Kissinger Sommer


The Kissinger Sommer is a classical music festival held every year in the summer in the city of
Bad Kissingen Bad Kissingen is a German spa town in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia and County town, seat of the Bad Kissingen (district), district Bad Kissingen. Situated to the south of the Rhön Mountains on the Franconian Saale, Franconian S ...
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...

, Southern Germany.


The festival was founded in 1986. At the beginning the focus of the festival was on the improvement of the cultural relations between eastern and western Europe. Every year an east-european country was partner of the festival, beginning with Hungary in 1986. Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union followed. So the festival became a place where one could see artists from east and west, especially of the partner-countries and of East-Germany. Among the artists of the first years were
Dmitry Sitkovetsky Dmitry Yulianovich Sitkovetsky (russian: Дмитрий Юлианович Ситковецкий; born September 27, 1954) is a Soviet Union, Soviet-Russian born classical music, classical violinist, conducting, conductor and arranger, most notably ...
Boris Pergamenschikow Boris Mironowitsch Pergamenschikow, , (born 29 August 1948 in Leningrad, died 30 April 2004 in Berlin), was a Russian-born cellist. His father was also a cellist, and gave his son his first lessons. In 1974, Boris Pergamenschikow won a gold medal ...
and Svjatoslav Richter. After the fall of the iron curtain the festival turned to a world-wide view with partner-countries in whole Europe, North America and China. Every summer around 50 concerts are attracting about 30 000 visitors. The occurring interpreters are a mixture of well-known international stars like
Cecilia Bartoli Cecilia Bartoli, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Cavaliere OMRI (; born 4 June 1966) is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. She is best known for her interpretations of the music of Vincenzo Bellini, Bellini, ...
Arcadi Volodos Arcadi Arcadievich Volodos (russian: Аркадий Аркадиевич Володось, links=no, ''Arkadij Arkadievich Volodos''; born 24 February 1972) is a Russian pianist. His first name is sometimes transliterated Arcady or Arkady. Biogra ...
, Fazil Say or Grigory Sokolov, and newcomers, who often later have made a great career too, like Lang Lang, Diana Damrau or David Garrett (musician), David Garrett. Director of the "Kissinger Sommer" from 1986 until 2016 was Kari Kahl-Wolfsjäger. Her successor, beginning in 2017, was Tilman Schlömp, formerly artistic director at the festival Beethovenfest in Bonn. He changed the concept of the festival. Instead of partner countries, there are now main topics, starting in 2017 with the motto "1830 – Romantic Revolution" and followed in 2018 by "1918 – emergence of the modern age". The contract of Schlömp ended in 2021. Alexander Steinbeis, previously orchestra director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, DSO Berlin, was appointed as his successor from 2022 on. In 2020 the festival was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contemporary Music

From the beginning the festival is also a place for contemporary composers like Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Edison Denisov, Aribert Reimann or Wolfgang Rihm. There have been world premieres of composers like Jean Françaix (Dixtuor, in 1987), Krzysztof Penderecki (Sinfonietta No. 2 for clarinet and string orchestra, in 1994) and Fazil Say (Sonata for clarinet and piano, op. 42, in 2012). Since 2006 composers present themselves and premieres of their music in the workshop ''Bad Kissinger Liederwerkstatt''. Up to 2018, around 80 world premieres have already been produced as part of the Liederwerkstatt. However, there are also world premieres outside the Liederwerkstatt, such as the ''Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra'' by Gediminas Gelgotas in 2018 and in 2019 a new version of the opera "Orfeo ed Euridice" by Damian Scholl.

Artists in residence

Artist-in-residence, Artists-in-residence have been in the last years: * 2014 Ning Feng and Igor Levit * 2015 Igor Levit * 2016 Daniil Trifonov * 2017 Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Vesselina Kasarova * 2018 Sol Gabetta * 2019 Julia Lezhneva * 2020 Jean-Yves Thibaudet (planned, festival cancelled)

Orchestra in residence

* 2017 – 2021 Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

Luitpold Prize

Every year since 1999 the ''Luitpoldpreis'' (Luitpold Prize) is awarded to a young interpreter of the festival. The prize is named after Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, who let build the great Bad Kissingen concert hall ''Regentenbau (Bad Kissingen), Regentenbau'', where many of the concerts of the festival take place. The winners are: *1999 – Nikolaj Znaider, violin *2000 – Alisa Weilerstein, cello *2001 – Jochen Kupfer, baritone *2002 – , soprano *2003 – Baiba Skride, violin *2004 – Jan Kobow, tenor *2005 – Mojca Erdmann, soprano *2006 – :en:Peter Ovtcharov, Peter Ovtcharov, piano *2007 – Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet *2008 – David Lomeli, tenor *2009 – Igor Levit, piano *2010 – Kejia Xiong, tenor *2011 – Anna Lucia Richter, soprano *2012 – Dmitry Korchak, tenor *2013 – Julia Novikova (soprano), Julia Novikova, soprano *2013 – Konstantin Shamray, piano *2014 – Kian Soltani, cello *2015 – , tenor *2016 – Andrei Ioniță, cello *2017 – Julian Trevelyan (pianist), Julian Trevelyan, piano *2018 – , soprano *2019 – , tenor *2020 – not awarded (festival cancelled) *2021 – Sarah Aristidou, soprano

Kissinger Klavierolymp

The festival is connected to the ''Kissinger Klavierolymp'' (''Kissinger Piano Olympics''), a competition of young pianists in autumn in Bad Kissingen. The prize for the winners is a performance at the ''Kissinger Sommer''. Among them are Martin Helmchen, Nikolai Tokarev (pianist), Nikolai Tokarev, Kirill Gerstein, Igor Levit, Alice Sara Ott and Kit Armstrong. Among the last winners are Elisabeth Brauß (2016), Emre Yavuz (2017) and Juan Pérez Floristán (2018). Juan Pérez Floristán gewinnt Kissinger KlavierOlymp
Main-Post 9 October 2018



External links

Homepage "Kissinger Sommer"Opening concert 2017
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen {{Authority control Music festivals established in 1986 Classical music festivals in Germany Franconian culture Summer festivals Bad Kissingen Tourist attractions in Bavaria