This year we dedicate ourselves to Johannes Brahms!

This year, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) concludes its series of composer retrospectives, which began in 2014, with the Hamburg-born composer and piano virtuoso Johannes Brahms (1833-1897).

Johannes Brahms spent his childhood and youth in northern Germany, and although his adopted home later became the musical metropolis of Vienna, he always remained connected to his roots: In letters to his father, he remembers "Heide better than many a city." He describes Kiel and Düsternbrook as "beautiful" and recommends a longer trip through Schleswig-Holstein, because "it's supposed to be magnificent!"
While Franz Schubert, focus composer in 2021, paved the way for Romanticism, Johannes Brahms led that era to its conclusion - and beyond: his works were groundbreaking for the beginning of Modernism. Both retrospectives thus form a delightful contrast, inviting us to explore musical styles in the mirror of their times.

In the coming festival summer, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival will present a cross-section of the complete works of Johannes Brahms. The audience will experience his great symphonies as well as his chamber music. In addition, the focus will also be on modern adaptations that allow the work of Johannes Brahms to be experienced in a highly contemporary way.

"'Will you wander on and on? See, the good lies so near,' Goethe says. Johannes Brahms, who comes from northern Germany, has always seemed too close to us in recent years. But now we are dedicating the 2022 Retrospective to him at the end of the composer series. His oeuvre shapes concert programs all over the world. But after intensive discussions, we realized that we can look at Brahms' work and life from new perspectives. In the process, we are discovering entirely new sides and creative explorations of his work, which we will pursue with relish next year," says festival director Dr. Christian Kuhnt.

Special thanks

SHMF 2021 ends its season with a successful balance of 101,000 visitors in total. Both the scope and the richness of the content of the total of around 200 events would not have been conceivable without special funding: The SHMF would like to thank the state of Schleswig-Holstein for its generous support in this second pandemic year. Further thanks go to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), to the Initiative Musik, to the special program NEUSTART KULTUR, and to the Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte (GEMA).