Home > Press >

Open Air Classics on University Square

Press Release No. 1/2009
26 05 2009
Concert on 29 May part of the “Dem lebendigen Geist” campaign
Classical works from the 18th to the 20th century are on the programme of an open air concert on University Square (Universitätsplatz) in Heidelberg on 29 May. Students from Heidelberg University will be performing instrumental and choral pieces by composers ranging from Handel to Debussy, including arrangements of popular favourites like Mozart’s Turkish March for brass or woodwind ensemble. The programme has been devised by Carlos A. Haas, musicology student and first clarinet of the University Symphony Orchestra. Musicologist Prof. Dr. Silke Leopold will be acting as moderator. The concert (admission free) starts at 7 p.m. and is part of the “Five Senses” theme block within the renovation fundraising campaign “Dem lebendigen Geist. New University 2011+”. If the weather turns nasty, the concert will take place in the nearby Great Hall of the New University.

While part one of the concert is devoted to instrumental music, part two is given over entirely to choral works. The choice of composers is by no means random. Felix Mendelssohn, Joseph Haydn and George Frederick Handel all have “round” anniversaries in 2009, while most of the other composers figuring in the programme have special links with Heidelberg and the surrounding region. Franz Danzi was a member of Mannheim’s Court Orchestra in the 18th century, Robert Schumann was one of Heidelberg University’s most famous drop-outs and Johannes Brahms spent a number of vacations in the vicinity. The Neckar river and its environs inspired him to produce “many immortal melodies”, so the organisers tell us.

The “Five Senses” theme block began with a knowledge show on 16 May and invites the public to embark on a number of very special “sensory adventures”. The open-air concert will be followed by a gastronomic jamboree at the University Restaurant involving some of the best cooks from the region (15-19 June) and ends on 27 June with the University’s annual Summer Night party. The focus throughout is on the intriguing world of the senses and the inspiration it can provide for the “lebendiger Geist” (roughly translatable as “the creative mind”).

“A society without visions is poor indeed, an anniversary without visions is doomed to be nothing more than a retrospective,” said Rector Bernhard Eitel in connection with the project for renovating and modernising the New University lecture-hall building on the occasion of the University’s 625th anniversary in 2011. The dedication over the main entrance to the building - “Dem lebendigen Geist” (“To the creative mind”) - was proposed by the famous Heidelberg literary historian Friedrich Gundolf (1880-1931). It is the programmatic title of a series of major events marking the run-up to the anniversary itself, some of them interactive. The campaign has been placed under the patronage of former Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl, who studied at Heidelberg University.

The campaign “Dem lebendigen Geist” is designed not only as a fundraiser for the renovation of the New University building but also as an illustration of  the immense range of activities Heidelberg University stands for. For more information go to

Journalists are requested to address their inquiries to
Heidelberg University
Communications and Marketing
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer

Irene Thewalt
Editor: Email
zum Seitenanfang/up