Since the 950th birthday of the city in 2000, more than 100,000 music lovers make their way each year to the Dutzendteich Lake to enjoy the Classic Open Air in Nuremberg. On two evenings each year, the largest orchestras in the city celebrate a feast for the senses for the whole town. The Nuremberg State Philharmonic and the Nuremberg Symphony perform a musical program that runs the gamut from traditional classical music, to opera and operetta, to ballett and musicals. Free admission and the opportunity to picnic together in a park during the concert make this event particularly attractive.
Classic Open Air in Nuremberg – A celebration for everyone
There’s a relaxed atmosphere on the lawn. You see young people, who are normally interested only in hard rock, sitting peacefully next to a Lebanese family. A group of seniors has spread out a picnic on a blanket and invite the two punks next to them to share in the feast. Children dash through the park and are greeted by smiles. Young couples toast to their future with a glass of wine. As the orchestra plays the cancan, two girls leap up and entertain their neighbors with a dance. Everyone here has something in common: They are here to enjoy wonderful music in a special atmosphere.
Family Concert with the Nuremberg State Philharmonic
Ninety musicians who play the same note at the same time: That’s an orchestra. But what happens when the groups of instruments go off on their own, when the strings fold up their music and the horns disappear into the woods? How does the music sound from a distance? And how long does it take for a sound wave to travel from one end of the park to the other – when everyone in the audience helps with their voices? Under the direction of General Music Director Joanna Mallwitz, the orchestra will play a morning concert to hear, see and experience.
Classic Open Air – An answer to the past
Luitpoldhain, the park where this all takes place, has a difficult history. It was first created in 1906 to host a Bavarian industrial exhibition and named after the Prince Regent Luitpold. From 1912 to 1929, the Nuremberg Zoo was located nearby.
In 1927, the National Socialists chose this park as the location for their first party meeting in Nuremberg. They returned again in 1929 and used the memorial to Nuremberg’s war dead of World War I, which had just been built by the city on the east side of the grounds, as a backdrop for their military-style ceremonies. After 1933, the grounds were used by the SS and SA during the Nazi Party Rallies.
After the end of World War II, the Luitpoldhain was once again made into a park; all construction from the Third Reich was removed in 1959-60. The only large event to take place here post-war was a national Lutheran Church meeting in 1979. Twenty years later, the city came up with the idea to offer classical music here for people who might not normally attend concerts.
Classic Open Air has helped redefine this park in a way fitting with the city of Nuremberg’s pledge to preserve and remember the past, but to also use the grounds for recreational purposes. The enthusiasm of citizens from all walks of life for enjoying classic music during a picnic in the park shows that this event has fulfilled its goal.