Walk in a straight line through the centre of Leipzig, and within an easy distance you’ll encounter the Thomaskirche, the Altes Rathaus (old town hall), and then the University and the Gewandhaus: this direct route takes in places steeped in the cultural and intellectual history of Germany and of Europe. Leipzig’s remarkable density of historic sites has to do with the city’s strategic position: it forms the crossing point of the two trade routes that for centuries connected Europe from North to South and from East to West, shaping the central German region fundamentally and lastingly.
The city of Leipzig – as an intersection and kaleidoscope of trade and of cultural influences – will now be yet further enriched by the European Chamber Music Academy Leipzig (ECAL): in 29 concerts, young musicians will let their skills resound in spaces across Leipzig and central Germany where famous composers once lived and worked. The ensembles come from all over Europe: from Porto and Kristiansand, from Brussels and Budapest, all coming together in Leipzig.
Forming cultural connections, enabling open-minded exchange of European musical traditions – and this through the participation of emerging ensembles from Europe’s music colleges, and with the history-seeped atmosphere of Leipzig as musical metropolis lending shape to the proceedings: these elements form the core of this first ECAL 2019. In building a chamber music network, the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig has this special combination in sight as its goal.
As far as programming is concerned, things are going to be exciting, given that as well as the conventional ensembles ranging from string trio to piano quartet, there are also more unusual combinations to discover: we’ll have the chance to hear a recorder quintet and both clarinet- and tuba quartets. We’ll hear a world premiere alongside pieces by oft-neglected composers as well as well-known works. Thus the programme also reflects Leipzig’s significance as a city of musical innovation and development.
We wish all the chamber ensembles a very warm welcome and wish them successful concerts.
And for you, dear concertgoers, we wish unforgettable concert experiences and an enriching, exciting musical journey of discovery.
Professor Hanns-Martin Schreiber and Professor Caspar Frantz