Germany to celebrate 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt in 2011
The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) will hold a range of events next year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the world-famous composer, pianist and conductor Franz Liszt. By commemorating 200 years since his birth, the board plans to promote its cultural heritage and draw tourists from around the world.
Liszt is one of the musical greats of the 19th century. He spent many years touring Europe, during which he forged special relationships with many German towns and regions. He performed in Dresden on numerous occasions, wowing audiences with his virtuosity.
In 2011, the Dresden State Orchestra of Saxony, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Dresden Music Festival and the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden will be honoring Liszt with countless concerts at venues such as the Church of Our Lady and the Semper Opera House (www.dresden.de).
Liszt was also immensely successful in Leipzig, Berlin and Hamburg as well as in Weimar. His years spent in Weimar were his most prolific. Besides composing, he worked as a conductor and taught numerous pupils. One of them was Hans von Bülow, who went on to become a virtuoso pianist himself.
The influence of Liszt's work was also felt in other Thuringian towns, above all Sondershausen, Meiningen and Eisenach. Celebrations for the exceptional musician will be taking place throughout Thuringia in 2011, with themes including Liszt as the musical successor to Weimar Classicism.
The star event on Thuringia’s events calendar will be the ``Uberlisztet’’ festival, taking place from June 21 to July 9, 2011. An accompanying exhibition, ``Franz Liszt a European in Weimar,’’ will be held at the Liszt Museum in Weimar.
If you are looking to follow on the trail of Liszt through Germany, your itinerary should include a trip to Cologne. In September 1842, he gave a concert to coincide with the laying of the foundation stone that marked Cologne Cathedral's completion. Liszt also played at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Lawrence in Merseburg, which is situated on the Romanesque Route.
Treasures housed inside the building include Germany’s largest Romantic organ on which he performed his ``Prelude and Fugue on B.A.C.H.’’ for the first time in 1856. The composer was laid to rest in Bayreuth cemetery on Aug. 3, 1886.
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, the town will be hosting 150 different events in 2011 (www.bayreuth.de). Visit the GNTB website for more information and an overview of the Liszt-related events taking place in 2011 at www.germany.travel.