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The Themes of the Festival Summer 2020

Rheingau Musik Festival from June 20 to September 5 2020

© Hannah Meinhardt

The Rheingau Music Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe and every year it stages over 170 concerts throughout the region, from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden and the Middle Rhine Valley. Unique cultural monuments such as Kloster Eberbach, Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Vollrads and the Kurhaus Wiesbaden as well as secluded wineries are transformed into concert stages for stars of the international music scene, from classical music and jazz to cabaret and world music.

The 33rd season of the Rheingau Music Festival will take place from 20 June to 5 September 2020 and is all about "freedom". As Artist in Residence, Lisa Batiashvili will be showing all her skills in four events featuring music from Bach to Arvo Pärt at the Rheingau Music Festival. Soprano Julia Lezhneva will be the focus artist in five events with music from Bach to Rachmaninov. This year Gabriela Montero is Composer & Artist in Residence. In three events she will perform her own compositions as well as works from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Alfred Schnittke. As a focus jazz artist, Wolfgang Haffner will be presenting his musical finesse in four events at the Rheingau Music Festival, with Michael Wollny, Max Mutzke and Thomas Quasthoff, among others. In addition, this year the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven is in the foreground. The Rheingau Music Festival celebrates the great composer with numerous concerts and events. Other focal points are the "Next Generation" and "Jazz & more" series.

Artist in Residence - Focus - Composer & Artist in Residence - Focus Jazz

Artist in Residence: Lisa Batiashvili

Lisa Batiashvili © Sammy Hart / DG
Lisa Batiashvili © Sammy Hart / DG

Even when Lisa Batiashvili held her first violin in her hand at the age of two, it was clear: there is a very special connection between her and this instrument. Only ten years later she left her home country Georgia and came to Germany with her parents to study violin in Hamburg and Munich. Today she performs on the world's major stages with the most important artists of our Time and always impresses with its clear, singing tone as well as its musically touching interpretations of known and unknown works. As artist in residence, Lisa Batiashvili is a central face of the festival summer 2020.

As Artist in Residence, Lisa Batiashvili will be a guest at the Rheingau Music Festival 2020 with three very special concert evenings, where she will show her multifaceted artistic facets. To kick off the festival, we will see her as soloist with Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D Minor op. 47, about which she herself says: "I love it! I have the feeling that it really is a part of my life and my musical history". She will perform it together with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and its chief conductor and music director Paavo Järvi (June 25). Lisa Batiashvili will be accompanied by four musicians and the actress Katja Riemann for her second performance in her residence. Together they will present their version of Schubert's "Trout Quintet" D 677 and put the work in a completely new light by combining music and literature (July 3). The Rendezvous with Lisa Batiashvili promises a look at the person behind the music - a discussion evening with the music journalist Katharina Eickhoff (August 26). Lisa Batiashvili will conclude her residency at the Rheingau Music Festival 2020 with a musical city tour that will musically illuminate a wide variety of cosmopolitan cities through masterpieces by various composers (August 27). She will be accompanied by the Camerata Salzburg and conductor and oboist François Leleux, her husband.

This link will list all concerts with Lisa Batiashvili.

Focus: Julia Lezhneva

Julia Lezhneva © Emil Matveev
Julia Lezhneva © Emil Matveev

The young Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva has already made it to the great concert stages of the world in her early twenties. Her voice is natural, slender and crystal clear, she sings the most difficult coloraturas of concert and opera literature effortlessly and always has a smile on her lips. She is passionate about baroque music, but also works of great classical masters seem to be tailor-made for her. She came into contact with classical music at an early age, initially receiving piano lessons. At the age of eleven she finally developed her love for singing, which has remained until today. Thus the singer moves safely through all genres of the vocal literature. At the Rheingau Music Festival, she devotes five concerts to very different programs in which she can present her full vocal range.

As a focus artist, Julia Lezhneva appears in five concerts with different musical partners. Together with the MDR-Rundfunkchor, the NDR Chor, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Andrés Orozco-Estrada, she will perform Schubert's Mass in A-flat Major in the two opening concerts of the festival (June 20/June 21). In her next concert, whose programme will focus on Mozart and his contemporaries, the soprano will meet Il Giardino Armonico and its conductor Giovanni Antonini, who is both a role model and friend for Julia Lezhneva (July 2). Of course, a baroque programme must not be missing from her focus: On this evening, the singer will present with La Voce Strumentale and Dmitry Sinkovsky works by the baroque grandmasters Bach, Vivaldi and Handel (August 5). Julia Lezhneva concludes her focus together with pianist Pavel Nersessian with an intimate recital in which the two take their audience on a journey through different times and countries (August 11).

This link will list all concerts with Julia Lezhneva.

Composer & Artist in Residence: Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero © Klaus Weddig
Gabriela Montero © Klaus Weddig

Gabriela Montero is a musical force of nature - equally accomplished pianist, visionary interpreter and gifted composer, sparkling with boundless energy and full of enthusiasm. As an artist she inspires audiences around the world with passion, subtle elegance, refined lightness and unbridled expressiveness. But her special trademark is improvisation. A simple melody is enough to make the music fly. Sometimes she baroquises a theme, sometimes she makes it swing, sometimes she dresses it in a romantic garment. In this way she creates a bridge to the audience. A rare gift in classical music - as rare as her clear political stance when it comes to the future of her home country Venezuela.

As Composer & Artist in Residence, Gabriela Montero comes to the Rheingau Music Festival with musical companions and shows her entire artistic range in three concerts. As Composer & Artist in Residence, Gabriela Montero will be presenting all her skills in three concerts featuring music from Mozart to Schnittke, her own compositions and spontaneous improvisations. She is accompanied to the concerts by friends, musicians and ensembles with whom she has longstanding musical partnerships. In concert with the Apollon Musagète Quartet, the programme includes works by Schumann, Corea and Shostakovich about childhood and growing up, Montero's "Scenes from Childhood" and improvisations (8.7.) As a soloist she will perform her tone poem "Ex Patria" and Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto with the hr-Sinfonieorchester and Hugh Wolff (13.8.). Finally, she will perform with one of her favourite ensembles: the Scottish Ensemble and Montero will interpret works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Schnittke as well as her composition "Babel" - again rounded off by unique improvisations (26.8.).

This link will list all concerts with Gabriela Montero.

Focus Jazz: Wolfgang Haffner

Wolfgang Haffner © Antje Wiech / ACT
Wolfgang Haffner © Antje Wiech / ACT

Wolfgang Haffner is one of the most famous drummers in Germany. With a large number of concerts per year, the musician born in 1965 in the tranquil Wunsiedel can now call almost the whole world his home. He loves the freedom in jazz, but above all he loves the possibility to let off steam musically. Improvised music challenges him again and again, drives his creativity and, first and foremost, gives him incredible fun. As a focus jazz artist at the Rheingau Music Festival 2020, Wolfgang Haffner will let his audience share in his great joy of playing.

With this link all concerts with Wolfgang Haffner are listed.

Thematic Keynotes

Freedom

The festival season 2020 is under the motto "freedom". The Rheingau Music Festival continues to think about this central concept of our time on an artistic level: free musical forms such as fantasies, variations and improvisations are on the programme, along with arrangements, arrangements and transcriptions of existing works, as well as artists who take the liberty of rethinking music, transforming it into another art form and creating something completely new from existing works. The Rheingau Music Festival brings together artists and ensembles who illuminate "freedom" in very different ways. They look beyond the musical horizon and thus contribute to a lively debate. The central artists Lisa Batiashvili, Julia Lezhneva, Gabriela Montero and Wolfgang Haffner were inspired in their projects by the central idea of this year's festival. Beethoven took the idea of freedom into his whole life and work. The audience is invited to go on a journey of discovery in this cosmos.

The concerts of the thematic focus "freedom" can be found under this link.

Beethoven: 250th birthday

© Tania Miron / unspash /Q
© Tania Miron / unspash /Q

Ludwig van Beethoven is considered a revolutionary and visionary who was not only highly open to the musical ideas of his time. His radical artistry continues to inspire the musical world to the present day: during his lifetime he was a cosmopolitan and still is in his music. The utopias of freedom and fraternity, which he passionately advocated, are of great topicality. Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770 and spent most of his life in Vienna. In 2020 the whole world will celebrate his 250th birthday. The anniversary offers an opportunity to take a new approach to Beethoven's personality, work and influence. His compositional output will form a central core of the Rheingau Festival Summer.

Top international ensembles interpret the groundbreaking symphonies. Jan Lisiecki and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe will perform Beethoven's five piano concertos. On the programme are the Missa solemnis, conducted by Kent Nagano, the Mass in C major, sung by the Dresden Chamber Choir, and his Violin Concerto, played by Anne-Sophie Mutter. In addition, top-class artists and ensembles devote themselves to songs, sonatas, piano trios and string quartets. In several projects Beethoven's works are taken apart, changed, examined for their topicality and expressiveness, placed in other contexts and transferred to other art forms.

Under this link you will find all concerts of the Beethoven focus.

Next Generation

Nuron Mukumi
Nuron Mukumi

The Rheingau Musik Festival brings the largest international artists to the region, but at the same time sees its task as taking over responsibility for young musical talent. With established concert formats such as "Classical Marathon" and "Young Master Pianists of the Russian School", aspiring talents who are still at the beginning of their career receive a podium and are supported in their musical development. Particularly outstanding young artists and ensembles will have the opportunity to present themselves to a wide audience in the series "Next Generation". In addition, large youth orchestras regularly appear at the Rheingau Music Festival and inspire with freshness and passion. We accompany the greatest musical talents on their way to mature artists and regularly invite them to the festival. The stage becomes larger with each concert, the accompaniment becomes more space-filling, the performances are more profiled, the repertoire more courageous. Every year, an artist of the "Next Generation" is awarded the coveted LOTTO sponsorship prize of the Rheingau Musik Festival, which is donated by LOTTO Hessen and endowed with 15,000 euros.

Under this link you will find all concerts of this topic.

Jazz & more

Silje Nergaard © Mathias Bothor
Silje Nergaard © Mathias Bothor

Under our focus "Jazz & more", we assemble projects that spring from jazz in many different ways, continue to transcend the most diverse styles and varieties, and absorb the diverse influences of foreign countries and cultures. These concerts in particular show what universal language jazz is, a language that can be felt by anyone, that has special experiences and that, above all, makes one thing: connect. Our unique venues also contribute to musical enjoyment. The open-air stages in the Rheingau are among the most beautiful of the festival, because here the summer can be experienced most intensely with music. The Wiesbadener Kurpark, the Cuvéehof of Schloss Johannisberg and the lakeside stage of Schloss Vollrads form atmospheric backdrops for unique concert experiences. But our indoor venues such as the Alte Lokhalle in Mainz and the slaughterhouse in Wiesbaden shine with fresh and unused charm between former industrial and modern.

Under this link you will find all concerts of this topic.

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