Zentrum für Telemann-Pflege und -Forschung Magdeburg

Telemann City-Network founded

24.06.2016 12:00

Press announcement • 24. June 2017

Telemann City-Network founded under the patronage of the Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Mrs. Monika Grütters


The Minister of State for Cultural Affairs and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mrs. Monika Grütters, Member of Parliament, has graciously agreed to assume patronage of the Telemann-Cities-Network that was founded for the preparation of the “Telemann Year 2017”. She thereby firmly supports the impressive regional and international co-operation of the ten places of residence and creative work of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his death.

Taking up on an invitation by the Lord Mayor of Magdeburg, Dr. Lutz Trümper, the cities Magdeburg, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Hildesheim, Leipzig, Żary (Poland), Pszczyna (Poland), Eisenach, Frankfurt/ Main, Hamburg and Paris (France) have joined together to form the “Telemann-Cities-Network” with the incorporation of institutions at those places focussing on Telemann’s life. Under the trademark “Telemann 2017” it is intended to honour the musical cosmopolitan Georg Philipp Telemann with concerts, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, youth projects and in other creative events and thereby to stimulate the general public’s awareness. Naturally, there will also be a link with the Reformation Anniversary in 2017 as it was Telemann who reformed the protestant sacred music in a lasting way with his cantatas which became more and more popular. This also provided new inspiration and set newstandards for his friends Bach and Händel.

The 25th June 2017 will be the 250th anniversary of Telemann’s death. Telemann left his mark on the musical development of the late Baroque and the early Enlightenment as no one else did. He not only managed to adapt and mix those multiple and different music styles of this age but even created his own exemplary personal style out of it. He continuously wanted to discover new horizons as a composer well into old age. He also made an innovative step by establishing a concert management at the places of his creative work Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg. Thereby he also created a bourgeois musical life, the results of which are still noticeable today. He even worked as a publisher and ran his own publishing house. 

Telemann maintained contact with celebrities, in particular of the musical, cultural and intellectual life throughout Europe with a sense of dedication resulting in an impressive network of correspondence. And exactly by following that example the former Telemann cities want to co-operate in order to stimulate the awareness of the significance of Telemann throughout Europe in a multi-faceted way.

“Telemann is rooted in the Middle-German music tradition as much as Bach and Händel were but he was also influenced by other centres of musical developments. He generated a lasting influence on the European music culture with his diverse activities”, emphasizes Monika Grütters. “I am therefore very happy that the city of Magdeburg has followed my suggestion up for a co-operation between the European Telemann Cities and I therefore gladly accept the patronage of the Network”.

Information about the events in the Telemann year 2017 will be available on the homepage


Zentrum für Telemann-Pflege und –Forschung
der Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg
Dr. Carsten Lange
Schönebecker Str. 129
39104 Magdeburg

Tel. 0391 540 6755


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Background information


Telemann Cities form a Network
During his lifetime Telemann was the most renowned German composer. June 25th 2017 marks the 250th anniversary of Georg Philipp Telemann’s death. Due to Telemann’s impact on music history this event will become a focal point of the music world, to the broad public as well as the media. Just like Telemann himself, who managed an impressive network in the 18th century, the erstwhile places of work of the composer are coordinating their activities to commemorate this special anniversary with a wide multifaceted range of events. It goes without saying that this event will be linked with the with the anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 since Telemann ‘reformed’ and dominated church music in Protestant Germany with his cantatas like no other.

Various Telemann Cities – one Network
A network of Telemann cities was initiated for a joint preparation and execution of the Telemann year 2017. It links the most important Places in Telemann’s life: Magdeburg, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Hildesheim, Leipzig, Żary and Pszczyna (Poland), Eisenach, Frankfurt am Main as well as Hamburg und Paris (France). Each of these cities influenced his career and in each of these cities the multipresent composer and organizer of musical events left his mark and led the local life of music to new heights. The impact of Telemann’s music reached far beyond the cities mentioned - a fact that can serve as a model for the work of the city network.

Celebrating, Connecting, Taking Action – Tasks and Goals of the Telemann Cities Network
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Telemann’s death in the year 2017 the networking of the Telemann cities is meant to be a strong sign of collective acknowledgement of the composer with concerts, exhibitions, presentations, conferences and various other kinds of events.

With the slogan “Telemann2017” events will be organized by the cities involved both in collaboration with each other as well as individually. They aim to generate supra regionally and internationally broad recognition for the life and work of Telemann and to contribute to the national task of constructive analysis und appreciative remembrance of this personality of European intellectual life. It shall be emphasized strongly that Telemann’s work is a part of our cultural memory and that it still can enrich the musical life of the present significantly a major way.

Telemann’s extensive work in church music, including cantatas, lieder and texts by Luther, present a welcome opportunity to connect events of both the Telemann and the Reformation anniversary in a meaningful way. As a result this double anniversary will encourage an intensive debate about the topic “music and Reformation”.

Events organized by the cities involved will take place during the entire year. The internet portal “” serves as a platform for a joint presentation of the year’s events. Alongside the event schedule of the Telemann cities the website will be open to announce events by other organizers so that the public and especially music lovers as well as tour operators can inform themselves at any time about the multifaceted events taking place to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Telemann’s death. The website will also provide information about the life and works of Telemann as well as about the cities being part of the network. Furthermore it shall contain a link-list which shall be prepared in co-operation with the Center for Telemann Studies.

Telemann Ambassadors in the Network
Renowned personalities like Dorothee Oberlinger and Reinhard Goebel will support the city network as “Telemann Ambassadors”. They will give concerts and additionally give information about Telemann’s life and work as well as the Telemann year 2017 and support the cooperation of the Telemann cities to be affective as publicity.

Telemann’s work and impact
Georg Philipp Telemann is regarded as one of the leading personalities of baroque music and the early Enlightenment. The Director musices mastered the musical styles and genres of his time virtuosically. His work became a sample for generations of musicians. He managed to bring together musical forms and national styles to a “mixed taste” (“vermischter Geschmack”). It is no wonder that the work of the musical cosmopolite Telemann spread from Scandinavia to Italy, from Russia to Spain. He was the first German speaking composer to be celebrated even as far as Paris.

His tireless creative energy and his vast oeuvre turned out to be the doom of Telemann in the 19th century: Suddenly he was dismissed as a writing scribbler. Since the beginning of the 20th century a critical reassessment of the music of the 18th century has taken place and with it a change in the reception of Telemann. Starting with Romain Rolland, Telemann was recognized as a key figure of modernity and as an incredibly innovative composer. At the same time his fundamental contribution to German and European Music was met with universal approval. The musical stylistic change during the 18th century is closely linked to Telemann’s work and his input influenced the development of a modern musical language. With his ability to creatively adapt styles of highly diverse regions of Europe to his work he proves himself truly European and peerless in the music history of the 17th and 18th century.

The Telemann year 2017 offers an opportunity to celebrate Telemann’s contribution to European music in the unique way of networking the Telemann cities on a national and international level and giving his work the modern stage it deserves in the light of its significance.

The patronage of the network of Telemann cities and the events of the Telemann year 2017 lies with Ms. Prof Monika Grütters MdB, Minister of State for Culture and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany. She emphatically supports the supra-regional and international involvement of the places of work of the composer and the expected diversity in approaching Telemann’s work on a national stage as well as in a European context.




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