The festival programme 2022

The 37th Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival places the composer Johannes Brahms and conductor Omer Meir Wellber at the center of its program from July 2 to August 28, 2022. 

Many internationally acclaimed artists could be won for this year's festival including Igor Levit, Hélène Grimaud, Martin Grubinger, Magalena Kožená, Daniil Trifonov, Xavier de Maistre, Lucero Tena, Grigory Sokolov, Seong-Jin Cho, Sabine Meyer, Jan Lisiecki, Martin Stadtfeld, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Midori, Janine Jansen, Daniel Hope, Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou, David Orlowsky, Felix Klieser, Anastasia Kobekina, Maria João Pires, Avi Avital and Benjamin Appl.
Among the top orchestras performing this year at the SHMF will be the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Anima Eterna Bruges. In addition, renowned ensembles such as the Balthasar-Neumann-Choir and the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, the STEGREIF.orchester, the Camerata Salzburg, the ensemble reflektor, The King's Singers, Time for Three and the Schumann Quartett are represented in the festival. Prestigeous conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Krzysztof Urbański, Andrew Manze, Thomas Hengelbrock, Pablo Heras-Casado, Adam Fischer and Christoph Eschenbach conduct the Orchestra concerts. And also promising young conductors will perform at the festival: Ruth Reinhardt, Hugo Ticciati and Tarmo Peltokoski are celebrating their SHMF debut. In addition to important names in classical music the SHMF program also presents outstanding artists from other genres, among them are Ute Lemper, Max Raabe, Götz Alsmann, the rapper Danger Dan, Revolverheld front singer Jo-hannes Strate, the Austrian composer and musician Manu Delago, the musician and Gunder-mann performer Alexander Scheer as well as Max Mutzke. Well-known ensembles such as the quartet Quadro Nuevo, the indie-swing band Marina & the Kats, the electropop-duo ÄTNA with the NDR Bigband and the Takeover! Ensemble with singer-songwriter Joris and the hip-hop group Fünf Sterne Deluxe will be guests on the SHMF stages. Special festival highlights are the concerts of pop legend Tom Jones and the American jazz singer Gregory Porter.

Facts and Figures

204 concerts, five Music Festivals in the Countryside, two children’s music festivals, and a “Werftsommer” will be held in 123 venues at 65 locations in Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark. Hamburg, and northern Lower Saxony. The budget approved by the Foundation Board amounts to approximately 11.3 million euros. The SHMF thanks the Land Schleswig-Holstein for its fund-ing of 1.238 million euros. Contracts with the main sponsors, concert sponsors, and in-kind sponsors as well as donations and grants secure the financing.
Composer Retrospective: Johannes Brahms
With the Hamburg-born composer Johannes Brahms, the SHMF this year concludes its series of composer retrospectives, which since 2014 have been devoted to Felix Mendelssohn, Maurice Ravel, Carl Nielsen and Johann Sebastian Bach, among others. 
In more than 85 concerts, the festival presents a comprehensive and diverse look at Brahms’ œuvre. His great symphonies, solo concertos, string quartets, The Hungarian Dances, as well as lesser-known works like the First Serenade, a rarely performed youth work, and the Piano Pieces, Op. 76 can be experienced. Modern adaptations of his music in addition to the original works are another focus. Ensembles like the Jazzrausch Bigband, the SIGNUM saxophone quartet, Musicbanda Franui, Uwaga!, Wildes Holz, and the singer Lia Pale, among others, develop a current and exciting approach to the works of Johannes Brahms with very different programs. Prominent actors and actresses like Martina Gedeck, Axel Milberg, Christian Brückner, and Klaus Maria Brandauer will also address the composer’s life and work in musical readings. 

A separate concert series titled Inside Brahms will also take place as part of this year’s composer retrospective. In the former Gängeviertel Quarter of Hamburg’s Neustadt district, where Johan-nes Brahms grew up, Viennese clarinetist Matthias Schorn is curating six concerts that span an interesting musical-biographical arc: from the poor conditions of Johannes Brahms’ childhood and youth, his first concerts in local brothels, taverns and dance halls, to his later fame as an internationally highly respected composer. The program includes music by Brahms, of course, as well as pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Ray Charles, and the Beatles. The prizewinners of the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis will deliver the performance.

Artist portrait: Omer Meir Wellber

Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber is this year’s portrait artist at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. The 40-year-old is one of the most talented conductors of his generation. Born in the Israeli city of Be'er Scheva, he began piano and accordion lessons at the age of five. Conducting and composition studies in Jerusalem and time as assistant to Daniel Barenboim ultimately led to a stellar career that has included appearances with orchestras like the Filarmonica della Sca-la, the Orchestre de Paris and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. He is currently Principal Con-ductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Music Director of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and Princi-pal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper Dresden. In September 2022, Omer Meir Wellber will take over as conductor at the Volksoper in Vienna. His appearances on SHMF stages include not only the conductor’s podium, but he will also appear as a soloist on the accordion, harpsichord, grand piano and in musical readings – he is currently working on his third book. For his artist portrait, which he placed under the motto Friendship, he has put together a very lively and var-ied program with a total of 14 concerts. These include major symphonic works, chamber music, chansons, a melodrama, a four-hand piano recital and musical readings. He will conduct the BBC Philharmonic, the string ensemble of the Volksoper Wien, and he will also lead a working session with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. Omer Meir Wellber has invited many musical friends to his concerts: Israeli mandolinist Jacob Reuven, pianists Fazıl Say and Daniel Ciobanu, violist Amihai Grosz, cellist Steven Isserlis, soprano Einat Aronstein, and actors Dominique Horwitz and Isabel Karajan.

The “Werftsommer”

On the weekend of July 15-17, the industrial zone of Lübeck’s Kulturwerft Gollan will become a large open-air stage for artists and bands of various musical genres. 19-year-old Hamburg pop singer Zoe Wees, who started a world career two years ago as a student with her hit Control will kick off the event. Cologne reggae star Gentleman will present his first German-language al-bum, Canadian singer Wendy McNeill will transport the audience to the world of “space folk” with enchanted sounds, and the Jazzrausch Bigband will celebrate the world premiere of its Brahms' Breakdown program. The four-piece pop band Bukahara invites the audience to dance with an energetic mix of Balkan-folk and sounds from the Orient, and the brass band Moop Mama will prove that hip-hop also works “unplugged”. Plus, the singer-songwriter Anna Wydra will present her blunt and entertaining singing style about the absurdities of life. Between the concerts, the audience can explore innovative and sustainable projects dedicated to various social issues and enjoy culinary delights from the region. Poetry slam artist Tilo Strauß will MC the stage through the weekend.

Promoting Excellence

The Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, established by Leonard Bernstein in 1987, is com-posed this year of around 110 young musicians who qualified over the winter at some 30 audi-tions in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. They receive a scholarship which includes their stay at the Nordkolleg Rendsburg during the festival season from the beginning of July to the end of August as well as intensive rehearsal phases with renowned conductors.
This year SHMF portrait artists Omer Meir Wellber, Adam Fischer, Krzysztof Urbański and Ludwig Wicki will be guests at the conductor’s podium. Of course, Christoph Eschenbach, Principal Conductor of the Festival Orchestra, will also lead a phase of the work. The program of eleven concerts includes the Double Concerto for Violin and Cello by Johannes Brahms, Le Sa-cre du Printemps by Igor Stravinsky, and the film concert STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Back. Guest performances during the summer will take the young musicians to the Rheingau Music Festival and the Young Euro Classic festival in Berlin.

The Master Classes will take place at the University of Music Lübeck (MHL) from July 23 to Au-gust 3. The King’s Singers, cellist Jens Peter Maintz, mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender and violinist Donald Weilerstein are the world-class artists and pedagogues returning to the SHMF master classes to dedicate themselves to the participants from across the globe. For the first time, Israeli violist Amihai Grosz, principal violist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, will offer an instrumental course. Workshops on dispokinesis, physiotherapy and mental training will also take place to support the participants beyond the purely artistic endeavors. At the end of the courses, the young musicians will present their progress to the festival audience during the Master Class concerts. The application deadline for participation is April 30.

This year’s master David Orlowsky, known for his trio and worldwide solo successes as a clari-netist, brings classical music and klezmer together in the Meisterschüler - Meister concert se-ries. Together with the young talents Qingzhu Weng (violin), Moë Dierstein (violin), Céline Eberhardt (viola), Constantin Heise (cello) and Glenn Großmann (double bass) he will focus on Mozart’s clarinet quintet, his own original works as well as those from other klezmer and tango composers.

The British composer Hannah Kendall will be awarded the Hindemith Prize 2022. The prize honors young contemporary composers for the 33rd time and is endowed with 20,000 euros. “Hannah Kendall displays enormous compositional diversity, ranging from classical heritage to experimental ideas. The sonority she creates with seemingly playful ease, her clear structure, her energy and unwillingness to compromise have inspired us without reservation,” says Dr. Christian Kuhnt, SHMF artistic director and chairman of the jury. The prize is sponsored by the Hindemith Foundation (Blonay/Switzerland), the Rudolf and Erika Koch Foundation, the Wal-ther and Käthe Busche Foundation, the Gerhard Trede Foundation, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and the Land Schleswig-Holstein. The prize winners’ concert will take place on August 22 in Rendsburg-Büdelsdorf.

Leonard Bernstein Award for Sean Shibe

This year’s Leonard Bernstein Award, endowed with 10,000 euros, goes to Sean Shibe. Born in Edinburgh in 1992, the guitarist of English-Japanese descent grew up in a music-loving home and began playing the guitar at school. The young artist has already released four concept al-bums, covering a wide musical range from Renaissance to commissioned compositions, includ-ing minimal music. Sean Shibe not only plays classical guitar, but also experiments with lute and electric guitar. Jury member Oliver Stolz, President of the Sparkassen- und Giroverband für Schleswig-Holstein, justifies the decision in favor of the award winner with the words: “Sean Shibe is an impressive, versatile young musician who inspires on the classical guitar as well as the electric guitar and lute, opening up entirely new musical worlds for us. We are excited to see where his journey will take him and are very pleased to support him on his way with the Leon-ard Bernstein Award!” The prize, sponsored by the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, has been award-ed at the SHMF since 2002 and has established itself as a career springboard for young talents in the classical music scene. The winners’ concert will take place on August 19 in Lübeck. 

Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir

Every year, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir is composed of motivated singers who perform great choral works under professional guidance. For the SHMF composers’ retrospective this year, the ensemble is dedicating itself to the work A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms with an arrangement for choir, two pianos and timpani. Nicolas Fink conducts the choir.

Family-Friendly Offers 

Family concerts introduce the youngest festival visitors to classical music. TV presenter and voice actor Malte Arkona dives into Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition with the young listeners. KiKA presenter Juri Tetzlaff, together with PROFIVE, a group of wind soloists from southern Germany, open the world of sound from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. And the Hanke Brothers bring the four elements of nature to life with plenty of magic and inspire their young audience to enjoy classical music with their joy for performing. As part of his Lübeck-Musikfest, Daniel Hope will also be performing a family concert: On the violin and as a narrator, he will whisk listeners away with the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

Two children’s music festivals, which will take place on August 13 and 14 at the Wotersen Es-tate, are also geared specifically to children. Here, young SHMF visitors from the age of five ex-perience concerts, hands-on activities, and a varied supporting program together with their par-ents and siblings.

Lübeck-Musikfest featuring Daniel Hope

In 2022, violin virtuoso Daniel Hope will once again transform the Hanseatic city of Lübeck into a sound stage for a weekend. In his eleven concerts, he will explore unusual venues on the Old Town Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year, Johannes Brahms will be the focus of this “festival within a festival”. Even better, Daniel Hope has invited the renowned Is-raeli violinist, violist and Brahms specialist Pinchas Zukerman. Other guests include the Am-sterdam Klezmer Band, the Hungarian ensemble Söndörgö, the British cellist Josephine Knight, the Canadian cellist Amanda Forsyth, and the German pianist
Sebastian Knauer. 

Music Festivals in the Countryside 

They are the heart of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival: the music festivals in the country-side. Over five weekends, the most beautiful estates in Schleswig-Holstein – Hasselburg, Stocksee, Emkendorf, Pronstorf and Wotersen – will once again open their doors. In addition to the idyllic countryside and farms, the audience can expect a varied concert program with estab-lished and young artists. A press briefing on the program of the Music Festivals in the Countryside will be held on April 22. 

New Venues 

In 2022, the estate Gut Blumendorf near Bad Oldesloe will be host to the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival for the first time. With the panorama deck of the Emporio high-rise, the En-gelsaal, the Fabrique in the Gängeviertel Quarter, and the Nochtspeicher, several new venues will be added in Hamburg. New venues in Kiel include the canteen of public utility company Stadtwerke Kiel, the high school Gelehrtenschule, the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and De-sign, the StrandOrt, the University Church and an open-air stage at the Neufeldt House in the Science Park. In Lübeck, Schuppen 9, the Carlebach Synagogue and St. Gertrud Church will celebrate their premiere as SHMF venues. 

Sponsors of the SHMF 2022

The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival has enjoyed broad support from the business community from the very beginning. We would like to thank our sponsors in this year marked by the pan-demic for their great cohesion and their active commitment to the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. As main sponsors and partners, the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (consisting of the Schleswig-Holstein savings banks, LBS Bausparkasse Schleswig-Holstein-Hamburg AG, Provinzial Nord Brandkasse AG, DekaBank and the Sparkassen-Kulturfonds des Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes), NordwestLotto Schleswig-Holstein, HanseWerk AG, BMW Group and NDR make a very significant contribution. We would also like to thank the 48 con-cert sponsors, five product partners and all 49 members of the Business and Music Initiative. With their monetary contributions and personal commitment, they shape and mold our plat-form for business, culture and society.

Thank you

The indispensable music education activities of the SHMF are generously supported by the Pos-sehl Foundation, the Dr. Hannelore Murmann family, the Weiland Cultural Foundation Hen-ning Hamkens and the ACO Group. The Fielmann family also continues its patronage of the SHMF. The Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation, the Mathias Tantau Foundation, Dr. Cosetta Bregu, Dres. Beate and Rainer Jebens, and Dr. Norbert Klause. The festival association, with its more than 7,900 members, also supports in particular the festival's work with young musicians. Special thanks are due to the now approximately 300 honorary members of the advisory board. With their enormous commitment and specially acquired donations, they provide for the physi-cal well-being of the artists from all over the world.

Media partner NDR

The NDR is also supporting the SHMF as a reliable media partner in this year. The NDR televi-sion regularly presents festival tips in the "Schleswig- Holstein Magazin". In addition, the high-lights and central events of the music summer are reported. The program "Schleswig-Holstein 18:00" is also dedicated to the SHMF, among other things. There are also regular features on the SHMF in the radio programs NDR Kultur and NDR Info, as well as on NDR 1 Welle Nord, here also on Mondays to Fridays in "Von Binnenland und Waterkant" between 7 and 9 pm. NDR Fernsehen produces the opening concert of the SHMF live for 3Sat. NDR Kultur also broadcasts the SHMF opening concert live on the radio and also broadcasts a variety of other concerts that cover the entire musical spectrum of the SHMF program. In addition, there will be many artist portraits and concert reports, including in NDR Fernsehen's "Kulturjournal".

One advance sale, two steps

Written advance sales begin on February 25, 2022. As of now, concert tickets can be purchased online at It is also possible to order tickets by mail (SHMF Ticket Office, P.O. Box 3840, 24037 Kiel) or fax (0431-23 70 711). On 11 March 2022 starts the telephone advance sale. From this date SHMF tickets can be ordered via the ticket hotline (0431-23 70 70).