In the Breath of Time: Kasseler Musiktage (Kassel Music Days) 2011

Ständehaus

Ständehaus

The first weekend in October marked the start of this year’s Kasseler Musiktage. During the festival, many young musicians from around the world demonstrate their skill. They offer fresh interpretations of major works in unusual concert formats, often in combination with literary readings.

Eager to see for myself, I decided to attend Forum I: Hören – Sinnen – Erleben (Listen – Ponder – Experience). The event was held at the newly renovated Ständehaus, quite an impressive building. The program included sonatas by Beethoven, Bach and Ravel, along with readings from Heinrich von Kleist. Even with very little knowledge of these classics, I looked forward to the evening.

Young artists on piano and violin

Hyeyoon Park © Julia Wesely

Hyeyoon Park © Julia Wesely

Classical music with a different take – that’s a good description of this forum. The sonatas for piano and violin alternated with readings from Kleist’s The Marquise of O and The Earthquake in Chile. But I was especially impressed by the two young musicians, Hyeyoon Park and Nikolaus Rexroth. Hyeyoon Park is 19 years old and began playing the violin at age four. Even to my unschooled ear, she showed mastery of the instrument. Indeed, this young South Korean has already won a number of prizes, including first place at the 2009 ARD International Music Competition in Munich. Truly impressive. The concerts are definitely worth a visit, and not only for classical music fans.

About the Kasseler Musiktage

One of the oldest European music festivals, this event series has been running for over 70 years. By the way, SMA is one of its sponsors. With a total of 21 concerts, the festival ran from October 6 to November 13. It was a breeze to get tickets online from the organizers and at numerous advance sales offices. Parents take note: Some concerts even offered childcare featuring music.

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This post was originally published in 2011. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

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