»Reborn from ruins« — Today, Hundisburg Castle shines in all its former splendour. Only 20 years ago, its current renovated state would have been impossible to imagine. First mentioned in 1140, it existed for 300 years in the form we see today. During WWII however, it was nearly destroyed in a fire and remained in ruins for 40 years in the German Democratic Republic. It was only after the German Reunification that it was brought back to life to serve as a cultural site. Nowadays, you can take a walk and enjoy this magnificent estate with its splendid park and gardens. And once every year, the castle reverberates through the magical sounds of music from the SummerMusicAcademy.
Rolf-Dieter Arens, founder of the SummerMusicAcademy, fell in love with this structure at first sight — so the Castle Barn became the first venue of the festival. Even today, it plays a central role in the SMA. The Barn is closely linked to the Academy’s orchestra: It is where the rehearsals take place, where the musicians first meet their audience in the Open Rehearsal, and where the Final Concert is performed to enthusiastic audiences. The spacious hall with its stone walls and high ceilings has a very special atmosphere, which is further enhanced by the orchestra performing right in the midst of the audience on a centrally placed stage, giving the audience a unique proximity to the musicians.
For the 20th anniversary of the SummerMusicAcademy, a very special highlight was unveiled in the Main Hall: the baroque stucco ceiling with its magnificent frescos was inaugurated. The painter Christoph Wetzel was able to recreate the frescos based on photographs and slides from the 1930s. The restoration of the entire sequence of main rooms, which had one of the highest-ranking interior designs in northern Germany at the turn of the 18th Century, has not been fully completed. Currently, the stairway is being reconstructed. It was the first of this kind of monumental imperial stairway that later became very famous in Germany.
The Opening Concert is held at the Academy building, which was restored in 2008. This building plays another important role for the orchestra. It is where the musicians share their meals and use various rooms for individual practice as well as chamber music rehearsals in preparation for the Walking Concert.
The baroque garden was created at the same time as the baroque castle around 1700. Its reconstruction was initiated along with the castle’s during the prolific period that followed the German Reunification. Its protruding grounds with its fountains, the grotto and the cast-iron gate »Pariser Tor« provide the perfect setting for the Walking Concert.
Schloß 1, 39343 Haldensleben