Sixth Sacrum Profanum Festival begins in Krakow

Karlheinz Stockhausen at Old Billingsgate Mark...Image via Wikipedia A new music festival is underway in Poland.

German music is the main theme of the Sacrum-Profanum Music Festival, which began in Krakow last night, with the concert in which Sinfonietta Cracovia under the famous French conductor Marc Minkowski performed Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 2 and Seven Deadly Sins (with Ute Lemper as soloist).

The programme also includes a wide selection of works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the household names in 20th-century avant-garde music, who died last year. His music will be performed by such renowned groups as Theatre of Voices, the Schonberg Enssemble, Ensemble Modern and Asko. Works by Helmut Lachenmann, Heiner Goebbels and Wolfgang Rihm are also featured on the programme. Kraftwerk, the legend of German electronic music, will give three concerts (19-21 September), in a post-industrial venue of the former steel mill, seating 10, 000.

Founded in 2003, Sacrum-Profanum is among the youngest music festivals in Poland but it has already gained considerable international reputation. Its aim is to explore the fundamental role of the sacred and the profane in the music of the 19th and 20th century. Each year the focus is on a different country. After Russia, France and the United States in previous years, the organizers are planning to make British music the event’s main theme in 2009.

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