Leipzig: A year of festivities
2019 holds several important anniversaries for Leipzig in Saxony. For example, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Monday Demonstrations, which led to the fall of the Berlin wall, as well as the 200th birthday of composer Clare Schumann, who was born in Leipzig. Last but not least, the city celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus. Visitors can therefore look forward to plenty of special exhibitions and festivities of the special kind.
Hardly any other German city can boast as great and vibrant a cultural history as Leipzig. In 2019, the city will celebrate important anniversaries of events that had significant effects on the development of Germany. Let’s take a look at some of the year’s highlights.
History up close
In 2019, Leipzig will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution which eventually led to the fall of the Berlin wall. The decisive non-violent Monday demonstration on 9 October 1989 attracted more than 70,000 people who protested for freedom and democracy in Leipzig. The Festival of Lights is held annually to commemorate the events of autumn 1989. This year, the event will be the emotional highlight of the many commemorative events held in the historic locations.
200 years of Clara Schumann
2019 will also celebrate the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann, Leipzig’s most famous female composer and celebrated pianist who spent the first 25 years of her life in the city. All year long, the city will celebrate the composer with the project CLARA19. For example, visitors to the city will be able to walk in Clara’s footsteps at original locations, including the Schumann House where she used to live. Furthermore, compositions will be performed at special music venues. A highlight of the year will be the Schumann Festival Week from 12 to 29 September, which coincides with the musician’s birthday and wedding day. In the ‘Great Concert’, the pianist Lauma Skride and the Gewandhaus orchestra will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto Op. 7.
100 years of Bauhaus
Leipzig has another special event in 2019: celebrating 100 years of the founding of the Bauhaus school of architecture, which significantly shaped German architecture. In Leipzig, many architectural masterpieces of the 1920s and 1930s can be found, such as the ‘Versöhnungskirche’ or the ‘Nibelungensiedlung’. Visitors should take a look at these special buildings, while attending various exhibitions, like the Bauhaus_Sachsen exhibition, from 18 April to 29 September at the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts.
Celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach
The Bachfest Leipzig will also bring the composer to life under the motto ‘Bach, Court Compositeur’ in Leipzig in 2019. The annual event will be held from 14 to 23 June this year and will stage a varied programme in the very places he once used to work at. Bach’s work at various royal courts motivated him to write many and, above all, varied compositions. He created glorious festive music, virtuosic instrumental works in different styles and genres, and innovative church music. The works of Bach as ‘Court Compositeur’ stand out because of their extremely broad spectrum of forms. Johann Sebastian Bach was not only the cantor at St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig, repeatedly creating immortal works to the glory of God and the city, he also spent 15 years of his career working at various courts.
Last but not least, two new exhibitions at the Kunstkraftwerk and the Panometer will offer stunning presentations of artists of the High Renaissance and views of a microcosm garden. Head to the Kunstkraftwerk to marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes from the Sistine Chapel, stand before da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and view Raphael’s Madonnas up close. Shown for the first time in Germany from 19 January 2019, Giants of the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci – Raphael – Michelangelo is an innovative video and sound installation which delivers a captivating portrayal of the most important works and places of these three polymaths of the High Renaissance, offering a completely new perspective on the Old Masters across 7,000 square metres. Audiences can immerse themselves digitally and interactively in the world-famous works of art.
Families should also head to the Panometer this year. The exhibition, Carola’s Garden – A Paradise on Earth, will showcase the mysterious and largely hidden world of the very smallest organisms. Visitors can, for example, observe a bee 20 metres in size as it pollinates the blossom, and get to know the diversity of the region’s fauna and flora. All in all, the exhibition will put its small and large guests’ view of the world into perspective and open their eyes to the smaller beauties of life.
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO © PK FOTOGRAFIE
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