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Musikfest © Michael Zapf

3rd International Musikfest Hamburg 2018

41 programmes, 62 concerts and starring global musicians

Hamburg’s latest landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, will take centre stage during the 3rd International Musikfest Hamburg from April 27-May 30, 2018. The upcoming festival will be held under the motto “Utopia” and marks the start of an annual festival after biennale events in 2014 and 2016. The festival will be opened with a performance of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemni” by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, the NDR choir and Bavarian Radio’s choir conducted by Thomas Hengelbrockl.

Highlights include a two-day guest appearance by La Scala, Milan, with the Verdi Requiem, and concerts by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Other venues include Mehr! Theater, Kampnagel, St. Katharinen church and the resonanzraum in St. Pauli.


The festival features 41 different programmes with 62 concerts. Hamburg-based musicians will stage 20 concerts while soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Britain and the United States are responsible for the remainder. A major focus of the 2018 festival is the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, very likely the most important post-war German composer. His influence went far beyond classical music and helped shape works by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Björk and Aphex Twin.

British organist Kevin Bowyer is planning an eight-hour marathon performance on the Klais organ in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall with his Sorabji Project. The Organ Symphony No. 2 by the eccentric British composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji will be performed for the first time in Germany.


HamburgMusik gGmbH is organising half of the events and is co-sponsoring eight productions. The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg, the Ensemble Resonanz and the Hamburg Association of Friends of Chamber Music and Konzertdirektion Dr. Rudolf Goette are among other sponsors.

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