If you love classical music, there’s no city in Germany more exciting than Leipzig. Check out the highlights on the Radisson Blu blog to start planning your musical getaway.
Leipzig is a Mecca for classical music buffs. Bach lived, worked and died here. It’s the birthplace of Wagner, and Mendelssohn was involved with just about every lasting musical institution in town. With the contributions of Grieg and Mahler, the city’s musical history reads like a who’s who of German composers. We’ve narrowed down four of the city’s must-see sites for music lovers.
Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church)
Thomaskirche has been musically and culturally significant in Leipzig for over 800 years, but its association with Johann Sebastian Bach remains its biggest claim to fame. Bach was cantor, a role that saw him spending most of his time composing choral cantatas for church services. He held that role until his death in 1750 – look for the out for the bronze plate near the altar marking his final resting place.
The St. Thomas Boys Choir is one of the oldest and most respected of its kind. Performing since 1212, the present-day incarnation performs weekly concerts on Fridays at 6pm and on Saturdays at 3pm. If you’re in town during July or August, you can also catch their open-air shows every Monday at 7pm.
The carefully-restored love nest of Leipzig’s most creative couple, Robert and Clara Schumann, is now a museum dedicated to their work. During the pair’s four year tenancy, the Schumanns hosted luminaries like Hans Christian Andersen, Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn. This is also where Robert composed the Spring Symphony that won him world renown. The Schumann House is still used as a concert venue – regular Saturday evening choral recitals are a particular highlight.
Gewandhaus Orchestra Hall
Conveniently located across from our warm and well-appointed Radisson Blu Hotel, Leipzig, this concert hall is home to one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, its roots dating back to at least the 18th century – some argue even earlier. The Gewandhaus hosted Mozart in 1789, as well as the world debut of Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto in 1811 and the first full cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies in 1825. In 1835, Mendelssohn became the orchestra’s conductor and music director. Later decades saw the debuts of symphonies by Schumann, Schubert, Wagner and Brahms, and the patronage of such prestigious musical directors as Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwangler and Hubert Blomstedt. The renowned orchestra plays a diverse annual program, so be sure to book tickets well in advance.
From the Gewandhaus, take a short amble down Goldschmidtstrasse to Mendelssohn House, home to the great nineteenth-century composer from 1835. The building has been lovingly restored to the way it was left in 1847. In addition to offering a wealth of information about Mendelssohn’s life and work, the museum displays his musical notations and watercolours. Drop by on a Sunday morning – recitals are held weekly at 11am in the salon.