Alongside the Saar Music Festival, the European Weeks are the only festival in Europe today that takes place in three European countries and whose top-class events are held in churches, monasteries, castles and palaces as well as in open-air venues. Internationally renowned as well as regionally known artists are offered a platform to present themselves to art and culture lovers.

The opening concert of this year's Europäische Wochen Passau festival on June 29 presents the symphonic singspiel "Kriemhild", a live orchestral version of the Song of the Nibelungs. After 800 years, the heroic poem returns to Passau Cathedral: the medieval epic was written down around 1200 at the court of the Passau bishop Wolfger von Erla. Enjott Schneider's symphonic version sees the work as an appeal for peace. After opening with "Kriemhild", the EW will present concerts on six festival weekends with violinist Gidon Kremer, pianist Ragna Schirmer, tenor Michael Schade, violinist Daniel Hope and the living conductor legend Herbert Blomstedt.

Gidon Kremer © Angie Kremer

Gidon Kremer © Angie Kremer

Exhibition "X2 Plagues"
Polish artist Natalia Romik is producing the glass sculpture exhibition "X² Plagues" especially for the EW. The artist encloses symbols of the plagues of our time in oversized glass vessels. According to the secret Jewish Kabbalah teachings, the breaking of such vessels was the reason why plagues came upon mankind. Natalia Romik is an artist, historian and architect. Her exhibition "Architectures of Survival" is currently on display at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt. The EW exhibition takes place in the crypt of the Studienkirche St. Michael
July 5 to August 3, 2024

Jüri Reinvere - work commissioned by EW
The Estonian composer Jüri Reinvere has been commissioned by EW to complete his four-part string quartet cycle "Four Quartets". Each string quartet, which combines instrumental sounds, poetry feeds and field recordings, is assigned to a place in Europe and a corresponding cardinal point. As an EW commission, Reinvere creates the final work in the cycle, which focuses on Moscow and the East. The renowned Minguet Quartet will perform all four string quartets on two evenings, combined with works by Beethoven and Brahms
July 4, Fürstenzell, July 5, Osterhofen-Altenmarkt)

Focal points - on the side of confidence
With their "Brennpunkte", the EW are taking the side of confidence this year. Students from the Athanor Academy are staging the performative reading "Voices of Confidence", directed by Nicholas Hohmann. For the project, celebrities from Michel Friedman to Jonathan Meese have named texts and musical works that they consider to be sources of strength (July 6). The Austrian-Croatian theater troupe VRUM presents its production "Das Leben macht mir keine Angst". Using elements of dance, acrobatics, song and shadow play, the performance group stages an encouraging poem by American civil rights activist Maya Angelou (July 6). Spiegel author Ullrich Fichtner provides arguments against the pessimism of our time in his reading "Geboren für die großen Chancen" (July 21).

Light art by Laurenz Theinert © Michael Scheibel

SONLichtkunst Laurenz Theinert © Michael ScheibelY DSC

Highlights
The SWR Big Band and Götz Alsmann invite you to a lively opening concert on Passau Cathedral Square (June 28). Master pianist Ragna Schirmer performs her interpretation of the "Goldberg Variations" at Schloss Zell an der Pram, Upper Austria (July 7). Violinist Daniel Hope and his ensemble AIR return to their "Irish roots" in Bad Füssing - Irish traditionals meet baroque compositions that have shaped the music of the Emerald Isle (July 20). The Gidon Kremer Trio performs works by Giya Kanchelo, Arvo Pärt and Franz Schubert in the Passau Town Hall (July 21). With Smetana's "My Fatherland", the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra in Niederalteich will whisk you away to the Czech homeland of the Czech national composer (July 28). Finally, this year's "Passau Summer Night Magic" brings Puccini songs to the Studienkirche with Michael Schade; Laurenz Theinert's light art accompanies Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suites" with the National Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Prague (August 3).

Herbert Blomstedt © Martin Lengemann

Herbert Blomstedt © Martin Lengemann

Bruckner focus
For the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2024, there will be a Bruckner focus at the EW: the Catholic festive service will be dedicated to Bruckner with the Mass No. 1 in D minor, a deeply felt profession of faith by the composer (July 7). The legendary conductor and Bruckner specialist Herbert Blomstedt presents "Bruckner's Ninth in Passau Cathedral" with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (July 12). In "Not of this World", the Wohlsang Choir and the Anton Bruckner Wind Consort unite music and faith in works by Bruckner and Frank Martin in Engelhartszell, Upper Austria (July 19). Organist Hansjörg Albrecht plays his transcription of "Bruckner 7 on the organ" in Vilshofen (July 26).

Historical reconstruction
In the "Historical Reconstructions" series, pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout and the renowned Freiburg Baroque Orchestra present "Mozart: my first academy, private" in Landau. The candlelit concert reconstructs an academy that Mozart gave on March 17, 1784 at the Trattnerhof in Vienna. On request, guests will receive an admission ticket with their name on it - in Mozart's original handwriting. Artificial intelligence makes it possible
July 11, 2024

Music and art education at the EW
This year, the EW University Festival will once again take place on the Innwiese (June 27). "Jugend musiziert" at the EW presents selected talents from the entire festival region in Passau (June 30). The EW Youth Symphony Orchestra presents a challenging concert program with works from Beethoven to Elgar (14 July). At "Musik in Echt", musician Christiane Öttl introduces the world of sound (various dates). In the school workshops, Double Drums perform their own school concert with young people at grammar schools and secondary schools (dates by arrangement).

Festival European Weeks Passau:
June 27 to August 3, 2024

Off-season highlight in fall 2024: Verdi Requiem with Kent Nagano
A special highlight follows in Passau Cathedral in the fall. Kent Nagano conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with a top international line-up. The program includes the "Verdi Requiem" with Elina Garanča, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Franceso Meli and René Pape. The concert is held in memory of long-time EW supporter Heinz Herrmann Thiele.
October 27, 2024
www.ew-passau.de

Elina Garanča © Sarah Katharina

Elina Garanča © Sarah Katharina