German Classical Music Festivals Thriving

Two of Germany’s biggest events, the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival and the Rheingau Musik Festival, can look back at successful 2016 editions. 

Photo: Dorfmöller & Kröger

Both festivals not only offer classical music a stage, but also jazz and, in the case of Rheingau Musik Festival, world music. The latter welcomed some 111,000 visitors over 10 weeks (June 18 to Aug. 27), selling 91 percent of its 122,000 contingent; 103 of the 152 concerts were sold out. Despite what has been a rainy summer season in Germany, almost all open-air events could be held outside. Next year, the festival will take place for the 30th time, an anniversary that Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival celebrated this year.

Between July 1 and Aug. 28, the north German festival attracted 151,000 people to its jubilee edition. Out of 178 concerts and seven music festivals, two of them aimed at children, 102 events were sold out. This vast offering is possible, because Rheingau as well as Schleswig Holstein are both regions that encompass numerous cities, towns and villages.

This means that concerts can take place at a range of unique settings. Castles, mansions, monasteries, barns, stables, wharfs, industrial hangars and cultural monuments and vineyard estates are all played on, offering visitors a chance to listen to music in settings outside the regular concert halls.