Dresden – Why the Florence of the Elbe is a thriving cultural centre for musicians

IMAGE | German National Tourist Office

Dresden, Germany – Where for many, the stories of Bach, Carl Maria von Weber, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss are at home. As the capital of Saxony, the Saxon royalty set about sponsoring the finest musicians and artists to work and live in the city.

IMAGE | Landmarks along the Elbe

The 4th largest city in Germany in terms of surface area and the 12th largest in terms of population, Dresden may be seen as a forgotten child of the East, but it is certainly a city that has continued to flourish. However, music has long held its crown in Dresden with dozens of festivals flying the flag as ambassadors of music. Old coexists with new allowing young learners to embrace all Dresden has to offer.

Where art and music walk hand in hand

Like many cities in Germany, Dresden was pulled down by World War Two and reconstructed to reflect the beautiful architecture and iconic churches of such locations as the Zwinger Palace and the Church of Our Lady. While the current monuments are reconstructions, they stand with a defiance and pose like that of one of Germany’s greatest ballet dancers, Pina Bausch.

Through such prestigious institutions as the Semperoper, the city’s Staatskapelle Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Kreuzchor Boys’ Choir, Dresden continues to keep the emphasis on music alive. Students can engage with tours which not only offer a historical account but opportunities to use multimedia exhibits which touch on acoustics and 3D sound technology.

Don't miss out on...

Exploring the relationship between Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and the Semperoper!

One of the oldest orchestras in the world, the Staatskapelle Dresden is steeped in tradition and performs in the Semperoper more than 260 times in the calendar.

IMAGE | Dresden Music Festivals

When it comes to Dresden, the River Elbe cannot be overlooked. Stretching for 30kms inside the city limits and transporting over half a million passengers every year (Dresden.de/statistik), the banks of the Elbe are home to many festivals throughout the year. Together with the stunning architecture which lines the river, including the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden and Schlossplatz, there are echoes of the Italian city of Florence which were acknowledged by the cities’ partnership in 1978.

One of the most popular events in Dresden is the annual Dresden Music Festival. Taking place in May, students can experience everything from classical music (including contemporary classical music) to world music, jazz, and dance. Such events allow students to discover new music and consider how they wish to shape their own musical journey.

Shaping a music tour to Dresden

For student music groups seeking to perform on their tour to Dresden, it’s important to consider audiences. As music is embedded into the city, you’re unlikely to find that a problem, but booking with a trusted tour operator like Travelbound Music Performance Tours provides added peace of mind.

Some of the top locations you can perform at include:

• Annenkirche

• Dreikönigskirche

• Frauenkirche

• Schloß Moritzburg

There are also a number of nearby spa towns, including Bad Lausick (check out the Butterfly Stage), Bad Schandau and Kreischa, while Leipzig also has its own musical heritage and is located just 90 minutes west of Dresden.

IMAGE | Performing in Germany

What to look out for in Dresden…

■ Saxon State Orchestra Dresden

■ Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra

■ Dresden Kreuzchor Important Festivals, Festivities, and Markets

■ Dresden Music Festival

■ Tanzwoche Dresden – International Festival for Contemporary Dance

■ Dresden Night of Museums

■ International Dixieland Festival

■ Canaletto – The Dresden City Festival

■ Dresden Semper Opera Ball

■ Film Nights on the Banks of the Elbe River

■ Bunte Republik Neustadt Cultural Festival

■ Dresden Steam Engine Festival

■ Steam Ship Parade

■ Dresdner Striezelmarkt Christmas Market

The stage is always set in Dresden with the city demonstrating a resilience (even in the destruction from war) to hold onto what has long shaped the region – music which has stood the test of time and continues to inspire young musicians and audiences alike.


To find out more about how Travelbound can help take some of the pressure off organising a music tour, get in touch with the Travelbound Music Team on 01273 265 290 or contact us here.

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