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Tourists Invited to Walk in the Old Footsteps of Hamburg’s Composers

Hamburg now hails classical composers with a street of museums

March 31st, 2015

Hamburg is highlighting the port city's historic connections with classical music. Tourists will be able to explore the town and see old musical instruments or letters written by the greats. After two years of planning and construction, the first stage of the ‘Komponistenquartier’ campus has been inaugurated in a row of six fancy old brick townhouses close to the German city's centre. 

When completed, the campus will comprise six tiny museums, each devoted to a single composing family. "The new museum makes Hamburg's music history, and with it the breeding grounds for the musical development of our city, accessible to everyone," commented the city-state's minister of culture, Barbara Kisseler, at the opening of the Komponistenquartier.

The complex is being developed more than 40 years after a first museum opened in 1971 in the restored townhouse that was once the home of Johannes Brahms, another major composer who once called Hamburg his home. Now the adjoining buildings in Peterstrasse, an old street, are filling up. "The Komponistenquartier offers the chance to bring the great historical significance of Hamburg's musical tradition to wider public notice," said Olaf Kirsch, a member of the board of the new museum.

Most of the composers commemorated here were born elsewhere, but they spent a major part of their working lives in Hamburg. Drawings and texts on the walls explain the composers' lives and work, illustrate Hamburg's own history and make changing musical styles understandable to the viewer.

In 200 square metres of added space, visitors can see original librettos, music scores, designs for stage scenery, concert programmes, composers' letters and musical instruments associated with composers Telemann, Bach and Hasse. Visitors can also sit and rest while listening to music and watching video clips, while they will be provided with a glimpse in to the working and living conditions for composers in centuries past. 


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