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Dresden Orchestra Performs with Alphorns on East German Tower Blocks

Alphorn player Anna Katharina Schumann rehearses for "Sky above Prohlis" on some of the highest roofs in Dresden.

Sky Above Prohlis | Dresdner Sinfoniker perform on East German tower blocks | photo: Therese Menzel

Repertoire from three centuries are heard from buildings of Socialist Brutalism. The event is also an answer to the pandemic crisis.

DRESDEN, SAXONY, GERMANY, September 7, 2020 / -- On 12th September 2020 | 5pm | the Dresdner Sinfoniker will face the challenges posed by the pandemic crisis. Alphorns and brass instruments will be positioned on some of the highest roofs in Dresden, performing pieces of the Venetian Renaissance, incidental music as well as a contemporary work by Markus Lehmann-Horn, which is specifically composed for this occasion.

A musical experience out of the ordinary

The setup is spectacular. Sixteen alphorns, nine trumpets and four tubas are located on the roofs of neighbouring tower blocks in Prohlis and will be heard from 50 metres above the ground. Four Dà Gǔ drums and further percussion instruments are positioned at the nearby car park on top of a local shopping centre, complimenting the performance. The compositions played at the concert all embrace the idea that several groups of musicians communicate over great distances.

A captivating musical journey

The open-air concert starts with a breath-taking ‘Fanfare’, composed for the 1984 Olympic Games by film composer John Williams. The spirit of the games comes to life, welcoming the global diversity of all nations. The following work by Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli was written 400 years earlier, being inspired by the idea of widely separated groups of musicians in San Marco performing polyphonic pieces. In the Dresden concert, the basilica’s alcoves transform into modern rooftops. The highlight of the evening will be premiere of Markus Lehmann-Horn’s newly commissioned piece, composed for the setup of this concert.

An innovative concert format

The sky above Prohlis with its tower blocks will become an alpine setting and the entire neighbourhood will be involved. Everyone can listen to the open air concert, guests on street level, passers-by, an audience sitting on the roof terrace of the Prohliszentrum or residents from their balconies. With musicians being hundreds of metres apart, this is not only an extraordinary setting, the event is also an answer to the pandemic crisis.

Markus Rindt
Dresdner Sinfoniker
+49 172 3455687
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