The 36th Dresden Music Festival has a big title and even bigger ambitions – EMPIRE – a theme which Artistic Director Jan Vogler hopes will embrace not just the cultural achievements of the British Empire but the broader implications of the word. The Brits are coming for sure with a range of music stretching from the Renaissance via Purcell to Elgar and Britten. The Americans are coming, too, with the New York Philharmonic “in residence” under their Chief Conductor Alan Gilbert. And 2013’s big anniversaries – Wagner, Verdi, Lutoslawski, Britten – will be celebrated in style.
Jan Vogler, who has been very actively involved in the fabric of Dresden’s musical life and was for a time principal cellist of the Dresden Staatskapelle, says he feels “like Dresden’s Foreign Minister for Cultural Affairs” and in this exclusive audio podcast with Edward Seckerson he speaks about opening up this historic city and welcoming the world to its many and varied and extraordinary venues to experience the cream of international music talent. Last year he and Brit Ivor Bolton created a Festival Orchestra to trawl the archives of Dresden’s early music history. They created a great deal of excitement which they hope to build on this year. All this plus the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, with Wagner as nobody ever imagined they would hear it, and Rufus Wainwright, too.