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The Schwetzinger Festspiele


For 58 years the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele have presented opera and concerts at the rococo theater and the concert halls of the Schwetzinger Schloss, the former summer residence of the palatinate elector Carl Theodor.

”Rediscovering the old, initiating the new, promoting the young“, that's the mission of the Schwetzinger Festspiele. The festival’s programs focus both on the performance and on revival of seldom heard 18th century masterworks - for example Henry Purcell’s ballet opera “The Fairy Queen” or “Telemaco” by Alessandro Scarlatti - in addition to promoting contemporary music.

Since 1945 the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele has commissioned more than 35 operas - all premiered during previous festivals. The list of composers reads like a “Who’s Who” of contemporary music: Hans Werner Henze, Werner Egk, Udo Zimmermann, Aribert Reimann, Salvatore Sciarrino and Adriana Hölszky have contributed important new scores for performance at the festival.

Concert music is the other pillar of the Festspiele. Chamber music, orchestral concerts, piano soirees and lieder recitals all contribute to the variety of each year’s festival programs. Globally acclaimed artists like Alfred Brendel, Gidon Kremer, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, the Emerson String Quartet and the Hagen Quartett join with young, lesser known artists and ensembles in Schwetzingen. Vocalists like Jessye Norman, Cecilia Bartoli or Teresa Berganza sang in Schwetzingen long before they became international stars. A special showcase dedicated to young artists takes place during the Sunday matinees and during the popular “Week of Encountering Young Musicians” where young musicians from Germany and from abroad play together in rehearsals and concerts. Syndicated broadcasts of the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele are heard all over the globe. With more than 500 affiliates and broadcast partners, the Festspiele have become the world’s most widely distributed music festival for classical music.

festival for classical music.

The festival’s enduring attraction for concertgoers is due in part to its unique concert venues, its spacious and ornate gardens and stunning rococo architecture. All the concerts take place in the historic theaters and concert halls of the Schwetzinger Schloss - the only remaining historic court theater in Germany. 

In 2009 hänssler CLASSIC became a proud partner of the Schwetzinger Festspiele with plans to release a selection of FOUR different recordings from the archives of the Schwetzinger Festspiele for international distribution every year. This is a unique opportunity to experience for yourself one of the world’s greatest music festivals.

Read more at: Series and Editions/Edition Schwetzinger Festspiele.