Trennlinie 01 Trennlinie 03
 Geschichte Bayerns > Culture > Music and Theatre
Music and Theatre

The monasteries and churches were the first centres of sophisticated music, and remained so until 1802/03. The first significant composer in Bavaria was Orlando di Lasso, master of the chapel royal, who wrote around 2000 works. In the 18th century the margravine Wilhelmine invited gifted musicians to the court in Bayreuth. The orchestra of Elector Karl Theodor (1724-1799) from Mannheim was the best in Europe at that time. Important Bavarian composers have included Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), Max Reger (1873-1916), Richard Strauss (1864-1949) and Carl Orff (1895-1982). Today Bavaria has five state academies of music. The Munich Philharmonic and Bamberg Symphony orchestras perform abroad regularly, as does the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The world-famous Bayreuth Festival stages performances of works by Richard Wagner (1813-1883) every year.

Folk plays are popular all over Bavaria. The oldest village theatre was founded in Kiefersfelden in 1618. The villagers still have traditional medieval performances in historic dress. The church year had a great influence on what was performed when. From the 16th century onwards, the Jesuits' conversion drama became increasingly popular in Bavarian towns. The most important poet in this tradition was Jakob Balde (1604-1668).

The famous Passion Play of Oberammergau dates back to a vow taken during the plague year of 1633, and is still held every 10 years.

The court theatres of the different royal residences (Munich, Erlangen, Coburg and Bayreuth) produced the public theatre of the 19th century. Today there are 32 state and municipally funded theatres and opera houses in Bavaria.