Dresden Music Festival 2024 – “Horizons” (May 2024)

The Dresden Music Festival begins a four-week celebration of music in all its facets and genres: on May 9 with a historically informed concertante performance of Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre” with the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln at Kulturpalast, conducted by Kent Nagano. This concert is part of “The Wagner Cycles”, a project by the Dresden Music Festival under the overall artistic direction of Kent Nagano and Jan Vogler (Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival) which will bring all parts of Wagner’s Ring in historically informed concert performances to the stage until 2026. “The Wagner Cycles” will be continued with “Siegfried” in 2025.

Next concerts of the opening weekend: On May 10, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Klaus Mäkelä at Kulturpalast with Bruckners 5th Symphony, on May 11 Francesco Piemontesi’s piano recital at Palais im Großen Garten and the jazz-funk band Lehmanns Brothers at Reithalle Dresden and on May 12, with “Musica non grata” presenting two almost forgotten female composers (Amélie Nikisch & Rachel Danziger van Embden) at Palais im Großen Garten and in the evening, Dr. Harald Lesch and Merlin Ensemble Wien: “The Four Seasons in Climate Change” with music by Antonio Vivaldi at Kulturpalast.

Further information can be found on the Dresden Music Festival website:

The Wagner Cycles: Making-Of Rheingold (February 2024)

A Project of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele
under the artistic directorship of Jan Vogler and Kent Nagano

In “The Wagner Cycles”, the individual works of Richard Wagner’s tetralogy will be performed in concert in a special collaboration between the Dresdner Festspielorchester and Concerto Köln. Der Ring des Nibelungen will be re-examined, rehearsed and performed – in the artistic context of the time when it was first produced, on the basis of the most recent research on Wagner and historical performance practice, flanked by a comprehensive framework programme.

Last year, the project included the celebrated tour of Das Rheingold with musicians from the Dresdner Festspielorchester and Concerto Köln as well as renowned soloists at the Dresden Kulturpalast, Cologne Philharmonie, the Ravello Festival and the Lucerne Festival.

The making-of video of Das Rheingold on YouTube gives a deeper insight into the project:

Dresdner Musikfestspiele program 2024: “Horizons” (November 2023)

Next year’s edition of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele with its theme “Horizons” will take place from May 9 to June 9, 2024.

Jan Vogler, cellist and Intendant of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, is focusing on variety and new discoveries in the program of the 47th festival:

“The reception of classical music is changing. It could be the biggest transformation for almost a hundred years. We let ourselves be inspired by this and explore new horizons with our fantastic audience in 2024. I am looking forward to the most colorful festival year since the festival was founded.”


The opening concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Klaus Mäkelä and the closing concert with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša form a classical framework for a whole festival month in which classical music meets pop, jazz and dance.

Other highlights of the festival include the concert with Jan Vogler (cello) and Daniel Hope (violin) with Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin under the direction of Anna Rakitina and performances by Sting and jazz singer Laufey.

As part of a special concert, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will perform under the direction of Jaap Van Zweden with a new composition by Daniel Lo and pianist Alexandre Kantorow.


Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” with the Dresdner Festspielorchester & Concerto Köln at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele (June 2023)

With standing ovations, the audience celebrated the team of the Wagner Project of the Dresdner Musikfestspiele at the performance on Wednesday – under the direction of Kent Nagano, the musicians of the Dresdner Festspielorchester and Concerto Köln and soloists presented Wagner’s “Das Rheingold” in historically informed performance practice. But it is the intensive work of the scientific team around PD Dr. Kai Hinrich Müller that gives this project its uniqueness and relevance in working with Wagner’s music. In the press lounge last Tuesday, the scientific insights as well as backgrounds of the project were discussed with, among others, Intendant of the Musikfestspiele Jan Vogler, a synopsis can be found here.


Omer Meir Wellber and Jan Vogler at the Dresden Music Festival (June 2023)

On Thursday and Friday, Omer Meir Wellber will be a guest in Dresden with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini. Thursday’s concert will feature a program of works by Verdi, Shostakovtian, Wagner and Tchaikovsky with cellist and the festival’s artistic director Jan Vogler. Jan Vogler will interpret Shostakovich’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1. The evening’s program booklet with more information can be found here. On Friday evening, pianist Mikhail Pletnev will perform Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 with the orchestra and Omer Meir Wellber, and the program will also include works by Verdi, Wagner and Respighi. The program booklet is available here.

8 June Dresden, Kulturpalast

Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini
Omer Meir Wellber – conductor
Jan Vogler – violoncello

  • Giuseppe Verdi: Overture to the opera “Macbeth
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra No. 1 E flat major op. 107
  • Richard Wagner: Overture to the opera “Lohengrin
  • Peter Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor op. 74 “Pathétique


9 June Dresden, Kulturpalast

Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini
Omer Meir Wellber – conductor
Mikhail Pletnev – piano

  • Giuseppe Verdi: Overture to the opera “I vespri siciliani
  • Peter Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in B flat minor op. 23
  • Richard Wagner: Overture to the opera “Tannhäuser
  • Ottorino Respighi: “Metamorphoseon” Modi XII. Tema e variazioni


The Dresden Music Festival launches an artistic and academic Wagner Project with the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln (March 2023)

As part of a comprehensive artistic and academic project, the Dresden Music Festival will explore the original sound of Richard Wagner, starting in 2023. The project’s mission is to present an annual concert performance of one part of Richard Wagner’s opera tetralogy »Der Ring des Nibelungen« by the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln under the baton of Kent Nagano, using historical instruments and the linguistic style of the time of its creation. The performance of Richard Wagner’s »Das Rheingold« at Dresden’s Kulturpalast on June 14, 2023 marks the project’s official launch.
The project under the artistic leadership of Festival Intendant Jan Vogler and conductor Kent Nagano will bring together Wagner experts and performers from all over the world in Dresden.

»The Dresden Music Festival is proud to deliver new impulses from Dresden to the world with this visionary project. I am sure that this new ›Ring‹ from Dresden and the musicological research involved will have a lasting influence on the reception and interpretation of Wagner’s music,« says Jan Vogler, Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival.

»From the instruments to vocal style and the general treatment of words – much of what we experience today during typical Wagner performances differs from the customs at Wagner’s time. We look forward to delving into the fascinating musical world of the 19th century together with our audience, which also includes asking critical questions that are necessary when it comes to a person such as Wagner,« says Kent Nagano, Artistic Director of the Wagner Project and Conductor Laureate of Concerto Köln.

The »Rheingold« premiere on June 14 will be accompanied by a comprehensive Wagner program. Under the leadership of the project’s academic curator PD Dr. Kai Müller, musicians from both orchestras will offer a workshop concert on the evening before the premiere, illustrating academic aspects of historical performance practice with musical examples. On the day of the premiere, the Kulturpalast will host an exhibition with several stations on Wagner’s oeuvre, short lectures in the foyer and a Wagner Café, from 12 noon onwards.

Cast of »Das Rheingold« on June 14, 2023 in Dresden:
Derek Welton (Wotan)
Dominik Köninger (Donner)
Mauro Peter (Loge)
Tansel Akzeybek (Froh)
Katrin Wundsam (Fricka)
Nadja Mchantaf (Freia)
Gerhild Romberger (Erda)
Daniel Schmutzhard (Alberich)
Thomas Ebenstein (Mime)
Tijl Faveyts (Fasolt)
Tilmann Rönnebeck (Fafner)
Ania Vegry (Woglinde)
Ida Aldrian (Wellgunde)
Eva Vogel (Floßhilde)

Dresden Music Festival 2023 from 18 May to 18 June (November 2022)

The Dresden Music Festival 2023 will take place under the motto “BLACK AND WHITE” from 18 May to 18 June 2023.

We are looking forward to a lively and diverse 2023 festival season. Dramatic and stirring contrasts, tender nuances, and connections formed through music will all rouse discussions around our theme BLACK AND WHITE“, says Jan Vogler, director of the Dresden Music Festival.

With 63 events at 22 venues in Dresden, Jan Vogler and his team present a varied and interesting program – what to expect at the 46th Dresden Music Festival can be found in the brochure.

The Dresden Music Festival hit the ground running with a dazzling 45th season (June 2022)

The »MAGIC« of the Dresden Music Festival has unfolded its full charm in the past four and a half weeks. Musical highlights, standing ovations, and dancing guests in the concert halls: With the first full-scale edition since the start of the pandemic, director Jan Vogler and his team managed to send audiences home in a euphoric mood. Since May 11, around 42,000 guests have flocked to 65 concerts in 25 venues in Dresden. Despite a late start to the ticket pre-sales and the decision to open venues to full capacity at short notice, seat utilization reached 85 percent. The success of the Dresden Music Festival is also reflected in ticket revenue, which amounted to near 1,4 million Euros.

… read more here.

Dresden Music Festival 2022 under the motto MAGIC from 11 May to 10 June (February 2022)

The Dresden Music Festival 2022 will take place under the motto “MAGIC” from 11 May to 10 June with a special program which explores the multifaceted perspectives that Intendant Jan Vogler and his team stand for in Dresden since 2008.

Especially now, artists, as well as our audience, have become deeply aware of the significance of art and culture. I am looking forward to a remarkable lively and creative year that will release tremendous amounts of inspiration and energy which will enchant many people,” says Jan Vogler, Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival.

What to expect in the 66 concerts, festival debuts and world premieres of the 45th Dresden Music Festival can be found in the program brochure.


Jan Vogler and Dresden Music Festival plan to play under pandemic conditions – live and digital (February 2021)

With heart, caution and a high degree of flexibility, the Dresden Music Festival is currently preparing for its 44th festival season from May 14 to June 12, 2021. The aim is to provide world-class musical live events under the motto »Dialogues« in Dresden – while giving top priority to the protection of the health of the audience and organizers. For this reason, director Jan Vogler and his festival team are in constant dialogue with politicians, artists and the festival partners.


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