Concert of the Kurt Masur Academy

Tues­day, 31st May 2020, 11:00 a.m., Musiksalon in the Mendelssohn-Haus

Orches­tra Academy of the Dresden Philharmonic

Due to Corona pan­dem­ic restric­tions the con­cert will be streamed on the Face­book site of the Mendelssohn-Haus.

↗︎ The Mendels­sohn-Haus on Facebook

Successful cooperation with the Federal Jazz Orchestra and the Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig

On Sunday, 17 Novem­ber 2019, the Youth Jazz Orches­tra of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, togeth­er with Israeli musi­cians and a mul­ti­me­dia con­cert pro­gram, per­formed at the Kunstwerk in hon­or of the 100th Bauhaus anniversary. A big band mixed with mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Jazz Orches­tra (BuJazzO) and stu­dents of the Cen­ter for Jazz Stud­ies at the Israel Con­ser­vat­ory of Mus presents with vocal ensemble the silent film pro­gram “Klin­gende Utopi­en – 100 Jahre Bauhaus”.


The focus is on five films by the Bauhaus mas­ter László Moholy-Nagy. In terms of con­tent and film aes­thet­ics, it goes from early exper­i­ment­al film to archi­tec­tur­al film to social doc­u­ment­a­tion. The com­pos­i­tion “White City” by Oliv­er Schneller focuses on the themes of “archi­tec­ture” and “migra­tion”, as pro­jec­ted images of the “White City” in Tel Aviv enter into dia­logue with music­al compositions.


30 years of Peaceful Revolution: the sound of freedom in the work of Ludwig van Beethoven, Friedrich Schiller and Kurt Masur

From 8 to 13 Octo­ber 2019, the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute took part in the anniversary of the Peace­ful Revolu­tion via the pro­ject: “30 years of Peace­ful Revolu­tion: the sound of free­dom in the work of Lud­wig van Beeth­oven, Friedrich Schiller and Kurt Mas­ur”. A wide audi­ence was inspired though numer­ous events, an exhib­i­tion and a con­cert for schoolchildren.


Wed­nes­day, 9 Octo­ber 2019, 8 p.m. – Peterskirche Leipzig

Con­cert in cooper­a­tion with Phil­har­monie Leipzig: 

Lud­wig van Beeth­oven, Sym­phony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

Con­duct­or: Michael Köhler

Choirs: Leipzi­ger Lehr­er­chor, Phil­har­mon­is­cher Chor Leipzig, Ora­tor­i­en Chor Leipzig

Soloists: Chris­ti­ane Libor, Car­olin Mas­ur, André Khamas­mie, Stephan Klemm

Invited speak­ers: Frank Richter und Gregor Gysi

The Phil­har­monie Leipzig organ­ised this con­cert on 9 Octo­ber to com­mem­or­ate the events of the Peace­ful Revolu­tion and the major demon­stra­tion in Leipzig. Kurt Mas­ur nev­er tired of repeat­ing the core 

mes­sage: “One must believe in the power of music and must learn to feel it. This power is cap­able of inspir­ing and encour­aging the good in human­ity.” It is unsur­pris­ing, there­fore, that in autumn 2018 the Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute decided to lend its sup­port to this concert.

The con­stant efforts and neces­sary struggle for change towards a bet­ter world con­nects those who par­ti­cip­ated in the Peace­ful Revolu­tion with Beethoven’s and Schiller’s core mes­sage: that “all men become broth­ers”. It is not sur­pris­ing that this monu­ment­al work was per­formed on 9 Octo­ber 2019 in the Leipzig Peterskirche in com­m­or­a­tion of “30 years of the Peace­ful Revolu­tion”, nor does it sur­prise that this work was of key import­ance to both Beeth­oven and Kurt Masur.

Excerpt from the Leipzi­ger Volk­szei­tung, 10 Octo­ber 2019

The civil rights cam­paign­er Frank Richter, a former inde­pend­ent now sit­ting as an SPD mem­ber in the Sax­on Par­lia­ment, was named by the Phil­har­monie as a coun­ter­part to the con­tro­ver­sial nom­in­a­tion of Gregor Gysi. A good decision, as Richter con­sidered, in his calm way, this already strongly debated issue. “Vic­tims of repres­sion in the GDR can­not auto­mat­ic­ally claim the right to inter­pret his­tor­ic­al actions in their own way,” Richter said. The loudest applause was reserved for the Phil­har­mon­ic orches­tra and choir and their per­form­ance of Beethoven’s Sym­phony No. 9 with the “Ode to Joy”. Schiller’s clas­sic “All men become broth­ers” could be seen as a com­ment­ary on the even­ing.

Thursday, 10 Octo­ber 2019, 7 p.m. – Gewand­haus Leipzig, Mendelssohn-Saal

2nd Kurt Mas­ur For­um: Memor­ies of 9 Octo­ber 1989

Mem­bers of the “Leipzig Six” (a group of six per­son­al­it­ies who played an import­ant role ensur­ing that the demon­stra­tions took place without viol­ence): Bernd-Lutz Lange, Roland Wötzel and Kurt Mey­er. His­tor­i­ans: Thomas Ahbe and Sascha Lange.

Accom­pa­ny­ing music­al pro­gramme: Frank Nowicky and the Orchester der Säch­s­is­chen Musiker

U Under the title of the “Kurt Mas­ur For­um”, the Mas­ur Insti­tute reg­u­larly encour­ages dis­course on human­ity and soci­ety. This second edi­tion focused on the anniversary of the Peace­ful Revolu­tion. We espe­cially remembered the call to renounce viol­ence of 9 Octo­ber 1989, where the Leipzig Six, led by Kurt Mas­ur, appealed for a peace­ful exchange of views and non­ag­gres­sion. Mem­bers of the Leipzig Six were in the spot­light, togeth­er with the his­tor­i­ans Thomas Ahbe and Sascha Lange, and were provid­ing fur­ther details about the group’s actions, the his­tor­ic­al con­text and its leg­acy up to the present day.

The dis­cus­sion was com­ple­men­ted by a cham­ber music ver­sion of Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel, in homage to the Gewand­haus con­cert con­duc­ted by Mas­ur dur­ing the demon­stra­tions. Fur­ther­more, the sax­o­phon­ist Franck

Nowicky also gave a per­form­ance, rep­res­ent­ing Masur’s sup­port for street musi­cians dur­ing the sum­mer of 1989.

Excerpt from the Leipzi­ger Volk­szei­tung, 12 Octo­ber 2019

The event returns to June ’89, when the Leipzig street music fest­iv­al was for­cibly dis­ban­ded by the ‘secur­ity forces’. As a res­ult, Mas­ur invited the pub­lic to a con­fer­ence at the Gewand­haus, which he, later, called a gen­er­al rehears­al of upright act­ing. After­wards the “Orchester der Säch­s­is­chen Musiker” remem­bers the fact, that Mas­ur – in that night, 30 years ago – Mas­ur con­duc­ted Richard Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”. So the event con­cludes with the impres­sion that this needs to be con­tin­ued. At the book­stand quite a huge amount of books are signed.

Fri­day, 11 Octo­ber 2019, 11 a.m. – Kurt-Masur-Schule

Lee Trio – Piano: Melinda Lee Mas­ur – Cello: Angela Lee – Viol­in: Lisa Lee

Presen­ted by: Tomoko and Ken-Dav­id Masur

In On 11 Octo­ber 2019, pupils of the Kurt-Mas­ur-Schule had the oppor­tun­ity to encounter the works of both Kurt Mas­ur and Beeth­oven in a cre­at­ive way. The begin­ning of the final move­ment of Beethoven’s Sym­phony No. 9 “O Fre­unde, nicht diese Töne! Son­dern lasst uns angenehmere anstim­men.” (“O friends, not these sounds! Rather let us turn to sounds more pleasant 

and more joy­ful.”) remains the motto then as now. Masur’s ques­tion “What can we do?” was his guid­ing prin­ciple, and not just in con­nec­tion with the Peace­ful Revolu­tion in 1989. The idea was to impart this brave atti­tude to the chil­dren through music in a play­ful manner.

Sat­urday, 12 Octo­ber 2019, 7:30 p.m. – Kurt-Mas­ur-Saal of the J. S. ‑Bach-Musikschule

Reflec­tions on Beeth­oven – Cham­ber con­cert with the Lee Trio

Music by Lud­wig van Beeth­oven, Ant­onín Dvořák, Richard Pantcheff and Nath­aniel Stookey

The cham­ber con­cert in the Kurt-Mas­ur-Saal of the Johann-Sebasti­an-Bach-Musikschule com­bined Beethoven’s com­pos­i­tions with con­tem­por­ary works in an unortho­dox man­ner. This included a premiere by Richard Pantcheff, a com­poser who, in a play­ful way, blurs the lim­it­a­tions between genres and also com­poses choir, organ, cham­ber and instru­ment­al music.

A Also related to Leipzig is Nath­aniel Stookey’s “Above the Thomas Gate” (2001). Born in 1970 in San Fran­cisco, he is one of the most pro­lif­ic young Amer­ic­an com­posers. Reflect­ing on one of Robert Schumann’s “Dav­ids­bünd­ler­tän­ze” Stookey refers to a let­ter that Robert wrote to his wife Clara, in which he devel­ops the romantic idea of their thoughts meet­ing above the Thomas Gate (Thomasp­förtlein), a gate in Leipzig’s old city walls. The Lee Trio have already played this prime example of a poet­ic 21st-cen­tury piano trio fre­quently, among them in Leipzig in 2005.

A con­trast to Beeth­oven is provided by Ant­onín Dvořák’s “Dumky Trio” Op. 90. In six move­ments, with a undefined main key and the recourse on “dumky”, ele­gi­ac bal­lads, the “Bohemi­an min­strel” finds his own musical

lan­guage unres­tric­ted by son­ata form. The work was com­pleted before Dvořák’s sojourn in New York, where he had a sig­ni­fic­ant influ­ence on the devel­op­ment of music there as dir­ect­or of the Nation­al Con­ser­vat­ory of Music. The San Fran­cisco-based Lee Trio, foun­ded in 2002, pays homage to this Czech fore­fath­er of Amer­ic­an clas­sic­al music.

Tues­day, 8 Octo­ber 2019 to Monday, 6 Janu­ary 2020 – Mendels­sohn-Haus Leipzig

Spe­cial exhib­i­tion on the Peace­ful Revolu­tion “We all need a lib­er­al exchange of views” – memor­ies of autumn 1989

The Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute com­mem­or­ates the devel­op­ments lead­ing to the Peace­ful Revolu­tion in the city of Leipzig with a spe­cial exhib­i­tion. Already in the sum­mer of 1989, Kurt Mas­ur opened up social dia­logues and debates through the “Encoun­ters in the Gewand­haus” events. 

As a centrepiece, a table owned by the Mas­ur fam­ily is on pub­lic dis­play for the first time. It was around this table that the Leipzig Six wrote down their call to renounce viol­ence. In addi­tion, ori­gin­al record­ings of Mas­ur read­ing out the mani­festo of the Leipzig Six, as well as writ­ten doc­u­ments and addi­tion­al sound and video clips, make for an authen­t­ic aud­it­ory experience.



To share Kurt Masur’s vis­ion the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt-Mas­ur-Insti­tute was estab­lished in 2016 in asso­ci­ation with the Inter­na­tion­al Felix-Mendels­sohn-Bartholdy Found­a­tion. The Insti­tute is a ded­ic­ated place to cel­eb­rate the life of this Leipzig hon­or­ary cit­izen as well as keep­ing his leg­acy alive for future generations.

A ded­ic­ated audio video sta­tion plus a selec­tion of ori­gin­al doc­u­ments and objects com­ple­ment the present­a­tion. On dis­play are per­son­al and private mem­or­ab­il­ia as well as awards, rep­res­ent­ing the recog­ni­tion Kurt Mas­ur received for his artist­ic achieve­ments as well as for his inter­na­tion­al human­ist commitments.


Anne-Sophie Mutter to attend the official opening of the International Kurt Masur Institute in Leipzig November 2017

The home of the found­a­tion known as the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute (IKMI) is to be offi­cially opened at the Mendels­sohn House in Leipzig with a major gala week­end from 3 to 5 Novem­ber 2017. A wide-ran­ging pro­gramme of events has been organ­ised. Prom­in­ent friends, col­leagues, inter­pret­ers and schol­ars of Kurt Mas­ur, all of inter­na­tion­al stand­ing, will be shar­ing their views on the sub­ject of Beeth­oven. Among those expec­ted to attend are the viol­in­ist Anne-Soph­ie Mut­ter, the con­duct­or Ken-Dav­id Mas­ur, Dr. Michael Laden­bur­ger (from the Beeth­oven House in Bonn) and musi­co­lo­gist Prof. Peter Gülke. Also on the timetable will be recit­als by musi­cians from the Mendels­sohn Orches­tra Academy at the Gewand­haus, the Kurt Mas­ur Orches­tra Academy attached to the Dresden Phil­har­mon­ic, and schol­ar­ship win­ners from the Anne-Soph­ie Mut­ter Found­a­tion. The gala week­end will also fea­ture read­ings of let­ters from the Mas­ur estate, and an edu­ca­tion­al pro­gramme with pupils from the Kurt Mas­ur School in Leipzig. The announce­ment was made on 5 April 2017 by Tomoko Mas­ur (Pres­id­ent of the IKMI) and Anna-Bar­bara Schmidt (Man­aging Dir­ect­or of the IKMI) at the pub­lic event announ­cing the open­ing of the Insti­tute at the Mendels­sohn House in Leipzig.

Before it has even offi­cially opened, on 21 Septem­ber 2017, the IKMI will be sta­ging a bene­fit con­cert in aid of Parkinson’s research in col­lab­or­a­tion with Leipzig Uni­ver­sity Hos­pit­al. The con­cert at the Leipzig Gewand­haus will fea­ture a com­pos­i­tion by Sebasti­an Pil­grim for which he was awar­ded the Kurt Mas­ur Prize at the 2017 Ger­man Music Com­pet­i­tion; this piece will also be per­formed in Novem­ber dur­ing the gala weekend.

A meet­ing place and centre for cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion is to be cre­ated at the Mendels­sohn House in Leipzig, the last home of the com­poser, where vis­it­ors can exper­i­ence a taste of the 19th cen­tury thanks to the con­sid­er­able sup­port giv­en by Kurt Mas­ur. In line with Masur’s human­ist, music­al and social out­look and dis­pos­i­tion, the aim of the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute is to pro­mote dia­logue through music on a nation­al and inter­na­tion­al level. “You have to believe in the power of music and learn to per­ceive it. It has the capa­city to kindle and strengthen our bet­ter selves,” accord­ing to the maes­tro. The IKMI is to receive fin­an­cial sup­port from the Depart­ment of Cul­ture of the City of Leipzig. Chris­ti­an Kern and accol­ade pr from Leipzig are respons­ible for the cor­por­ate design and lay­out of its website.

In keep­ing with the slo­gan of the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute, ‘Music – Encounter – Inspir­a­tion’, the board of trust­ees under its Pres­id­ent and bene­fact­or Tomoko Mas­ur and Man­aging Dir­ect­or Anna-Bar­bara Schmidt has developed an ambi­tious pro­gramme for the Found­a­tion. There are plans for sem­inars and mas­ter­classes for young musi­cians under the title of the Kurt Mas­ur Academy and Kurt Mas­ur Lec­tures, where socially rel­ev­ant themes will be addressed by inspir­a­tion­al fig­ures from a num­ber of coun­tries. The pub­lic dis­cus­sion at St. Peter’s Church in Leipzig between Kurt Mas­ur, Helmut Schmidt and Peter Maf­fay in Octo­ber 2014, which marked the 25th anniversary of the peace­ful revolu­tion, counts as the first in this series. In addi­tion, the IKMI will be host­ing an aca­dem­ic dis­course, the Kurt Mas­ur Sym­posi­um, at reg­u­lar intervals.

Anoth­er import­ant pil­lar of the Foundation’s work will be the devel­op­ment of the Kurt Mas­ur Archive, which is to be opened to the pub­lic one stage at a time with­in the Mendels­sohn House. This will serve as a point of depar­ture for cul­tur­al and social stud­ies and for musi­co­lo­gic­al research and study. The conductor’s private archive holds more than 2,000 let­ters, count­less audio and film record­ings, as well as more than sev­enty years’ worth of press art­icles and pro­grammes. There are also wide-ran­ging col­lec­tions of pho­to­graphs, sheet music/scores, posters and works of art, as well as an extens­ive music library.

The first step towards pub­lic use of the archive was taken on 4 April 2017. The Leipzig Saxonia Lions Club provided more than Euro 2,000 in spon­sor­ship for the reprint­ing of the score of Ben­jamin Britten’s War Requiem with hand­writ­ten annota­tions by the maes­tro, which formed part of his estate. Kurt Mas­ur described the com­pos­i­tion as his con­fes­sion­al work, and con­duc­ted it in 1990 for the first time at the fam­ous Prom­en­ade Con­certs in London’s Roy­al Albert Hall. The Requiem premiered at the Leipzig Gewand­haus on 12 Octo­ber 1991 at the close of the Gewand­haus Fest­iv­al, and was per­formed in 1992, also at the end of the sea­son, in New York’s Avery Fish­er Hall, as well as on Memori­al Day the same year in the Cathed­ral of Saint John the Divine. CD record­ings of the work were released with the New York Phil­har­mon­ic and the Lon­don Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra. In future, the score will be avail­able for inspec­tion by any­one who is inter­ested, and in par­tic­u­lar by young con­duct­ors and musi­cians, along­side the record­ings and a wealth of press and pro­gramme documentation.

“Since my hus­band, who was so ven­er­ated and beloved, passed away, I have met many people from all over the world who tell me their very per­son­al impres­sions and stor­ies about the Kurt Mas­ur they knew. Wheth­er they are fam­ous or not; wheth­er they are musi­cians, politi­cians, busi­ness­men or women or simply just ordin­ary mem­bers of the pub­lic, they all tell me with great pas­sion and warmth about their encoun­ters with my hus­band. It is quite over­whelm­ing. And it is proof that Kurt lives on as a vibrant spir­it in the hearts of many people”, says Tomoko Masur.

Tomoko Mas­ur, the wid­ow of the former Kapell­meister of the Gewand­haus, Burkhard Jung, the May­or of the City of Leipzig, and Jür­gen Ernst, the Man­aging Dir­ect­or of the Mendels­sohn House, were the driv­ing forces behind the estab­lish­ment of the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute, a leg­ally non-inde­pend­ent non-profit found­a­tion. Estab­lished on 25 March 2016, the Found­a­tion receives fin­an­cial sup­port from the leg­ally inde­pend­ent Felix Mendels­sohn Bartholdy Found­a­tion. Tomoko Mas­ur is joined on the board of trust­ees by Anna Dutkiewicz (Wrocław, Poland), Dr. Skadi Jen­nicke (Leipzig’s Deputy May­or for Cul­ture), Annette Körner (mem­ber of Leipzig City Coun­cil and chair of the Cul­tur­al Com­mit­tee), Ken-Dav­id Mas­ur (Assist­ant Con­duct­or of Boston Sym­phony Orches­tra), and Ilona Schmiel (Dir­ect­or of the Ton­halle Soci­ety in Zurich).


Kurt Masur sponsorship prize awarded in Leipzig for the first time

The Kurt Mas­ur spon­sor­ship prize of the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute was awar­ded for the first time on Fri­day, 10 March 2017 as part of the Ger­man Music Com­pet­i­tion in Leipzig. The work of the prize-win­ner Sebasti­an Pil­grim will be per­formed again on 21 Septem­ber 2017 at the Leipzig Gewand­haus.
“Music must address people dir­ectly. Sebasti­an Pilgrim’s set­ting of the four Schwit­ters poems touches on two essen­tial aspects of our lives: humour and human­ity. In the won­der­ful inter­pret­a­tion by Ensemble BRuCH, com­pos­i­tion­al pro­fi­ciency is brought togeth­er with both music­al and lit­er­ary esprit in a skil­ful and enjoy­able union.”

The Kurt Mas­ur spon­sor­ship prize of the Inter­na­tion­al Kurt Mas­ur Insti­tute will be presen­ted for the first time on Sat­urday, 11 March 2017 at Leipzig Gewand­haus as part of the Ger­man Music Com­pet­i­tion. The prize for the ‘Com­pos­i­tion’ cat­egory will be presen­ted by the Foundation’s Pres­id­ent, Tomoko Mas­ur, and comes with Euro 1,000 in prize money as well as sev­er­al oppor­tun­it­ies for the prize-win­ning work to be per­formed. In addi­tion, a bene­fit con­cert will be held on Sunday, 12 March 2017 under the bat­on of Michael San­der­ling for the Kurt Mas­ur Academy, the orches­tra academy of the Dresden Phil­har­mon­ic. This con­cert will be ded­ic­ated to the memory of Kurt Mas­ur. The pat­ron of the Kurt Mas­ur Orches­tra Academy, which was opened in the conductor’s life­time, is fel­low founder Tomoko Masur.

The Orchestre Nation­al de France is hon­our­ing its former prin­cip­al con­duct­or on 9 Feb­ru­ary 2017 with an ‘Homage to Kurt Mas­ur‘. The soloist is Anne-Soph­ie Mut­ter, and the orches­tra will be con­duc­ted by his son, Ken-Dav­id Mas­ur. On the first anniversary of Kurt Masur’s death, on 19 Decem­ber 2016, the city of Wrocław also paid trib­ute to its hon­or­ary cit­izen with a com­mem­or­a­tion cere­mony and the unveil­ing of a plaque in its main church, ded­ic­ated to St. Elisa­beth. Pri­or to this, on 20 Novem­ber 2016, a gala con­cert was held in memory of Kurt Mas­ur in Ueno, Japan.