Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts

Series produced by DW - Deutsche Welle

Caption: Our new host Cristina Burack
Our new host Cristina Burack 

Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts

DW SERIES with fresh performances from Germany.

A new season with performances from top music festivals Made in Germany.

Broadcast rights allow PRX subscriber stations to use any or all of the programs in the series that have been already been published, or subscribe to the series to receive the files automatically each week.

DW Radio and PRX present a new season of Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts featuring the freshest, most exciting live classical music performances from Germany. Starting in October, our new host, Cristina Burack, will take you to the country's best classical music festivals over 13 episodes, as well as bring you selected highlights from exceptional concerts. You'll also hear directly from the musicians, conductors and festival directors, as they share exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the pieces and performances.

The concerts date from October 2020 to March 2021, and each episode is one hour and 58 minutes long. The series offers ideal flexibility, as you can broadcast the entire season, creating a regular listening experience, or use episodes individually as needed.

As in so many other parts of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted cultural life in Germany. Many festivals could take place only digitally or with very few audience members present. Yet despite these challenges, Germany had a successful and very special festival season – one that was imbued with enthusiasm from the audiences and emotional performances by the musicians. Everyone was energized and moved by sharing live music again. We look forward to bringing you these unique concert experiences in the new episodes of Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts (DWFC).

An exceptional musical reunion took place around Eastertime 2021. As part of a pilot project to safely reopen concert halls, the Berlin Philharmonic presented Tchaikovsky's fantasy overture from "Romeo and Juliet" and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E minor under the direction of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko.

It was also a year of important anniversaries, with the Mozart Festival in Würzburg celebrating its 100th anniversary this past summer. For the celebration, violinist Renaud Capuçon and violist Gérard Caussé performed on instruments that had belonged to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event as the instruments almost never leave the Austrian private collection of the foundation that owns them. The soloists performed alongside the Camerata Salzburg and under the direction of German composer, conductor and clarinetist Jörg Widmann. The program also included Mozart's Fantasia for a Mechanical Organ and his famous "Jupiter" Symphony.

The world-renowned Bach Festival in Leipzig chose "Salvation" as its 2021 theme. Exceptional Bach choirs like the Thomaner Choir performed various cantatas and oratorios, including excerpts from the composer's festive Christmas Oratorio.

Tempest-tossed voyages over blowing seas, sparse winter landscapes shimmering with snow: Such dramatic scenes will take shape before your eyes when listening to the evocative opening concert of the Rheingau Music Festival. The program featured early and late Romantic works by Felix Mendelssohn and Jean Sibelius.

The Beethoven Festival in Bonn continues to be a special focus of the Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts series. This year was a busy one for the festival, as it made up for last year's pandemic-related cancelations, which had coincided with celebrations for Beethoven's 250th birthday anniversary. The 2021 festival motto, "Rise again, yes, rise again…" perfectly expressed the revival of its musical activity.

Starting August 20, leading European orchestras, such as the period instrument ensemble Le Concert des Nations under Jordi Savall, made appearances in Bonn, the composer's birthplace. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performed under the 94-year-old legend Herbert Blomstedt, while the Chamber Orchestra of Basel, with star violinist Caroline Widmann and conductor Sylvain Cambreling, was also part of the celebration program. Rare gems by Franz Liszt and Alexander Skrjabin and a critically acclaimed contemporary work by organist Cameron Carpenter met in a concert whose theme was the Greek hero Prometheus. And the young French conductor Maxime Pascal directed the renowned Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a thrilling performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, the "Resurrection" Symphony.

These exciting new episodes are available, as are those from the fall of 2020 and the winter of 2021.
Stations may subscribe to the full series via PRX SubAuto or download individual episodes, including those from the past season where the rights window is still open.
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DW Radio and PRX present a new season of Deutsche Welle Festival Concerts featuring the freshest, most exciting live classical music performances from Germany. Starting in October, our new host, Cristina Burack, will take you to the country's best classical music festivals over 13 episodes, as well as bring you selected highlights from exceptional concerts. You'll also hear directly from the musicians, conductors and festival directors, as they share exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the pieces and performances. The concerts date from October 2020 to March 2021, and each episode is one hour and 58 minutes long. The series offers ideal flexibility, as you can broadcast the entire season, creating a regular listening experience, or use episodes individually as needed. As in so many... Show full description


Additional Files

31 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: The Berlin Philharmonic
In May 2020, at the height of the pandemic in Germany, Germany's most famous orchestra performed at their home base, in an empty Berlin Philharmoni...

  • Added: Oct 02, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: St. John Passion, performed in St. Thomas' Church in Leipzig on Good Friday 2020, Credit: MDR / Stephan Flad
Johann Sebastian Bach's "St. John Passion" for only three musicians? Coming from the city where Bach lived and worked, Leipzig, Germany, the audaci...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Cristian Macelaru
In mid-June, the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra offered two concerts in one. The idea was to space out visitors in the Cologne Philharmonie, ...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Dirk Kaftan
As a saying goes, "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste." The worldwide pandemic has forced people to be inventive. In concert life, that has to d...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Konzerthaus Berlin
This is where the future plays! says Young Euro Classic in Berlin. Normally this festival invites youth orchestras worldwide to Berlin for a week. ...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Piece image
The focus of this festival of young musicians is on Europe, which when it comes to music, is a rather broad theme, so the idea is to spotlight diff...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Lars Vogt
There's no limit to the imagination of creative people in a crisis, as one sees when "Tensions: Music in the Power Plant in Heimbach" is transplant...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Sabine Meyer
"We try to reinvent the word 'festival' every year, says Oliver Wille, director of this chamber music event that started in 1946 and marked its 75t...

  • Added: Oct 30, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Frans Helmerson
Beethoven's Archduke Trio and Ernest Chausson's Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet highlight this program with pianist Elena Bashkirova ...

  • Added: Oct 30, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:56
Caption: Danae Dörken
Music salons were where much chamber music was once made; maybe some of the composers even never imagined their works would go beyond them. Early M...

  • Added: Nov 13, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Dorothee Oberlinger
From the wild and very earthly dance of the folia – once a European-wide craze – to the ethereal, unearthly sounds of Gregorian chant, this early m...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Vladimir Jurowski
Anton Webern, Alban Berg and Alfred Schnittke mark the beginning and the end of 20th century music. Webern kicked off century of innovation, yet he...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Kirill Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic
A top orchestra, conductor and soloist telling the musical story of a young girl who left this earth far too soon: Alban Berg's violin concerto "In...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Avi Avital
The lineup this time is a who's who of who's in demand in any season: mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, percussionist Martin Grubinger, harpist Xavier ...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Paavo Järvi
Mainstays at Germany's biggest music festival are the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and its principal conductor Paavo Järvi, who have had Beethoven i...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Musica Ficta
Carl Nielsen wrote symphonies, concertos, chamber music, sacred music, two operas and – over three hundred songs, of which you'll hear several in t...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2020
  • Length: 01:57:58
Caption: Nordic String Quartet
This time we're taking you on a musical excursion to early 20th century Scandinavia: two early pieces by Nielsen, Intimate Voices and Intimate Mini...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2021
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Borodin Quartet
Most of the time, we reach out across Germany to bring you the best of the concert season, but sometimes it's good to take a look at what you've al...

  • Added: Jan 27, 2021
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Lars Vogt
The magical sound of Sharon Kam's clarinet. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff and a piece he's been working on for forty years and still finds astonishi...

  • Added: Feb 03, 2021
  • Length: 01:57:57
Caption: Robin Ticciati
"A true British gentleman with a heart, an unambiguous stance and much passion for music" is how the German press describes Robin Ticciati, the 38-...

  • Added: Feb 10, 2021
  • Length: 01:57:56