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Leipzig Bach Festival ends with record attendance

A flag of the Leipzig Bach Festival flies next to the tower of St. Thomas Church / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa
A flag of the Leipzig Bach Festival flies next to the tower of St. Thomas Church / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

The Leipzig Bach Festival ended with almost 76,000 guests and a record number of tickets sold. Artistic Director Michael Maul is overjoyed.

The Leipzig Bach Festival came to an end on Sunday evening with almost 76,000 guests attending the 157 events. That was around 6000 more than the year before. According to the Bach Archive, the number of tickets sold was at an all-time high. The occupancy rate for the main concerts at the 25th edition was 90 percent and 95 percent in the Bach churches. He was "overjoyed and speechless", said artistic director Michael Maul and also referred to the "incredible atmosphere" in the city and the "huge enthusiasm" that the 3600 participating artists had sparked.

The festival had "made clear in a wonderful way what a wonderful, boundary-breaking effect Bach's music and the magic of the chorales have", said Maul. "It's a shame that Bach himself was not able to experience this."

Under the motto "Choral total", a double anniversary had been celebrated since June 7: 500 years of Luther chorales and 300 years of Bach's choral cantata cycle. The more than 50 cantatas he composed in 1724/25 on well-known hymns were performed in 16 concerts and church services by 30 Bach choirs from five continents.

Since more tickets were sold than in the previous record year of 2018, the management expects to be able to cover the costs of the year despite some enormous cost increases, also thanks to its loyal sponsors, it said.

The next edition of the festival was announced for June 12 to 22. The focus will be on transformation processes in Bach's oeuvre and works that he created in the style of various European sound preferences as well as compositions by third parties that he rearranged.

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