repertoire. Together with Kuss quartet and under the title of „Force & Freedom“, theatre company Nico & the Navigators have created a poetic interpretation of Beethoven's later quartets, a scenic concert for string quartet, electric guitar, performer and soud designer. Under the title of „Beloved Distance“ the Bad Kissingen SongWorkshop will take Beethoven's unique song cycle as an inspiration for six newly composed works. Violinist Elena Denisova will perform a violin version of the second piano concerto. On the 18th of July the Beethoven Metamorphosis Day will show Beethoven's connection with modernity and folk music.

There will be three excellent productions in cooperation with „BTHVN 2020“ and officials for culture and media of the German government. Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen will perform Missa Solemnis with their chief conductor Paavo Järvi (11th of July), Le Cercle de l'Harmonie under Jérémie Rhorer will head the final concert with Beethoven's 9th Symphony (19th of July). As the third of his most well-known works, Beethoven's only opera will be performed in a new version by the Bad Kissingen Future Lab. Under the title „Leonore“ / „Fidelio“ 2020 pupils and students from the local area will write a new version of the work with the help of a project orchestra led by Johannes Klumpp.

The distinct feature of the fourth festival under the direction of Tilman Schlömp, beside the focus on Beethoven, is the incorporation of Jazz, Pop and comedy. In 2020 jazz and pop artists with „classical roots“ are joining the festival line-up such as the duo  Igudesman & Joo, pianist Iiro Rantala, Nils Wülker or Max Mutzke, who will partake in the high art of duet with classically trained pianist Marialy Pacheco in the Kurtheater.

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet manages to turn technical perfection into musical expression like no other. As Artist in Residence 2020 he will be the counter point to the central theme of Beethoven. Together with Orchestre National de Lyon he will perform Gershwin's virtuosic piano concerto and with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin he will bring us Franz Liszt's second piano concerto. Together with violinist Nicola Benedetti he presents classic of the virtuosic chamber music of Brahms, Prokofiew and Ravel. A favourite of his is the late night programme which he will design with musicians of DSO Berlin to combine French and American music in the space between jazz and classical.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet © Andrew Ecclest

Other than select chamber concerts of the „Kammerphilharmonie & friends“ line, the partnership with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen covers three orchestra concerts. Among Missa solemnis the orchestra will take a creative new look at Vienna classical with pianist Iiro Rantala in the Regentenbau, such as the new composition „Best of Beethoven“. Together renowned soprano singer Angela Gheorghiu, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen will open the festival on the 19th of June.

Festivalorchester © Julia Baier

Other unique formats at the Kissinger Sommer 2020 consist of a concert by the young oerchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic under Kristjan Järvi and a performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on the composer's 125th birthday (10th of July). In keeping with the subtitle of the work („imaginibus magicis“), visuals by Berlin movie artist Michael Carstens is adding a whole new layer to the concert by Bamberger Symphoniker with his visuals in the inner courtyard of the Luitpoldbad.

In 2020 the Kissinger Sommer spans 58 events, from grand symphonic productions to a musical paper chase for families and children. In addition there three master courses by French pianist François-Frédéric Guy with participants of the Bad Kissingen Piano Olympics 2019, as well as a special concert with pianist Khatia Buniatishvili on the 8th of May 2020.

As a traditional yet modern place, the Bad Kissingen SongWorkshop remains an experiment of the highest class for the Kissinger Sommer. „Here song blooms in all its glory“, FAZ wrote about the SongWorkshop in 2019. For Bad Kissingen SongWorkshop 2020 Wolfgang Rihm, Manfred Trojahn, Steffen Schleiermacher as well as three younger composers are writing entrirely new works. Bad Kissingen SongWorkshop is sponsored the foundation Anton und Katharina Schick Stiftung.

The 31,800 tickets in offers ranging from € 10 to €125 are available from the 25th of November onwards under Tel.  +49 971 8048-444  (Mo-Fr 8:30 AM- 8 PM, Sat/Sun 10 AM – 2 PM) as well as under Members of the Sponsorship Foundation Kissinger Sommer can order right away. The programme 2020 is presented in Corporate Design, which was named „Winner 2018“ in October 2017 by German DesignAward.

In addition to the one-time aid for the Beethoven anniversary year the Kissinger Sommer could procure funds from public support and private sponsors which resulted in a total of € 750,000 additional funds. Other than the main sponsors, the Bavarian State, region of Lower Franconia, rural district of Bad Kissingen, Kissinger Sommer Sponsorship Foundation, City Works Bad Kissingen and Sparkasse Bad Kisssingen, 14 event sponsors, foundations, media and cooperative partners are helping the Kissinger Sommer succeed, such as the Anton Schick Group.

The expanded service offers will remain for the Kissinger Sommer 2020. This includes concert introductions and select Artist Meets in the Schmuckhof. Here you can talk with some of the artists about their concert and enjoy a glass of wine. For visitors from Würzburg and Fulda the Kissinger Sommer offers a shuttle service on three concert days. Bus transfer can be booked when buying a ticket.