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Comprehensive art: Kulturpalast – an interview with the artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra

Comprehensive art: Kulturpalast – an interview with the artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra

Music lovers from around the world had been waiting for this: after extensive renovations, the Dresden Kulturpalast reopened at the end of April. This meant that not only did the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra get back its traditional concert hall, but they now have a concert hall that fulfils the highest international demands. In the interview Frauke Roth, the orchestra’s artistic director, tells us why she is so happy about the Kulturpalast and about other great things that she has just discovered in Dresden:

What is special about your new concert hall?

It is a total work of art: the new concert hall is a real jewel, even if you were only to look at the architecture with its warm colors and spatial geometry. It has seating for 1,800 people and still you feel “snug and secure” and surrounded by music. And of course, there are the acoustics! The Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra is getting a “resonance room” that optimally reproduces the famous “Dresden sound,” something that we are very happy about. This is something that will inspire our orchestra just as it will visiting orchestras – and our audience will be thrilled, I am sure of that.

What are you presenting that is an absolute “must” to listen to this year?

Principal conductor Michael Sanderling is conducting Shostakovich’s 12th Symphony (May 26/28) and a wonderful Brahms program to end the season (June 16-18). Right after the re-opening, the grand old master Marek Janowski will be presenting a Bruckner program (May 13/14). And then of course there is the opening of the new season on August 25 and 27 with Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”, which is destined to be an absolutely unforgettable concert, also with Michael Sanderling conducting! The large, new concert organ, the “queen” of the concert hall, will be ceremoniously inaugurated on 8 September and starting in mid-May there will be a whole row of further concert highlights of the coming season going on sale. And I am really looking forward to the international orchestras that will be playing in the Kulturpalast during the Music Festival from May 18 to June 18.

What new things have you just discovered in Dresden?

Kraftwerk Mitte Dresden! A great place for our two fellow cultural establishments, the Staatsoperette Dresden (Dresden State Operetta) and theatre “tjg. theater junge generation.” The Carl Maria von Weber University of Music, who we cooperate very closely with, is also close by. In my personal opinion, Kraftwerk is also an ideal place for the Heinrich-Schütz Conservatory. I am looking forward to the further development of the property, it is a real enrichment of the downtown area.

Frauke Roth has been the artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra since January 2015. Born in Hamburg, she studied flute in Freiburg and London. She has been working as a manager since 1998, working for groups such as the Ensemble Oriol Berlin and the Berlin Chamber Orchestra as well as serving as the artistic director and manager for the Potsdam Chamber Academy.