Peter Fox

Music and Theater in Germany

Germany’s reputation as a musical nation is still based on names like Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel and Richard Strauss. Students from around the world flock to its music academies, music lovers attend world-class festivals like the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth and the Donaueschingen Festival of Contemporary Music.

But other names also define Germany's musical legacy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Karlheinz Stockhausen pioneered in the field of electronic music. Kraftwerk's robotic rhythms transformed pop music and provided some of the building blocks for hip-hop. And newer German artists from Rammstein to Tokio Hotel continue to captivate young audiences around the world with their Teutonic takes on modern rock and unique visual flair.

With some 180 public and 190 private theaters, Germany is also known for having some of the most experimental theatrical and dance productions worldwide. Even small towns boast opera houses, ballet troupes and theaters, all of which contribute to the well-established network of state, municipal, traveling and private theaters.

Musical Life in Germany

Making beautiful music together: The Berlin Philharmonic with superstar conductor Simon Rattle. © picture-alliance/dpa

Thanks to the extraordinary density and diversity of its musical life, Germany continues to be regarded as a 'land of music'. Not only does this reflect its rich musical legacy, it is also indicative of a living and vibrant music scene in which various genres, styles and a wide range of musical cultures can develop and unfold. With the present publication the German Music Information Centre (MIZ) is publishing selected facts and figures on Germany's musical life for an international readership. The topics range from music education to amateur music-making, and from the funding and professional practice of music to the music industry and the media.

Musical Life in Germany

Berliner Festspiele

Theatertreffen Berlin

Throughout the year, the Berliner Festspiele put on a wealth of imaginative and intelligent festivals, excellent exhibition projects and individual events in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin-Wilmersdorf and the Martin-Gropuis-Bau within walking distance of Potsdamer Platz. At the core of its activities are works by contemporary and international artists, showcased in festivals such as MaerzMusik – Festival of Contemporary Music, Theatertreffen, Foreign Affairs – International Festival for Theatre and Performing Arts, Musikfest Berlin and Jazzfest Berlin, as well as at large exhibitions in the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

Berliner Festspiele

Eurovision Song Contest

(c) picture-alliance/dpa

After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the Eurovision Song Contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe's collective mind. To date, Germany has celebrated two victories in this modern Olympics of Song: Nicole in 1982 with "Ein Bißchen Frieden", and Lena in 2010 with "Satellite". Learn more on the page for Germany!

Eurovision Song Contest - Germany

The Goethe-Institut: Your Guide to Music and Theater in Germany

Grünes Logo des Goethe-Instituts

From Early Music to techno pop, from children's theater to the hottest directors, and everything in between, the Goethe-Institut is your best English language guide to the vibrant, diverse, and always exciting worlds of German music and theater.

Bayreuth Festival

Bayreuther Festspiele 2012

The Bayreuther Festspiele, a highlight of German cultural life, carries on the legacy of Richard Wagner's music and devotion to the "total work of art" in the authentic theater he designed and inaugurated in 1876. Check out the website for a festival podcast, video guide, and to buy tickets to a performance.

Bayreuth Festival

Radio Goethe

Radio Goethe (c) Arndt Peltner

Host Arndt Peltner plays the latest music from Germany on his program "Radio Goethe".  Listen online or download the latest podcast.

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