The Ruhrtriennale is an annual music and arts festival in the northwestern area of Germany which runs between mid-August and mid-October. It was founded in 2002 by the government of North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 with Gerard Mortier
Gérard Mortier
Gerard Alfons August, Baron Mortier is a Belgian opera director and administrator of Flemish origin.Mortier has served as general director of La Monnaie and of the Salzburg Festival...

, the impresario and former artistic director of the Salzburg Festival
Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer within the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart...

, as its founding director. The festival is organized into three year cycles, each with its own theme and under different artistic directors.

Each yearly festival comprises 80 performances of 30 productions. Its central feature are the Kreationen (creations) – interdisciplinary productions uniting contemporary developments in fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

, pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

, jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and concert music. Another continuous element is the concert series, Century of Song, dedicated to the art of songwriting. The locations of the Ruhrtriennale are industrial heritage sites of the river Ruhr, which have been transformed to into venues for music, theatre, literature and dance. The festival's main hall is the Jahrhunderthalle, a former early-20th-century power station in Bochum
Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area and is surrounded by the cities of Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten and Hattingen.-History:...

. Other locations include the Zeche Zollverein Colliery in Essen
- Origin of the name :In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it is commonly known as the German infinitive of the verb for the act of eating, and/or the German noun for food. Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of...

, the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord
Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord
Landschaftspark is a public park located in Duisburg Nord, Germany.It was designed in 1991 by Latz + Partner , with the intention that it work to heal and understand the industrial past, rather than trying to reject it...

 and the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck.

Amongst the artists who have appeared at the festival are Ariane Mnouchkine
Ariane Mnouchkine
Ariane Mnouchkine is a world-renowned French stage director. She founded the Parisian avant-garde stage ensemble Théâtre du Soleil in 1964. She has written and directed 1789 and Molière , and in 1989, she directed La Nuit Miraculeuse...

, Peter Brook
Peter Brook
Peter Stephen Paul Brook CH, CBE is an English theatre and film director and innovator, who has been based in France since the early 1970s.-Life:...

, Bill Viola
Bill Viola
Bill Viola is a contemporary video artist. He is considered a leading figure in the generation of artists whose artistic expression depends upon electronic, sound, and image technology in New Media...

, Patrice Chéreau, Ilya Kabakov
Ilya Kabakov
Ilya Kabakov, Russian Илья́ Ио́сифович Кабако́в , is a Russian-American conceptual artist of Jewish descent, born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. He worked for thirty years in Moscow, from the 1950s until the late 1980s. He now lives and works on Long Island...

, Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars is an American theatre director, noted for his unique contemporary stagings of classical and contemporary operas and plays...

, Christian Boltanski
Christian Boltanski
Christian Boltanski is French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker.-Life and work:Having no formal art education, he began painting in 1958. Nevertheless, he first came to public attention in 1960 with few short films and publication of several notebooks...

, Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
William Richard "Bill" Frisell is an American guitarist and composer.One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late 1980s, Frisell's eclectic music touches on progressive folk, classical music, country music, noise and more...

, Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses....

, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

, Akram Khan (dancer)
Akram Khan (dancer)
Akram Khan, MBE is a dancer whose background is rooted in his classical kathak training and contemporary dance.-Career:Khan was born in London into a family of Bangladeshi origin. He began dancing and trained in the classical Indian dance form of Kathak at the age of seven. He studied with Sri...

, Cecilia Bartoli
Cecilia Bartoli
Cecilia Bartoli is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. She is best-known for her interpretation of the music of Mozart and Rossini, as well as for her performances of lesser-known Baroque and classical music...

 and Thomas Hampson.

Cycles and directors

  • 2002–2004 was directed by Gerard Mortier.
  • 2005–2007 was directed by Jürgen Flimm
    Jürgen Flimm
    Jürgen Flimm is a German theater and opera director, and theater manager. After establishing himself as one of the exponents of Regietheater, Flimm was called to manage renowned theaters and festivals...

     and took as its theme the relationship between industrialisation
    Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

     and the arts, focusing in successive years on the Romantic
    Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

    , Baroque
    The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

    , and Medieval
    Middle Ages
    The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

     eras. The center piece was a new production of Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann was a post-WWII West German composer. He is perhaps best known for his opera Die Soldaten which is regarded as one of the most important operas of the 20th century...

    's opera Die Soldaten
    Die Soldaten
    Die Soldaten is a four act opera in German by German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann, based on the 1776 play by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz. It is dedicated to Hans Rosbaud. Zimmermann himself faithfully adapted the play into the libretto, the only changes to the text being repeats and small cuts...

    , which later travelled to New York. Following the death in 2007 of Marie Zimmermann, the appointed director for the 2008 to 2010 seasons, Jürgen Flimm, stayed on as artistic director for another year. The 2008 theme was Aus der Fremde (From abroad).
  • 2009–2011 is directed by Willy Decker
    Willy Decker (director)
    Willy Decker is a German theatre director, particularly known for his opera productions. He staged the world premieres of Hans Werner Henze's Pollicino , Antonio Bibalo's Macbeth , and Aribert Reimann's Das Schloss .Decker was born in Pulheim near Cologne and was educated first at the Rheinischen...

     and takes as its central theme Urmomente (Primal moments), the relationship between creativity and religion, focusing in successive years on Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist culture.
  • 2012-2014 will be curated by Heiner Goebbels
    Heiner Goebbels
    Heiner Goebbels is a German composer, music director and professor at Justus-Liebig-University in Gießen and at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland....


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