Donaueschingen Festival 2016

Festival for New Music

Klangkunst: Yutaka Makino "The Program Installation for one person" © SWR/Yutaka Makino

Established in 1921, the Donaueschingen Festival is the world's oldest festival for New Music and the most renowned of its kind in Germany. The festival has hosted the world premieres of many famous composers of the 20th century. Every October audiences can look forward to a wide selection of today's musical avant-garde.

18 world premieres, sound installations and numerous special events

The 2016 edition of the Donaueschingen Festival featured twelve concerts with a total of 18 world premieres, sound installations, performance projects and numerous special events.

The festival highlights included the world premieres of new works by Peter Ablinger, James Dillon, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Gander, Rebecca Saunders, Martin Smolka, Marco Stroppa and Michael Wertmüller and the German premiere of Peter Eötvös’s “Siren” cycle. The programme also featured works by prominent composers of the younger generation, such as Joanna Bailie, Martin Jaggi, Daniel Wohl and Nathan Davis.

As in previous years, the Donaueschingen Festival had invited an array of outstanding ensembles and performers, including the Klangforum Wien, ensemble recherche, Arditti and Calder Quartet, the avant-jazz rock group Steamboat Switzerland, IRCAM, the trombonist Mike Svoboda and the sopranos Juliet Fraser and Audrey Luna. These have been joined by three SWR orchestras – the Vokalensemble, the Experimentalstudio and the SWR Symphony Orchestra – which have enriched the festival with their extensive experience in the area of contemporary music.

The sound installations have been presented by Thomas Köner, Yutaka Makino and Johannes S. Sistermanns. This year’s programme also included a lecture by the English music philosopher Roger Scruton and numerous audience discussions with the composers. For several months listeners had the opportunity to listen to Hannes Seidl’s radiophonic project “Good Morning Germany”, broadcast online from the refugee shelter in Donaueschingen every Wednesday from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Artistic director: Björn Gottstein
Artists: Arditti Quartet, Calder Quartet, Juliet Fraser, IRCAM, Audrey Luna, Steamboat Switzerland, Mike Svoboda, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, SWR Vokalensemble und Experimentalstudio des SWR and others

Cultural Institutions of Excellence awarded additional funding

At its most recent session on 28 November 2016, the Board of Trustees of the Federal Cultural Foundation agreed to continue financing and – for the first time – provide additional funding to the currently funded “Cultural Institutions of Excellence” until 2022. In accordance with this funding decision, the Donaueschingen Festival will now receive 252,000 euros per annual edition.


Städtisches Kultur- und Verkehrsamt Donaueschingen

Karlstraße 58

78166 Donaueschingen

Tel.: +49 (0)771 857 266

Fax: +49 (0)771 857 228 (external link, opens in a new window)