Welcome to the Heimbach Hydroelectric Power Station! This imposing building in the wonderful Eifel mountains was built in the Art Nouveau style in 1904, and has provided a spectacular setting since 1998 for the chamber music festival "Spannungen: Musik im Kraftwerk Heimbach", which is held every year in June.

The name of this musical event, which brings top musicians together for a week of chamber music workshops and concerts, reflects the underlying concept: the German work “Spannungen” stands for “voltages” (i.e. the electricity produced in the power station) as well as for “tensions” or “excitement”, which corresponds to the programmatic ideas of the festival. The concerts take artists and audiences alike on a musical journey from the Baroque era through to contemporary works (the festival also features a première performance every year). Well-known works, justly popular amoung both musicians and music-lovers, are juxtaposed with new and lesser-known compositions, yielding unexpected parallels as well as exciting contrasts. Plenty of tension and interaction is also produced by the contrasts between the architecture of the power station with its huge old turbines, between which the concert platform is being set up, the picturesque surroundings and the music.

As the organizers of this festival, we are particularly proud of the fact that our sophisticated programmes, which present a challenge for artists and audience alike, entice not only aficionados of serious music to Heimbach, but also people who don´t have much contact with Classical music. It is a moving experience to see how some contemporary works, just like the classical or romantic ones - and sometimes even more -, can cause listeners to hold his or her breath. One doesn´t need a degree in music to appreciate such profundity!

The Heimbach audience is also invited to attend a series of public rehearsals in „Haus Schönblick“. This enables even greater contact to the artists and understanding of the creation process leading to the final interpretation. And the atmosphere of the festival derives an additional personal touch from the fact that many of the artists take up the organisers´ invitation to bring their families with them, thus producing something of a holiday atmosphere between the rehearsals..

Norbert Ely, music editor of DeutschlandRadio/Deutschlandfunk, which has been the festival´s media partner since the outset, calls the chamber music festival a “citizen´s initiative for chamber music”. And it´s true that the Heimbach festival owes its existence to the selfless commitment of a good handful of music- and art-lovers from “Kreis Düren Art Sponsorship Association”. The association responded enthusiastically to my original suggestion, and was largely responsible for putting the idea into practice, notwithstanding the immense amount of work involved for everyone.

A chamber music festival of this kind would never have been possible without the generosity and commitment on many levels of our sponsors - in particular, of our main sponsor and event partner, the utility company RWE (also owner of the power station) and of our media partner, DeutschlandRadio/Deutschlandfunk. To all those who have sponsored and otherwise helped us, my warmest thanks!

Lars Vogt

Artistic direcotr of "Spannungen: Musik im Krafwerk Heimbach"


PS.: If you would like to receive information about the future programmes of “Spannungen: Musik im Kraftwerk Heimbach”, please contact the following address and we will add your name to the mailing list:

E-mail: musik@spannungen.de


We look forward to seeing you in Heimbach!

Please also visit our festival´s website www.spannungen.de

A Chamber music festival in a water power station: „Spannungen: Musik im Kraftwerk Heimbach“