Editorial | Issue #1/19
Culture in a Metropolitan Region
Frankfurt is probably best known for being Germany’s financial and economic hub. However, the city and the surrounding FrankfurtRheinMain region (FRM) also has much to offer in terms of culture.
It is the mission of the newly launched English-language magazine Culture Frankfurt/Rhein/Main to promote this region’s cultural offerings, especially for its growing cosmopolitan community. The first issue features the following offerings:
- Museums and exhibitions
- Music and dance
- Summer festivals
- Film festivals
F | Films | International Festivals
The Main Nippon Connection
Nippon Connection is the world’s largest Japanese film festival, even while it takes place in Frankfurt, Germany rather than in Japan. The film festival screens more than 100 fiction, documentary, animation and short films. Dozens of Japanese directors and actors gather here every year more than 6,000 miles away from Tokyo. For its 19th edition, Nippon Connection is once again offering a sophisticated and entertaining programme of recent releases including many European and German premieres. Nippon Connection is one of many international film festivals in the region and one of the largest English-language festivals in Frankfurt.
F | Museum | Städel Museum
Only the Best For Its Citizens
“The best for this town and its citizens.” In this spirit, banker and art collector Johann Friedrich Städel created Frankfurt’s most important art foundation some 200 years ago. At this time the “Städelsche Kunstinstitut” comprised a stately edifice, 1.3 million guilders, 476 paintings, 4,600 drawings and 10,000 graphic prints. The art works − every piece personally collected – consist primarily of Dutch masters of the 17th century but also Flemish, German, French and Italian works, most of them landscape and historical paintings. Today this private institution is a popular venue for holding large internationally recognised exhibitions, especially of classical paintings. For example, in 2019 the Städel will show Titian and the Venetian masters of the Renaissance, comprising the largest Titian retrospective ever shown in Germany.
WI | Cinema | Caligari Filmbühne
Cinema With Style
When the Caligari FilmBühne – named after the expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – rolls out the red carpet, international film stars cannot be far. Located in Wiesbaden, right at the city’s market square, this beautiful cinema runs a sophisticated international programme when it isn’t hosting film festivals such as the top Eastern European film festival goEast and exground, widely known for its selection of international independent films. In 2018, the Caligari received the Hessian Cultural Award for its outstanding cultural commitment. Moviegoers also appreciate the film hall for its uniquely classic interior that conjures up the golden age of cinema, and for the fact that many of the films are shown in English.
F | Summer | Weseler Werft
Symphony and Street Theatre
Do you fancy gallivanting around, with a picnic blanket and a good bottle of wine? Or enjoying jugglers, street theatres and concerts under wide open skies? What Proms in the Park is for Brits and outdoor summer festivals are for the French, the Weseler Werft (a former shipyard) on the banks of the Main is for Frankfurters. For two weeks in July and August, the Sommerwerft with travelling artists from all over Europe transforms the riverbank into a second Avignon with theatre, dance, music, improvisation and poetry slams. A few days later, the Europa Open Air (with symphony orchestra) turns the shipyard and the opposite bank into a gigantic open air auditorium for one evening. Tens of thousands of visitors can experience the outdoor performances lounging on blankets while sipping on a glass of wine, which is kind of like having Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park at once. A magical night ...
WI | Events | May Festival
The Proms of Rheinmain
The operas Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito, the performance Mozart Portrait in Percussion, the film Amadeus and a Mozart-themed breakfast are but a few of the many concerts and events that make up the 24-hour Mozart24 component of this year’s May Festival in Wiesbaden. As the region’s top opera, concert, performance and dance festival, it will once again shine with a sophisticated and international programme. Tannh.user, Salome and Don Giovanni stand out for their excellent casting. The dance section likewise promises an internationally acclaimed line-up such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaouni, Hofesh Schechter and Ang.lica Liddell. The May Festival is hence rightly considered to be one of the three classic highlights of the region, right up there with the Frankfurt Opera and the Rheingau Music Festival.
F | On Stage | English Theatre
Frankfurt´s Little Anglosphere
It is Frankfurt’s top go-to venue for English-speaking culture and, indeed, the largest English-speaking stage on the continent. Presenting theatre, musicals and parties right at the edge of Frankfurt‘s central station district, the English Theatre lets you dive into another world. Literally, since the theatre, seating 300, is housed in the basement. The programme, however, is anything but lower-tier, boasting six high-profile productions per year, casted and partly rehearsed in London and New York, and drawing 60,000 visitors annually. James the Bar, adjoining the theatre, offers an amicable ambience for visitors to mingle before or after a show and to have a drink. Once a month, it is also the meeting place for the Frankfurt International Stammtisch, a casual get-together of expats (and non-expats) who come to chat about all matters concerning everyday life in Frankfurt.
F | Exhibitions | Bauhaus
The Living Bauhaus
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Weissenhof, Oskar Schlemmer and the Triadic Ballet, Mart Stam and the cantilever chair: three artists, three works, one name: Bauhaus. The famous institute for architecture, arts and design was founded in Weimar 100 years ago. Although Dessau and Weimar were home to the academy of this new modernity, it was in Frankfurt where many of the ideas and concepts were implemented. For this “New Frankfurt”, city planner Ernst May and architects like Friedrich Kramer and Martin Elsaesser created a form of social and modern housing with revolutionary ideas such as the Frankfurt kitchen or Frankfurt bathroom. Design assumed social responsibility. Walking through May‘s settlements is an easy way to explore living Bauhaus. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary, Frankfurt will also hold three extraordinary exhibitions.
OF | Location | Hafen 2
Sheep and Screens
Open air cinema and concerts, hanging out by the water, child care ... plus grazing sheep? You never thought you’d ever find such a place in or near Frankfurt, did you? But Hafen 2 in the brownfields of Offenbach’s transformed harbour front offers exactly that: coffee shop, concert shed, green meadows, fine dune sand, benches and folding chairs. In the summer, families as well as plenty of offbeat types gather in this biotope to watch films, attend concerts or simply have good old casual chinwags while the kids play in the sand or gawk at the sheep. In the line-up: foreignlanguage films, singer-songwriters, World Cup and European Championship football ... No need for a brolly even, since events are moved inside the shed during off-season or when it rains.
HG | Music | Kronberg Academy
The Young Menuhins
Kronberg is a small but affluent suburb of Frankfurt, located at the foot of the placid Taunus ridge. Formerly known for its artists’ colony of painters, which remains to this day, the cultural gem of today is the Kronberg Academy. The school is a veritable mill for young musical talents, offering highlevel violin and cello master classes and captivating audiences with small-but-fine classical concerts. This year, too, five famous virtuosos and educators Ana Chumachenco, Mauricio Fuks, Mihaela Martin, Gerhard Schulz and Pavel Vernikov will be giving violin lessons to students coming from all over the world. Every two years, the Kronberg Academy Festival also enchants the audience with a special musical firework, this year in the focus: Ludwig van Beethoven (Sep–Oct 2019).
Rheingau | Venue | Eberbach Monastery
In Sean Connery´s Footsteps
The old Cistercian abbey, Eberbach Monastery, is ensconced in the hills at the shore of the Rhine River, close to Wiesbaden. Built in the early 12th century, it is still in miraculously good shape. That surely contributed to its being chosen as a central location for the filming of The Name of the Rose (1986), starring none other than Sean Connery. In the summer, visitors can watch the film on the very site of the original film set. In addition, the decommissioned abbey has been hosting a slew of other extraordinary cultural events such as the renowned classical Rheingau Music Festival as well as arts and crafts shows. And of course, the abbey walls themselves are an attraction, especially for families. Eberbach is also known for its superb wines, being situated in the midst of one of Germany‘s best vinicultural regions.
DA | Feature | Darmstadt
A Creative City
Darmstadt is, and has always been, a hotbed of creativity in the region. It is home to Mathildenhöhe, a compound of stately artists’ and museum buildings best known for the eponymous artists’ colony founded in 1899. The compound is the site of the Wedding Tower, a landmark of German Art Nouveau, as well as buildings by famous architects of the early 20th century, such as Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens. The city of Darmstadt is also the birthplace of the Darmstadt Secession, a revolutionary artist community founded in 1919 by artists including Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner and Paul Hindemith. A New Darmstadt Secession was founded in 1945 and continues on to the present day. Near Darmstadt there is also the Mediencampus Darmstadt-Dieburg, perhaps the most exciting new media academy in the region.
F | Opera | Oper Frankfurt
Opera House of the Year
Renovation, relocation, new construction? Frankfurt‘s opera house is always the talk of the town. All the more because the opera recently received the annual Opera House of the Year award for the fourth time. No doubt, Oper Frankfurt is among the highest ranking in Germany while under the direction of Bernd Loebe, who took over in 2002. The mix of programmes is excellent: H.ndel’s operas, an exquisite Merry Widow, and Verdi, of course, as well as many contemporary works. The permanent ensemble, built around Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Claudia Mahnke and Kihwan Sim, as well as the General Music Director Sebastian Weigle are complemented by such celebrated invited artists as Brenda Rae and Źeljko Lućić. What’s more, even passers-by without a ticket can enjoy the high quality of the performances by loudspeakers mounted outside the building.
FRM | English Cultural Offers
The vast number of diverse English-language cultural offerings prove that FrankfurtRheinMain is a most cosmopolitan region. This is only a small selection of the most coveted venues and events.
CINEMAS Screening Anglophone Films:
STAGES Showing Anglophone Theatre Plays / Events:
FRM | Summer Special
Vibrant Squares and Streets
During the summer, the people of the RheinMain region go outside and enjoy life in the streets and public squares – just like in Avignon or at other festivals in southern France. Here is a small selection of this festivals and events.
- F | Sommerwerft | Street Theatre | Jul-Aug
- F | Stoffel | Music & Cabaret | Jun-Jul
- Taunus | Idstein Hessian Jazz Festival | Jun
- WI | Improtheater Sommer | Jul-Aug
- MZ | Open Ohr | Music & Performance | Jun
- HU | Brüder Grimm Festspiele | Theatre | May-Jul
- Wetterau | Burgfestspiele Bad Vilbel | Theatre | May-Sep
- HG | Bad Homburger Sommer | Music | Jun-Jul
- MZ | Summer in the City | Music | May-Jul
- F | Bahnhofsviertelnacht | Street Party | Aug
- FRM | Museums Nights | 06.04.: Wiesbaden | Apr-Sep
- F | Musik im Palmengarten | Concerts | May-Sep
FRM | Film Festivals
Nonstop Film Festivals
Just about 50 film festivals take place in the region throughout the year, which translates into one film festival every week! Many of these festivals are international, contributing much to the region’s cosmopolitan flair. Here is a small selection:
- F | Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International | Mar
- F | Nippon Connection | Japanese Films | May-Jun
- WI | GoEast | Eastern European Films | Apr
- DA | Filmfest Weiterstadt | Short Films | Aug
- F/Rheingau | Shorts at Moonlight | Short Films | Jul-Aug
- MZ | Mainz Film Summer | Jun-Sep
- WI | Exground | International Independent Films | Nov
- F/OF | B3 Biennial of The Moving Image | Oct
- F | Lucas Festival for Young Film Lovers | Sep
- MR | Open Eyes | Short Films | Jul
- KS | Kassel Dokfest | Documentary Films | Nov
- MA/HD | International Film Festival | Nov
FRM | Exhibitions
From Titian to New Frankfurt
There are over 100 museums in the region with a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year. The following is just a small selection of the overall offer.