The HAMBACHERMusikFEST was founded in 1997 under the artistic direction of the Mandelring Quartet. The happy combination of the highest musical standards with the delightful local colour of the surrounding Palatinate countryside has created an attractive event which furthermore fascinates through its own personal character. From May 21st to 25th 2008, during the week of Corpus Christi, the Mandelring Quartet has once again invited distinguished artists from Germany and abroad to perform in a varied festival programme of chamber music ranging from the classical age to our own day.
The Mandelring Quartet, based in Neustadt on Germany’s wine route, has won prestigious music competitions such as the ARD-Wettbewerb in Munich, the Evian International String Quartet Competition and the Premio Paolo Borciani in Italy. Today it is one of the world’s leading quartets. Its busy world-wide concert schedule and the numerous accolades awarded to its CD productions testify to its outstanding international reputation. In addition to presenting the core chamber music repertoire the Mandelring Quartet is also committed to works by unknown composers which promise rewarding discoveries. This is reflected both in the quartet’s discography and in the programmes of the HAMBACHERMusikFEST.
The Mandelring Quartet’s distinctive artistic imprint is once again evident in the 12th HAMBACHERMusikFEST. In addition to the classic works, lovers of chamber music will be able to hear masterpieces which seldom appear in the concert hall because of their unusual combinations of instruments. Eight concerts are scheduled in which the focus will be on works for larger combinations, including Schubert’s Octet, Martinů’s Nonet and Françaix’s “Dixtuor”. There will also be a children’s concert to introduce the youngest listeners to classical music.
This year the Euphorion Quintet from Weimar – a wind quintet made up of five internationally acclaimed musicians - will contribute to the variety and wealth of music on offer. Further distinguished soloists like the French pianist Claire Désert, Gustav Rivinius (cello), Christian Geldsetzer (double-bass) and Thomas Müller-Pering (guitar) will support the Mandelring Quartet and Euphorion Quintet.
The choice of name indicates the close involvement of the HAMBACHERMusikFEST with the famous Hambach Castle, which has been regarded as the ”cradle of German democracy” ever since the Hambach Festival of 1832. Accordingly, since the foundation of the festival the castle has been the main venue for the festival’s events. This year extensive renovation projects have necessitated the displacement of three concerts to other venues. Thus the 12th HAMBACHERMusikFEST will perform in Neustadt’s Saalbau for the first time.
The high standard of the musical offerings and the immediate vicinity of the artists are captivating. Added delights are Hambach’s idyllically relaxing location on the edge of the Palatinate forest, the stylish setting of the baroque church and the charm of the vineyards. The big regular audience shows that festival guests like to revisit.
More information about the festival at tel. +49/6321/92043 or www.hambachermusikfest.de.