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Welcome to the 2019 Festival

Under the thematic heading ‘Magical Strings’

And yet, all things that touch us, you and me,
bind us together like a violin bow
drawing but
one sound from two strings.
On which instrument though are we both strung?
And what violinist holds us in the hand?
Oh, sweet song.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The sound of strings seems to have a special effect on humankind. Delicate plucking, harsh pounding or sensual stroking elicits this thin string of animal gut, silk, or metal sounds that go straight to the heart.

The Göttingen International Handel Festival embarks on a musical journey of discovery into the world of hearing. ‘Magical Strings’ are not only the focus of the »symposium. In the »oratorio Saul, the sound of David’s harp first soothes the mind of King Saul, but later brings him in such a rage that he throws the spear at David. The violinist Natasha Korsakova tells in her thriller Tödliche Sonate how dangerous string instruments can become. Our Artistic Director »Laurence Cummings touches the listener with the sound of his harpsichord strings as do harpist »Margret Köll, the string ensemble »Concerto di Margherita, the strings of the »Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the jazz double bass player »Dieter Ilg or the salterio virtuoso »Franziska Fleischanderl. The recorder virtuosos and ECHO Klassik award winners »Dorothee Oberlinger and »Stefan Temmingh are also accompanied by plucked strings.

Strings sound particularly beautiful in connection with the human voice. Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri are following up on the success of the concert at the Göttingen International Handel Festival 2015 with a programme based on Handel’s »Dixit Dominus. The »Gala Concert features internationally acclaimed countertenor Christophe Dumaux. Outstanding singers are of course also heard in the Deutsches Theater Göttingen in Handel’s early »opera Rodrigo, which is directed by Walter Sutcliffe. The Opera Director of the Northern Ireland Opera in Belfast has received numerous international awards.

In cooperation with the Institute for Auditory Neurosciences at the University Medical Center Göttingen, the festival explores listening to musicians. The renowned scholar and Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, Dr. Wilhelm Krull, agreed to give the »Festival Lecture. The festival ends with a glamorous ‘Last Night’ with the »Göttinger Symphonie Orchester. The orchestra’s new chief musical director Nicholas Milton invites the singers of the Kantorei St. Jacobi to join in with popular choral masterpieces as well as with gems of British string music the renowned violinist Daniel Sepec.

More about all concerts, the »Händel 4 Kids! programme and further events await you on the following pages. We look forward to your visit to the Göttingen International Handel Festival 2019. We wish you joyful anticipation reading our »Magazine and an exciting festival season!


P.S.: For various publications commemorating our 100th anniversary in 2020, we are still looking for anecdotes and stories of all kinds. »Write to us!