© Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Siegfried 2019

News from the Committee

A Shostakovich Symphony at the Festspielhaus
For the first time in its history, the Bayreuth Festival will perform a symphony by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich on 24 July 2020 in the Festspielhaus
As part of its supporting programme "Discourse Bayreuth", a symphony by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich will be performed on 24 July 2020 in the Festspielhaus. This concert is a signal to combat the growing anti-Semitism and xenophobia, which is increasing not only in Germany but worldwide.

The Federal Youth Orchestra will perform under the baton of the Music Director of the Bayreuth Festival, Christian Thielemann. Other performers include the Estonian National Male Choir and the internationally acclaimed bass Dmitry Belosselskiy.

The idea for this performance of Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor "Babi Yar" came from Katharina Wagner, the Director of the Bayreuth Festival with the approval of the Festival's Board of Trustees.

We, the Richard Wagner Association International, fully support the implementation of this idea. The Bayreuth Festival is the festival in Germany which, on the one hand, exclusively performs the great canon of the most famous German composer, Richard Wagner, since 1876 and, on the other hand, not only attracts an international audience, but also brings together international  staff and globally committed artists during the Festival period.

For us, as the International Richard Wagner Association, the same argument for rejection of anti-Semitism and xenophobia naturally applies, because we represent 126 Wagner Societies internationally, with approximately 20,000 members, who cultivate the work of Richard Wagner throughout the world. 

Rainer Fineske
President, Richard Wagner Association International