Fourth Café of Europe in Baden Baden: Thermal Towns of the 19th century as Places for Musical Inspiration

The 17th April 2014, 2.00 p.m. Lichtentaler Allee 8, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany


Several traditional European spa towns of the 19th century look back on a prosperous musical history just as the spa & culture resort city of Baden-Baden. Back then as well as today, the intercultural exchange still quickens the social life at these “communicational places”. Nowadays not only the “Festspielhaus”, Europe’s second largest opera and concert hall, as well as the meanwhile world-famous Museum Frieder Burda enrich Baden-Baden’s cultural tradition, but also the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra, founded more than 150 years ago, the Theatre, built after the lines of the French palaces, the historic “Kurhaus”, which is still the social meeting point of Baden-Baden, and the Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden/Freiburg. During the past centuries they all have boosted Baden-Baden’s image worldwide as a cultural metropolis.

So it is naturally that the Café of Europe in Baden-Baden will takes place during the Easter Festival. The town welcomes the Berlin Philharmonic, which Pierre Boulez is a regular guest.



The subject of the Café of Europe in Baden-Baden is «Spa towns as sources of musical creation ». 

After a short introduction by Professor Peter Steinbach, Academic at the University Mannheim, Institute of Historical Science, Reinhard Hübsch, Cultural Director and Moderator at the SWR2 (southwest broadcast) will continue.

Distinguished panelists will discuss about the composers who drew their inspiration from the spa towns of Europe and whose legacy lives on today, while looking at how spa towns can continue to be places of musical creativity and challenge for young musicians and composers.

A part in the discussion on the podium take Mr. Martin Hoffmann, Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Professor Bernd Glemser, University of Music Würzburg, Professor Dr. Andreas Hohlschneider, former President of the German Gramophone Society, Mr. Andreas Mölich-Zebhauser, CEO of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden as well as Pavel Baleff, Principal Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra Baden-Baden.


The 2014 Easter Festival that will take place at the Festspielhaus is the partner of this Café of Europe. Puccini’s opera “Manon Lescaut” will take centre stage at the Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Soloists of the festival concerts are Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sol Gabetta and Yefim Bronfman. A further highlight will be a concert version of Bach’s “St. John Passion” staged by director Peter Sellars and, in addition to Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta will also take to the podium as conductor.

Tools and medias

This meeting has been filmed, broadcasted and recorded. The video is available on: 

Photographic reportage

Photographic reportage made by Loiez Déniel.


Loiez Déniel lives and works in Auvergne (and sometimes Istanbul). Video maker photographer artist, independent researcher in multimedia integration solutions and operational poetry, he is also president of the International Video Art Festival VIDEOFORMES.

Pictures credits: EHTTA/Loïez Déniel 
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