Say farewell to the summer holidays! From Beethoven in Bonn to the liters of beer flowing at Munich's Oktoberfest, you don’t have to go far to find a variety of exciting cultural events across Germany this month.
The events listed below only represent a small fraction of the numerous cultural events on offer in Germany throughout September. Theaters and concert halls are opening their doors for the new season, while museums seek to lure in the masses with a round of exciting new exhibitions. Here is DW's pick of the highlights:
Buddhist enlightenment at the Ruhrtriennale 2011
Whoever would like to transcend their own ego and find themselves on the path to Buddhist enlightenment should take time to visit the Ruhrtriennale 2011, from August 26 - October 9. It is the third and final festival season to be directed by Willy Decker and is scheduled to end with the destruction of a sand mandala. Before that, there will be a series of theater pieces, dance performances, films, exhibitions, concerts, readings and art events taking place in the disused industrial factories and warehouses of Ruhr region in western Germany. The focus of each event is an examination of Buddhism.
Among other things, Japanese monks will be presenting a selection of Buddhist chants, a new interpretation of the chamber opera "Hanjo" from the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa will be undertaken by Spanish director Calixto Bieito and the Ruhr Choir will be taking to the stage with the premiere of "Buddha goes Bayreuth." The Ruhrtriennale is a richly diverse arts festival, with a number of premieres this year, including a version of "Macbeth" by Belgian director Luk Perceval, which is already sold out. You can, however, find a notice board on the festival's official website where tickets can be exchanged or sold.
Ruhrtriennale 2011 focuses on Buddhism
Discover international authors in Berlin
Hearing the author of your favorite book reading from their novel can be quite a let down at times. But at the International Literature Festival in Berlin, from September 7 - 17, disappointment is very rare indeed. The organizers of the festival go to great lengths to attract an array of intriguing international authors who are nevertheless little known in Germany. Many of the manuscripts have been translated into German for the very first time for their premiere at the festival. With this concept, the International Literature Festival in Berlin has quickly made a name for itself as a unique and exciting addition to the long established literature festivals in Hamburg, Leipzig and Cologne, which tend to specialize in specific genres. This year, the focus of the festival in Berlin is on authors from the Asia Pacific region.
Chinese writer Liao Yiwu is featured at the Berlin festival
Future of music with Beethoven and co
The master of the symphony may have grown increasingly eccentric in his later years, but Ludwig van Beethoven's musical genius remains undisputed. Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770 and a memorial statue of him looking decidedly grumpy has been a permanent fixture in the city's central cathedral square since 1854. This important historical monument forms the focal point of this year's Beethovenfest, which runs from September 9 - October 9. The origins of the festival date back to the three-day festival of music organized by composer and pianist Franz Liszt to celebrate the official unveiling of the Beethoven monument in 1845, 18 years after his death. Under the motto Zukunftsmusik - or, "Music of the Future" - 10 concerts of works by Liszt will form the musical centrepiece of the month-long festival. As part of the main program, an additional 50 concerts will take place across 24 different locations in the city. An array of prominent solo artists such as violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Helene Grimaud will be performing, as well as Indian conductor Zubin Mehta. Last year, the festival attracted some 70,000 visitors.
The annual Beethovenfest takes the motto "Music of the Future" this year
Open sesame! Heritage sites open their doors
Historical buildings and memorial sites which normally remain closed to the public have been opening their doors across Germany on the second Sunday in September since 1993. The event is a part of the European Heritage Days scheme set up by EU in 1991. This year the Memorials Open House takes place on September 11 with the theme, "The 19th Century - Romance, Realism, Revolution." Monument conservators will be offering visitors guided tours through stately homes and important industrial heritage sites, as well as through graveyards and castles around the country.
Wartburg bei Eisenach opens its doors to visitors on September 11
Year of Germany in India
While former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl may remain a relatively well-known figure in India, Angela Merkel's attendance at the first Indian-German government meeting left many Indians questioning who exactly she was. Germany is India's largest trade partner in Europe and 2011 marks 60 years of sound diplomatic relations between the two countries. The State Department of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Goethe-Institut has organized the event in order to give Indians the chance to experience a little bit of German culture without having to leave the country. Under the slogan "Infinite Opportunities" this special year (actually running for 15 months) offers a colorful mixture of concerts, conferences, exhibitions and parties in cities across India.
The focus of Year of Germany in India is the development of cities. The Mobile Space project curated by German artist Markus Heinsdorff will see pavilions erected in seven Indian cities. Ideas concerning the creation of City Spaces will be presented alongside a selection of German culinary delights in each of the pavilions for a period of 10 days. Choreographer Sasha Waltz will also be hoping to impress Indians with performances of contemporary dance from Germany and the German Philharmonic Orchestra Merck will be touring through seven Indian cities in September.
India is looking to Germany this year
Bavaria 's original festival of beer in Munich
To call the Oktoberfest in Munich a cultural event might be slightly stretching the truth, unless you happen to be studying the culture of beer drinking of Germany, or more specifically the beer drinking culture of Bavaria. The much-loved festival, running from September 17 - October 3, celebrates its 178th year in 2011 and despite the name, actually always begins in mid-September. This year the standard measurement of beer available, a full one-liter glass, will set you back 8.95 euros ($12.70). Well-seasoned bartenders are supposedly able to serve these in under 1.5 seconds! Many people take their holidays during September in order to work at the festival and visitors are sure to see many women in traditional Bavarian dresses, called Dirndl. Those hoping to spend the night relaxing inside one of the festivals great beer tents should be sure to make reservations before hand.
Oktoberfest starts in September, not October
Author: Marlis Schaum / hw
Editor: Kate Bowen