Since its creation in 1986, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival has belonged to the most prominent of international cultural events. Magnificent castles and mansions, barns and stalls, the most beautiful churches in Schleswig-Holstein, and even some out of the ordinary settings like dockyards, airport terminals, and old industrial halls create an impressive backdrop for presentations usually reserved for the most renowned concert halls and opera houses. The variety of the program receives new guidelines of content with each festival. The yearly changing emphasis on a selected country enables concert visitors to become familiar with various musical nations with all their different facets. Throughout the course of the »anbruch« series, the SHMF presents the exceptional projects of the respective country, presenting the innovative musical energy and pulse of the time, which beats excitingly different in each country. The SHMF presents an alternative concert forum with the series »Text and Music« established in 2001. The presentation of texts recited by distinguished actors and authors in a musically meaningful context has also become established as a successful element of the festival dramaturgy.
The »Musikfeste auf dem Lande« (Music Festivals in the Countryside) belong to the core of the SHMF, offering a very special and family-friendly concert atmosphere. Visitors can combine classical music with spacious picnics on some of the most beautiful estates in the country. The individual concerts feature both renowned artists from the main program of the festival and young aspiring musicians who are at the beginning of their very promising carriers. The children’s music workshop program is specifically tailored to families, considering that the youngest visitors, between three and thirteen years old, will be attended to by music educators during the concerts. A special music fest for children, which offers music to hear and create, has been held since 2003.
The Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival shows its concern for the future with its educational areas: the Orchestral Academy was founded in 1987 by Leonard Bernstein, the Choir Academy of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival was founded in 2002 in Lübeck, and each year the new talented artists in the Masterclasses at the Lübeck Conservatory receive decisive musical impulses from experienced teachers who can reflect on spectacular artists lives themselves.
One distinct characteristic of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival is the cooperation with the advisors, the many volunteers, and the music appreciating helpers who, before and during the music summer, are inexhaustibly devoted to making the most renowned artists from all over the world feel at home at even the most remote settings of Schleswig-Holstein. All of this accounts for the uniqueness of the festival in »the Land between the Seas«.
Since 2002 the international jazz festival »JazzBaltica« has also become a part of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Superintendents of the SHMF
1986-1994 Justus Frantz
1996-1998 Franz Willnauer
1999-2002 Christoph Eschenbach, Artist Leader
1999-2013 Rolf Beck
since Oct 1st, 2013 Christian Kuhnt
Emphasized Countries since 1996
2003 Great Britain
2004 Czech Republic
2013 Baltic states