The land of music

The delightful sounds of Saxony

Be it the Semper Opera House in Dresden, numerous Wagner or Bach sites or the famous St. Thomas Boys' Choir of Leipzig: Saxony shines brightly as a centre of musical culture. Everywhere in the region you will find outstanding orchestras and choirs with long-standing traditions that spoil their audiences with musical performances of world-class standard. Visitors can enjoy the best of music in unique venues and walk in the footsteps of the musical geniuses.

 

Highlights

Dresden Semper Opera

Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig

„Music is a second revelation of the world, the ineffable sounding mystery of existence.”
Richard Wagner, German composer (1813-1883)

Great composers and museums

  • Johann Sebastian Bach in the Bach Museum and St. Thomas Church in Leipzig

  • Robert & Clara Schumann in Zwickau and Leipzig

  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig

  • The Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa

  • Carl-Maria von Weber in the Weber Museum in Hosterwitz

  • Music festival in honour of Heinrich Schütz

Unique orchestras and more

  • Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra with 185 top musicians is not for nothing high on the list of many music aficionados around the world. Whatever you do, try to attend one of their performances for an unforgettable experience!

  • For over 400 years, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden orchestra has inspired great composers with its fine and warm chamber music sound.

  • Performances of the Dresden Philharmonic are an integral part in the city’s cultural calendar and the orchestra stands for musical performances of the highest artistic standard.

  • The award-winning MDR Symphony Orchestra is Germany's oldest radio orchestra and one of the most exciting ensembles in the entire country.

  • The Robert Schumann Philharmonic Orchestra Chemnitz is known for outstanding concerts, operas and musicals and you will find its name on many award-winning albums.

  • Leipzig’s St. Thomas Boys' Choir with a tradition going back to the early 13th century was for 27 years under the cantorship of the great Johann Sebastian Bach himself and is today one of the oldest and most prestigious boys’ choirs in the world.

  • The Dresden Kreuzchor choir has been delighting audiences for over 800 years and is also one of the world’s oldest and most famous boys' choirs.

  • Modern dance has a long tradition in Saxony and can be enjoyed at the European Centre of the Arts Dresden Hellerau and the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden.

Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra

The Gewandhaus Orchestra has been part of Leipzig’s “soundtrack” since 1743. It is considered the world’s first civic symphony orchestra, and with 185 musicians, it is also one of the largest. The Gewandhaus trademark is a dark, romantic sound, shaped by some of the greatest conductors such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Gustav Mahler, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Kurt Masur. Gewandhaus Orchestra performances, which are always also an encounter with the history of Mozart, Liszt, Wagner and Brahms in Saxony, can be enjoyed at Leipzig Opera House, in concerts with the St. Thomas Boys' Choir and, above all, at the New Gewandhaus concert hall.

Major music festivals

  • The annual Bach Festival Leipzig is all about the brilliant composer with many events in churches and concert halls throughout the city.

  • With 1,500 musicians and top-notch concerts, Dresden Music Festival each year attracts tens of thousands of music lovers to the city on the Elbe.

  • The Moritzburg Festival is the largest chamber music festival in Germany and delights its audience with magnificent concerts in spectacular settings.

  • With concerts in picturesque churches and historic ballrooms, the Ore Mountains Music Festival  takes you on a musical voyage of discovery in one of Saxony’s most stunning sceneries.

  • The a capella Festival in Leipzig, founded by the "amarcord" ensemble, has become one of the most important meeting places for vocal ensembles from all over the world.

  • The MDR Music Summer is all about world-class music in unusual venues, including castles, monasteries as well as parks and gardens.

  • The Sandstone & Musik, Artmontan as well as the Saxon Mozart Festival present concerts in natural surroundings, including, in the case of Artmontan, underground.

  • The Lausitz Festival taking place in around 50 different locations in Saxony’s Lusatia region and across the border in neighbouring Poland features a range of cultural events, including concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances, which bring together regional and international artists.

Unique music venues

  • The Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall is the city’s musical centre. European as well as world music history has been written here.

  • Leipzig Opera House has seen premieres of great operas. Arthur Nikisch and Gustav Mahler worked here as conductors. Today, the legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra has taken its place in the orchestra pit.

  • The opera house in Chemnitz, located right in the city centre, has an impressive repertoire as well as the most modern concert technology in all of Europe.

  • Hellerau Festival House was originally designed to house the Rhythmic Dance School of Jacques Dalcroze and aimed at the integration of architecture, music, dance and theatre. Apart from being a centre for culture in Europe, it is also an important monument of the continent’s architectural history.

  • Dresden State Operetta is the only independent operetta theatre in Germany and its home, a former power station, is quite spectacular.

  • Destroyed during World War II and rebuilt after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dresden’s Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is a unique symbol of peace and reconciliation.

  • Felsenbühne Rathen, an open-air stage in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, is considered the most beautiful natural theatre in Europe, with impressive rock formations forming an ideal backdrop for spectacular performances.

Music sites in Saxony

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