The festival director


What is the motivation for a busy musician to be incessantly looking for new tasks? Being a committed patriot Robert Leonardy wanted to contribute to the positive image of his home region, the Saarland, a part of the Saar-Lor-Lux triangle: The “Musikfestspiele Saar e.V.”, founded by him in 1989, are a biannual music festival and deal with a special topic every two years. Initially the festivals focused on the composers Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1989), Antonin Dvorak (1991) and Maurice Ravel (1993), whose complete works were presented. Here Leonardy succeeded in finding so far unpublished cantatas by Ravel in Paris, whose world premieres made for the musical sensation in Germany in the summer of 1993: under the headline “unheard-of music by Ravel” the nationwide
press enthusiastically celebrated the beauty of the mucical discovery. Meanwhile these cantatas belong to the permanent repertoire of many symphony concerts. Then, in 1995, followed the changeover to the presentation of the music of a particular country with a programme ranging from classical music and folklore music to up to date modern music and rock/pop or exhibitions. No other German festival offers such a wide range. The high-quality concerts with worldfamous soloists, international conductors and their orchestras often take place in interesting industrial halls dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, which have a special atmosphere and sometimes boast incredible acoustics.

The best ensembles and soloists from

  • England (1995)
  • Hungaria (1997)
  • Spain (1999)
  • France (2001)
  • Russia (2003)
  • Italy (2005)
  • Nordic countries (2007) (Scandinavia and Baltic states)
  • America (2009)
  • Austria (2011)

and sold out halls contributed to the steadily rising success of the festival. Not only Robert Leonardy´s talent as Artistic Director is important here, but also his ability to convince sponsors and friends as the festival – and this, too, is characteristic of it – is self-reliant. (

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