Tradition and modern life, classical music and pop, retro and neo – anything is possible in Braunschweig. In the State Theatre, for example: Once the Duke’s court theatre, this was the venue for the premier of Lessing’s “Emilia Galotti” in 1772 and Goethe’s “Faust I” in 1829. Today, the programme covers opera and dance performances, theatre and youth theatre productions. The open-air events on the Burgplatz promise a unique opera or concert experience. International festivals take place in the city. But even the State Orchestra, one of the oldest cultural orchestras in the world, can also provide a surprise: At the annual „Pop meets Classic“ event in the Volkswagen Halle the orchestra, together with the Pop-meets-Classic Band and rock and pop soloists from the region, ensures a rapturously acclaimed music experience with well-known rock stars. At “Klassik im Park”, the orchestra transforms the Bürgerpark into a grandiose music garden with a relaxed picnic and family programme, thereby attracting thousands of spectators. Every year, the Braunschweig International Film Festival provides the stage for young European cinema of the highest standard.
Beyond the established theatre and event culture, Braunschweig is also home to a vibrant independent cultural scene which is constantly producing creative new works. The scene includes independent theatres such as the LOT theatre and Das Kult, socio-cultural establishments such as the Brunsviga Culture and Communication Centre, numerous small concert venues such as the Kaufbar, or Café Riptide in the cult Handelsweg, as well as the clubs and bars in the Friedrich Wilhelm Quarter, also known as the Kultviertel (cult quarter). These are just a few examples – the full diversity of Braunschweig’s cultural landscape can be revealed by taking a look at the city’s event calendar.
When it comes to art, Braunschweig once more succeeds in building a thrilling bridge between historic and contemporary: the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum is one of the oldest art museums in Europe. It boasts the fourth-largest gallery of paintings by Old Masters in Germany, with works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Co., as well as sculptures and artisan craftwork from antiquity to early modern times. It also displays a collection of copperplate engravings with works from the Middle Ages to the present day. One of the most prestigious art societies in Germany, the Kunstverein Braunschweig, founded in 1832, exhibits significant examples of international contemporary art in the early classicist villa Salve Hospes. In the midst of all this, a lively art scene thrives with many smaller museums and galleries, fed by the artistic-creative spirit of the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK). Founded in 1963, the HBK is one of Germany’s youngest art universities. Its history, however, goes back to an architectural/technical drawing institute founded in 1790 at the behest of Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand.