Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is one of the most outstanding universally educated and versatile musicians of the 19th century. His musical activities as a composer, conductor and pianist took him all over Europe. For twelve years his centre of life was Leipzig. As Gewandhauskapellmeister and co-founder of the first German conservatory, he had a decisive influence on the musical life and charisma of the city.
This year's Mendelssohn Festival from 29 October to 5 November 2023 will focus on the artist's masterpieces and the music of the Romantic period. The memory of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy has been kept alive in a demanding and varied programme since 1997 and for the past two years in cooperation between the Gewandhaus Leipzig and the Mendelssohn House. This year's festival scores with a selection of outstanding guests, including Magdalena Kožená, Sir András Schiff, the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble, Andris Nelsons, the Gewandhaus Orchestra and, of course, Elena Bashkirova. Mendelssohn's oeuvre continues intensively throughout the season beyond the Mendelssohn Festival, as Gewandhauskapellmeister Andris Nelson conducts all of his predecessor's symphonies in Grand Concerts. Another highlight is the reconstruction of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's organ concerto, which he played on 6 August 1840 in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in aid of a Bach memorial. Today, Gewandhaus organist Michael Schönheit sits at the organ.