Göttingen IHF

The Göttingen International Handel Festival was founded in 1920, and is thus one of the oldest festivals for baroque music in the world. Building upon this pioneering role, we set the highest standards in the field of historical performance practice.

Göttingen International Handel Festival

As a result of the personal commitment of a great many Göttingen citizens, the International Handel Festival is still deeply rooted in the city today. At the same time, they also have been characterised by a highly international spirit since the beginning. Combined with extraordinary venues, this creates a distinctive flair that attracts large numbers of guests from near and far to the friendly university city and the region of southern Lower Saxony every year.


Each year, the Festival focuses on the works of George Frideric Handel based under one central theme, and offers a multifaceted overall programme. The opera productions by Handel have always formed the centerpiece of the Festival. This has resulted in the staging of internationally acclaimed productions over the past 100 years. These have won multiple awards, including the internationally renowned Helpmann Award in the category of Best Opera for the 2015 production of Agrippina and the 2014 production of Faramondo.


In addition to the opera productions, the Festival offers further high-caliber events year after year. These include concertante versions of Handel operas, concerts by the FestspielOrchester Göttingen, which is made up of artists from all over the world, as well as chamber music and cross-genre programs. In addition, various talk formats provide an opportunity to learn more about the artists and their programmes.


The Festival also offers various music education programs for children and teens. This is where the Handel 4Kids youth program came into being. As part of this program, there are tried-and-tested formats such as the family version of the Festival opera, the Sing Along church service, family and children’s concerts, and various workshops. The main aim is to attract a young, music-loving audience to the Festival.


What Göttingen does specifically within EEEMERGING+

As part of the EEEMERGING+ project, the Festival holds several residencies a year. In this context, Tobias Wolff has given workshops in recent years focusing on the subjects of The German Market andEnsemble Organization. In cooperation with the boat people project, the Festival offers a workshop on Audience Development. The aim is to give young ensembles a chance for further development and also to offer them a stage to demonstrate these newly learned skills to a large audience.


In addition to the residencies, the göttingen händel competition, a competition for young ensembles, takes place every year in cooperation with EEEMERGING+. This provides the ensembles with the opportunity to present themselves to a renowned jury of cultural professionals, media representatives and artists. In addition to an endowed prize, the winner will have the unique opportunity to perform a prizewinners’ concert in front of a large audience during the Festival season. The cooperation with EEEMERGING+ is characterized above all by the promotion and further development of young ensembles.








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