The Song-festival will soon begin in Görlitz

After two years of preparation and problems caused by the pandemic, the event officially begins on June 12 at around 2 p.m. in the Municipal House of Culture in Zgorzelec (Miejski Dom Kultury), which the Ars Augusta Society sees as a good alternative to the former "Silesian Music Festival", which Bolko von Hochberg used to organize about hundred years ago in the town hall of Görlitz. The beautiful monument right on the Polish-German border has phenomenal acoustics, ideally suited for the delicate musical genre "Lied", where nuances and quiet passages are very important.

It is this art song that is the subject of the competition, also known internationally as "Lied" in German language, because the culture of this kind of singing was mostly popular in Germany in the 19th century. Although every country gave gems of Lieder to the world heritage: Poles also, for example Chopin and Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Karłowicz or Feliks Nowowiejski, whose "Song of Sappho" is part of the repertoire of this year's competition.

On the front of the beautiful town hall (Stadthalle), which is currently being renovated, is a relief depicting Orpheus, the poet, bidding farewell to Eurydice with his harp. In June it will be the same for 50 singers from all over the world accompanied by their pianists as they will express their human emotions through the power of music.

Accordingly, the repertoire of the first edition of the competition is dedicated to the ideal of "Hellas": Greece as a source of inspiration for European artists. These are poets like Friedrich Hölderlin, Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe, Lord Byron and Friedrich Schiller, Juliusz Słowacki or the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote in his drama Hellas:

“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece” - Percy Bysshe Shelley ,"Hellas"

We are all "Greeks": because our poetry and music, philosophy, education, politics, our democracy are rooted in the culture of a small country on the edge of Europe. The first edition of the competition is dedicated to this ideal.

In Görlitz-Zgorzelec between June 12th and 16th, songs by Schubert and Brahms will be heard, but also by Ravel and Debussy, Jean Coultard and Charles Gounods-Lord Byron Song "Maid of Athens", Feliks Nowowiejski, the Greek composer Kasassoglou and even the song "Gute Nacht" by Bolko v. Hochberg, whose poem comes from the collection of Emanuel Geibel "Athens".

Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater in Görlitz
Program - Participants

Around 50 singers and 50 pianists from all over the world come to the competition in Görlitz. Their biographies and programs as well as the time of the performance can be found on the competition website ( All phases of the competition are public. In Miejski Dom Kultury even with free entry, and the semi-finals and the final in the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater with an admission ticket or a day ticket, which can be purchased at the theater box office.


The jury for this first edition includes international luminaries who are connected to our region: Prof. Alexander Schmalcz, well-known song accompanist and lecturer at the music academies in Leipzig and Berlin. Prof. Britta Schwarz, alto and lecturer at the Dresden University of Music, Prof. Ewa Biegas, soprano and recognized lecturer at the Music Academy in Katowice. Bartosz Żurakowski, chief conductor of the Sudeten Philharmonic, comes from Opole, and Ulrich Kern, deputy chief conductor of the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater from Dresden. The Greek element will be represented by the director of the Society of Friends of Music in Athens, musicologist Alexandros Charkiolakis, and Eleni Ioannidou, soprano, initiator of the competition and artistic director.


Our special thanks go to the city of Görlitz and the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in Berlin, who have assumed the patronage of this important event.


Under the title "Prize Dr. Herbert Speckner" of the municipality of Ottobrunn, the first prize of 6,000 euros was donated by the municipality of Ottobrunn in Munich, a city connected to Greece, in memory of Dr. Herbert Speckner, the philhellene who did a lot for the King Otto Museum in Ottobrunn. The mayor of the city of Ottobrunn, Mr. Loderer, will eventually be present at the finale and personally present the award, as will the Greek ambassador from Berlin, Ms. Marinaki.

The district of Görlitz and the Sparkasse Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien award the second prize of 4,000 euros.

The city of Görlitz donates the third prize of €2,000.

A special prize of €1,000 for the best pianist bears the name of the Jewish pianist from Görlitz "Ibolyka Slotowski", financed in part by donations from the pianist's descendants in the USA and in part by donations from Görlitz citizens.

In addition to cash prizes, the winners have the opportunity to take part in concerts in the Sudeten Philharmonic in Wałbrzych, in the Wolf Ferrari House in Ottobrunn and in the New Lausitz Philharmonic.

In this way, the competition not only promotes European culture and international understanding and the international appeal of our region, but also supports young musicians in their professional careers.


At that time, Bolko von Hochberg was not only a wonderful composer, born in the Książ Castle near Wałbrzych, and a talented artistic director of the Royal Theater in Berlin and the Festival in Görlitz-Zgorzelec. He was also an important Maecenas of culture and in our case that is the people and institutions that we would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts for their sponsorship.

In addition to the founders of the above awards, the main sponsors of the competition are:

Foundation Sparkasse Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien

Kaufhaus Görlitz

Best Western Hotel over Regia

We cordially invite you to the Song Festival, the First International Song Competition "Bolko von Hochberg" between 12 and 16 June in Görlitz-Zgorzelec.

June 12, 14: 00-18: 00, June 13, 11: 00-18: 00, June 14, 11: 00-19: 00 MDK, admission free.

15. June 11: 00-19: 00 Semifinal, 16 June 17: 00-22: 00 Final. Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater in Görlitz, tickets at the box office.

Organizer: Ars Augusta e.V., Partners: Miejski Dom Kultury in Zgorzelec, Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater.

More information at

Bolko Graf von Hochberg Biografie:

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