What we want, who we are
The Göttingen International Handel Festival is one of the oldest early music festivals for early music. It has been held in the university town of Göttingen for 12 days in May every year since 1920. At the 2023 Festival, over 11,000 music enthusiasts flocked to Göttingen to attend around 70 events in Göttingen and southern Lower Saxony. Since the 2021/22 season, Jochen Schäfsmeier has been the Festival's Managing Director and George Petrou its Artistic Director. The Greek conductor and director conducts the FestspielOrchester Göttingen, which brings together early music specialists from all over the globe each year.
An opera production customarily forms the centerpiece of the Festival's program. This is supplemented by oratorios, gala concerts, chamber music concerts and contemporary crossover formats. An academic symposium and the chamber music competition göttingen händel competition round off the program. In addition to the Deutsches Theater and the Stadthalle Göttingen, venues include unusual locations such as castles, churches, wine cellars, old industrial halls and the pedestrian zone. For children there is the educational program "Händel 4 Kids!" which is active not only in concerts during the Festival but also in schools throughout the year.