Established in 1921, the Donaueschingen Music Festival is the oldest festival of New Music in the world and the most highly acclaimed of its kind in Germany. Many famous composers of the 20th and 21st century have presented world premieres of their works at the event. Staged every year in October, the festival presents a broad overview of the musical avant-garde.
Following last year’s centennial edition, the Donaueschinger Musiktage is celebrating the diverse range of international contemporary music ensembles in 2022. This year’s festival features leading formations from Stuttgart and Frankfurt, namely the Ensemble Ascolta, the Neue Vocalsolisten and the Ensemble Modern, as well as debut performances by Kwadrofonik from Poland and Talea from New York. The violinist Carolin Widmann and the Tocotronic singer Dirk von Lowtzow will also perform at the event for the first time. Audiences can look forward to experiencing numerous artists and musicians who are not yet well known in the German-speaking countries.
With two concerts and a documentary opera by Bernhard Lang, performed by the Neue Vocalsolisten and Gareth Davis on the bass clarinet, the opening day will feature three productions which musically explore the topic of Parkinson’s disease and such subjects as perception, loss of control, transience, death and life. In the opening four concerts featuring works by Clara Iannotta, Agata Zubel, Martin Schüttler and Thomas Meadowcroft, the SWR ensembles under the direction of Pascal Rophé navigate between musical merging and tonal heterogeneity. Agata Zubel will perform on stage as a hologram soloist.
The cellist and composer Tomeka Reid, currently one of the most innovative figures in the American music scene, will perform for the first time with her new ensemble. The sound artists Daniel Ott and Enrico Stolzenburg will present a new acoustic sculpture entitled “Zusammen Fluss” which will remain in Donaueschingen after the festival concludes. A performance by the Ensemble Modern conducted by Vimbayi Kaziboni on the final day will offer musical insights into Hannah Kendall’s extroverted musical language.
The festival also includes compositions and installations which were supposed to premiere in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, were postponed until now. This year’s edition will present a total of 27 world premieres and sound installations.
The Donaueschinger Musiktage 2022 will be the last festival curated by Björn Gottstein. The new artistic director Lydia Rilling will be taking the reins in 2023.
Selected concerts will be broadcast on SWR2. For more information, please view the programme flyer of the Donaueschinger Musiktage (external link, opens in a new window) (opens new window). A new feature on the SWR website is the multimedia festival archive (external link, opens in a new window) containing extensive information on the history of the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the festival editions, as well as all composers, works and participating artists.
Artistic director: Björn Gottstein
No upcoming events at present
13 October, 2022 to 16 October, 2022: Opening and performances
Amt für Kultur, Tourismus und Marketing Donaueschingen
www.swr.de/swr-classic/donaueschinger-musiktage (external link, opens in a new window)