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Shostakovich – Silvestrov – Gubaidulina

The programme of the 13th International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch

In its 13th year, the International Shostakovich Festival is dedicated not only to works by Shostakovich, but also to the music of Ukrainian composers. The festival organisers are thus reacting to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, against the background of which the music of Dmitri Shostakovich regains a frightening topicality. The programme includes numerous works by Valentin Silvestrov, probably the most important living composer from Ukraine, who is also expected in Gohrisch in person: The now 84-year-old, who fled from Kiev to Berlin a few weeks ago, is to receive this year's Shostakovich Prize on 2 July 2022. On this occasion, he will also perform his own works on the piano.

Premieres and first performances
In addition, Silvestrov's 3rd String Quartet and his 2 Elegies for String Orchestra will be performed in Germany for the first time at the Shostakovich Festival. The Documentary "V. Silvestrov", made in Ukraine in 2020, will also be shown in Germany for the first time at the festival. In the final concert, pianist Alexei Lubimov and soprano Viktoriia Vitrenko will perform works by Silvestrov and Franz Schubert from the concert programme that was prematurely interrupted by the Moscow police a few weeks ago. The programme will now be performed in its entirety in Gohrisch.

In addition to the music of Valentin Silvestrov, the opening concert on 30 June 2022 will also feature works by the Ukrainian composer Yuri Povolotsky, including two world premieres. 

„New“ works by Dmitri Shostakovich
There will also be "new" works by Dmitri Shostakovich in Gohrisch: Dmitri Jurowski will premiere his own arrangement of the song cycle on poems by Marina Tsvetaeva op. 143a in a performance evening by the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. For the first time, he will also present to the public an extended concert suite of the incidental music to "The Human Comedy" op. 37, arranged by his father Mikhail Jurowski. Mikhail Jurovsky, who had a decisive influence on the Shostakovich Festival in its early years, died in Berlin in March 2022. He was originally to conduct this performance evening, which is now dedicated to his memory.

In addition to works by Shostakovich and Silvestrov, the programme also includes some compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina. The great Russian composer and Shostakovich Prize winner 2017 celebrated her 90th birthday last autumn.

Re-encounters and numerous first-time appearances
The concerts will once again feature renowned artists: The pianists Yulianna Avdeeva and Elisaveta Blumina as well as the soprano Evelina Dobračeva will return to Gohrisch. For the first time, violinist Vadim Gluzman, pianist Alexei Lubimov, soprano Viktoriia Vitrenko and conductor Dmitri Jurowski will perform in the Gohrisch Concert Barn. In addition, several soloists, members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle, are involved in the chamber concerts. Also this year, all of the artists will perform in Gohrisch without a fee.

This year's cooperation is particularly close with the Sächsische Staatskapelle and the Semperoper Dresden. In addition to the non-subscription concert on the eve of the festival (conductor: Omer Meir Wellber), the premiere of a new production of Shostakovich's opera "The Nose" at the Semperoper (conductor: Petr Popelka) will also take place during the festival period, accompanied by a scientific symposium at the Dresden Academy of Music. The programme is thus more diverse than ever before and will span an arc from Shostakovich's piano and chamber music to the great symphonies and opera.

Photo exhibition by Matthias Creutziger
A retrospective of the first 12 years of the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch is provided by a photo exhibition by Matthias Creutziger, who has accompanied the festival every year from the beginning.

"After two years in which, due to the pandemic, the Shostakovich Festival took place virtually or with an excursion to the Festspielhaus Dresden-Hellerau, we are extremely happy to return to Gohrisch. We felt a great need to focus the festival on the music by Ukrainian composers, especially by Valentin Silvestrov, in view of the terrible war in Ukraine. We are very much looking forward to this great composer who represents the contemporary musical culture of his country like no other." Tobias Niederschlag, Artistic Director of the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch

Individual tickets go on sale on 29 April 2022. 

Click here to have a look at the programme.


Program release end of April

Dear friends of the Shostakovich Festival,

the Russian agression against Ukraine also affects the program of this year's Shostakovich Festival. As a result, the completion of this year's festival program has been delayed by a couple of weeks. It will be presented to the public at the end of April. At the same time the individual ticket sale will start.

We ask for your understanding for this situation. But you can also look forward to a stimulating and top-class program this year, to which we hope we can welcome many of you again in the Gohrischer Concert Barn.

Happy Easter to all of you and see you soon in the health resort of Gohrisch!

Tobias Niederschlag
Artistic Director

Festival program 2021 announced

The Gohrisch International Shostakovich Festival 2021 takes place in Hellerau
The 12th year of the Festival will also feature prominent artists and numerous premieres at the alternative venue.

This year, the 12th Gohrisch International Shostakovich Festival will be guest at the Festspielhaus Hellerau: after thorough consideration of all imaginable scenarios to allow the festval to take place, moving to the European Centre for the Arts in Dresden-Hellerau proved to be a safe alternative. The renovation of the concert barn in Gohrisch entails considerable financial expenditure every year, to which - with limited seating capacity due to the corona crisis - a large financial deficit would have had to be added this year. In addition, the hotels in Saxon Switzerland are still not open to the public, which would not have given planning security to the visitors who mainly travel from outside.

"A unique excursion to Hellerau"
"We thought long and hard about how we could hold the Gohrisch Festival," says Tobias Niederschlag, artistic director of the Shostakovich Festival. „In the end, we came to the conclusion that there was no alternative to relocating to Hellerau under the current conditions. As much as we regret the relocation, we are now looking forward to working together with the great team in Hellerau and to the ideal infrastructure of the Festspielhaus on the outskirts of the beautiful and historic garden city. But this is going to be a one-time 'excursion' to Hellerau: next year the Festival shall be held in Gohrisch again - the place that provides the legitimacy for our Festival through its authenticity and unique atmosphere!"

International stars gather again at the Festival
The list of soloists and ensembles that have been won for the 2021 Festival is again a prominent one. Violinists Gidon Kremer and Dmitry Sitkovetsky are expected to participate as well as pianists Yulianna Avdeeva and Dmitry Masleev, the quartet formation Quatuor Danel and the Borodin Quartet as well as kapelle21 under the direction of Petr Popelka.

Several world premieres and German premieres
"When compiling the programme for the Shostakovich Festival, it was important for us to focus in a special way on its eponym," says Tobias Niederschlag. "Therefore the programme includes several works by Dmitri Shostakovich that have never been performed at the Shostakovich Festival before. We are pleased and happy that we can again present several world premieres and German premieres of Shostakovich works in our programme. In addition, those nine piano compositions by Shostakovich that for pandemic reasons were presented last year in a transcontinental stream project, can now be performed live for the first time in front of a real audience."

Eight events in three days
The opening concert (24 June 2021, 7.30 p.m.) will again be performed by the Quatuor Danel. With Shostakovich's String Quartets No. 2 and No. 5, the ensemble will perform two works that will be heard for the first time at the Shostakovich Festival. // During a book presentation on the the following day (25 June 2021, 11 a.m.), author Danuta Gwizdalanka will present a new biography of Mieczysław Weinberg, composer and a friend of Shostakovich. This will be accompanied by Weinberg's Piano Quintet op. 18 with the Quatuor Danel and Dmitry Masleev - this work, too, is part of the Festival programme for the first time. // Pianists Dmitry Masleev and Yulianna Avdeeva will share a piano recital (25 June 2021, 7.30 p.m.) in which they will then present to a live audience in the hall Shostakovich's piano pieces that premiered in last year's stream (Three Fugues o. op., Six Piano Pieces from 1918-1920, Scherzo op. 1a, Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp Minor o. op., completed by Krzysztof Meyer) During this event, the International Shostakovich Prize Gohrisch will be awarded to Dr. Olga Digonskaya, the head archivist of the Moscow Shostakovich Archive, who has discovered over 300 unknown Shostakovich manuscripts in recent years.

Songs and Romances once arranged for the War Front
In a „Wandelkonzert“ (26 June 2021, 11 a.m.) in the surroundings of the Festspielhaus Hellerau, violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky, his daughter, soprano singer Julia Sitkovetsky, and cellist Friedrich Thiele will present a selection of songs and romances by various composers that Shostakovich arranged for concerts on the Leningrad war front in 1941. These arrangements will be heard for the first time in Germany. The programme will be livened up by some of Shostakovich's Piano Preludes op. 34, which Dmitry Sitkovetsky arranged especially for this "Wandelkonzert" for violin and violoncello (world premieres). The Serenade by Gaetano Braga, which Shostakovich arranged for his unfinished opera project "The Black Monk", will also be heard for the first time in Germany. The pianist Yulianna Avdeeva will also participate in the performance of this work as well as of the Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok op. 127. // A film screening (26 June 2021, 4 p.m.) will present the documentary film "A Journey of Dmitry Shostakovich" by Oksana Dvornichenko and Helga Landauer for   the first time in the original English Language to a German audience. It deals with Shostakovich's last great journey from Moscow to New York in 1973. // Another chamber music night featuring the legendary Borodin Quartet (26 June 2021, 7.30 p.m.) will include three more of Shostakovich's string quartets (Nos. 1, 11 and 12) that have not yet been heard at the Festival.

A Beethoven arrangement by Shostakovich will also be heard for the first time
In a performance evening (27 June 2021, 11 a.m.), kapelle21 will again perform with conductor Petr Popelka. The programme includes the Chamber Symphony based on the String Quartet No. 10 arranged by Rudolf Barshai (for the first time at the Festival) as well as an early arrangement by Shostakovich for string orchestra of the Adagio cantabile from Beethoven's piano sonata "Pathétique", which will also be premiered at the Festival. Also on the programme is the Second Symphony by Mieczysław Weinberg, dedicated to Kurt Sanderling and commemorating the 10th anniversary of his death - the first patron of the Shostakovich Festival died in September 2011 during the second Festival. For the last concert (27 June 2021, 4 p.m.), international star Gidon Kremer returns to the Shostakovich Festival for his third appearance. Together with violinist Madara Pētersone, concertmaster of the Kremerata Baltica, and pianist Georgijs Osokins, he will perform works by Arvo Pärt, Mieczysław Weinberg and Dmitri Shostakovich.

All concerts last between 60 and 90 minutes and take place without an intermission. Due to the current pandemic situation, there will be no concert introductions this year.

Special Concert oft he Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
On you can check the current status of the special concert planned for the eve of the Gohrisch International Shostakovich Festival (23 June 2021, 8 p.m.) featuring the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Vladimir Jurowski (soloist: Leonidas Kavakos) at the Dresden Kulturpalast. As this is an event of the Sächsische Staatskapelle, tickets can be purchased on the website of the orchestra or the Semperoper.

Advance ticket sales and corona requirements
Due to the large number of advance bookings for festival passes and the corona related limited capacity of the Festspielhaus Hellerau (maximum 120 seats), only a few remaining tickets are expected to go on sale. Advance sales for these tickets will begin on 10 June 2021. Latest information and booking options are also available on Here you will also find specific Corona regulations for attending the concerts (valid proof of testing or vaccination etc.).

Venue 2021
HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste I European Centre for the Arts
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 56 I 01109 Dresden I