Kissinger Sommer Festival
Because of the geographical proximity of Bad Kissingen for the then GDR 1985 KISSINGER SUMMER as a musical bridge between East and West was lifted from the baptism. Quickly the international music festival blossomed into one of the most important festivals in Germany in the field of classical music. The recipe, which justified the huge success of KISSINGER SUMMER until today, is the unique combination of solo artists and orchestras of international standing with highly talented young artists. Already many – today’s superstars – were born in Bad Kissingen as a star in the classical music scene, for example, soprano Anna Lucia Richter, cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and pianist Nikolai Tokarev.
Bad Kissingen, located in Northern Bavaria, lies in the heart of Germany (3 hours by car from Munich and 1 ½ hours from Frankfurt), in the middle of Europe. In 1520 the dean of the cathedral
of Würzburg was one of the first spa visitors to “take the waters”. Since then, this charming historic provincial city became one of the favorite European spas where the nobility came for health and relaxation. In 1864 and in 1868, these visits were combined with a political summit where the Bavarian King, the Emperor of Austria and the Russian Czar met to discuss troublesome issues between Austria, Germany and Russia. To accommodate and entertain the noble guests, between 1838 and 1913, the Royal House of Wittelsbach built the unique Regentenbau with its five splendid concert venues, seating from 100 to 1200 people. The big concert hall is a marvel of rare workmanship in hand carved cherry wood. Sir Roger Norrington, the famous British conductor, considers the Max-Littmann-Saal one of the three outstanding concert halls in the world. The Rossini-Saal, named after the celebrated Italian composer, Gioachino Rossini, was built in 1838.
The Casino, once built to entertain the royal guests, is one of the most impressive in Germany. All of these marvels of spa architecture are situated in the center of Bad Kissingen’s vast gardens, resplendent with more than 100 different kinds of roses offering walking and cycling paths along the banks of the river Saale. 1910 the second oldest golf course in Germany was built and remains one of the most attractive and extensive courses in the country.
Thirty years ago, the first “KISSINGER SOMMER“ started with an amazing cast: Peter Ustinov, Katia Richiarelli, René Kollo, Peter Schreier, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Krystian Zimerman, Rudolf Buchbinder among others. This top level quality has been maintained over the years. Famous musicians combined with the stars of the future assure a consistent level of high international standard. Regulars to the Kissingen Festival are Cecilia Bartoli, Lang Lang, Sabine Meyer, Kent Nagano, Grigory Sokolov, András Schiff, Arcadi Volodos, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Diana Damrau, David Garrett and many others.
During the day, many festival visitors take trips to neighboring towns: Würzburg with the famous Balthasar Neumann Palace, Fulda a splendor in baroque architecture, Bayreuth, the home of the Richard Wagner Festival or medieval Bamberg. Weimar, once the home of Goethe and Schiller, is less than two hours’ drive away. Picturesque villages, vineyards, castles and medieval monasteries lie within a short distance of beautiful Bad Kissingen.