The 2012 installment of the legendary Bayreuther Festspiele are underway led by composer Richard Wagner's great granddaughters Eva-Wagner Pasquier and Katharina Wagner. Since 1876, this high-brow occasion has drawn classical music lovers from all corners of the globe. Also known as the Richard-Wagner-Festspiele, the music and theatre festival takes place annually at the Bayreuther Festspielhaus, a theatre co-built by Richard Wagner himself away from the metropolises of the day to avoid the compromises and pressures of repertory theatre service.
Price: (Call 0921 78 78 0 for details)
Location: Festspielhaus, Festspielhügel 1-2 - 95445 Bayreuth - Germany
Times: July 26 - August 28, shows starting at 4 or 6pm
More Information: Bayreuther Festspiele Website
Young Euro Classic
Orchestras from all over the world descend upon Berlin this week to participate in the Young Euro Classic - a forum for showcasing the skills, passion and diversity of the world's most talented young musicians. Prominent conductors lead the youth in their interpretations of symphonic masterpieces as well as less-known works. As one of the most important such festivals in the world, Young Euro Classic gives young performers a taste of world-stage euphoria, meanwhile astounding audiences with its fresh talent.
Location: Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt, Gendarmenmarkt 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Times: July 27 to August 12 (times vary, see programme for details)
More Information: Young Euro Classic Website
Nights of Ramadan
It's the 5th time this artistic celebration of one of Islam's holiest observations takes place in Berlin. With its concerts, films, discussions and performances at various locations throughout the city, Nights of Ramadan provides audiences with a special look at the wide range of Islam-influenced cultures celebrating the month with a fast. This year's highlights includes the Ramadan Dialogues featuring artists from various backgrounds sharing both their musical tradition and artistic styles with one another.
Price: €3 - €20, kids under 12 free
Location: Museumsinsel - Museum für islamische Kunst / Werkstatt der Kulturen / Berliner Rathaus / Ramadanfest auf der Karl-Marx-Straße / Mauerpark, Berlin
Times: July 26 to August 19 (times vary, see programme for details)
More Information: Nights of Ramadan Programme PDF
Take a trip back in time with one of Bielefeld's most entertaining family festivals. Against the backdrop of the Sparrenburg Castle, an exciting cast of magicians, storytellers, traders and vagrants reanimate the Middle Ages for visitors, flanked by preachers, minstrels, hawkers, peddlers, craftsmen and any other characters one could fathom from the age of Black Death and resilient hearts. Wares, food, music and activities ensure something for everyone at this annual July gathering.
Price: (Call 0521 516102 for details)
Location: Sparrenburg Castle Am Sparrenberg 38, 33602 Bielefeld
Time: July 27 - 29, daily
More Information: Sparrburgfest Website
The Metamorphasis of Japan After the War
The end of the second world war marked a turning point for Japan: reeling from the atomic bomb drops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, under complete surrender and occupied by the Allies, the country began to rebuild from the ground up - and with fate-altering consequences. From societal structures to the primary economic model, dramatic changes in the face of the country took place at an unprecedented pace. This look at the miraculous transformation by the Japanese Cultural Institute in Cologne examines how it all happened.
Location: Japanisches Kulturinstitut (The Japan Foundation), Universitätsstraße 98, 50674 Cologne
Time: July 26 - September 29
More Information: Japan Foundation Website Website
Ballet Revolución is coming to Hamburg in the latest exciting installment of pop-ballet interpretations of musicians such as Shakira, Beyonce, Enrique Igelsias and Ricky Martin. It's easy to catch the fever of this near-acrobatic dance group complete with turns, kicks and flips to some of the world's most danceable music. A chance to turn off and marvel at the physical prowess of an extremely talented group of dancers, this Cuban fusion of ballet, hiphop and contemporary dance is guaranteed to infuse audiences with an endorphin high.
Price: €40.50 - €75
Location: Thalia Theater, Alstertor 1 20095 Hamburg
Time: July 26 - August 5, various times (see Thalia Theater website
Thalia Theater website for details)
More Information: Ballet Revolución Website
Alles Gut! Festival
With 111 events accessible to visitors at no cost, Munich's Alles Gut! festival is the perfect opportunity for exposure to great live music and other incredible performance art. Genres from rock to jazz, theatre, dance and an extended kids' programme fill the city's Gasteig with endless opportunities to be entertained - and to support some great organizations. From the Bavarian police orchestra to Ania Jools and philharmonic performers, you won't want to miss this cultural cornucopia that runs for one day only.
Location: Various locations (see programme for details)
Time: July 29, 10am-11:30pm
More Information: Alles Gut! Website
16th Neuenahrer Burgunderfest
Neuenahr's hike through the surrounding wine hills just south of Cologne takes guests on a tasting tour of the wine producers Sonnenberg, Burggarten und Lingen. Following the tours, a festival complete with live music takes place in a nearby meadow. Stands with cold snacks such as bread, cold cuts and cheese along the way provide the perfect complementary sustenance for a warm summer afternoon and a sampling of the region's special 2010 vintage Burgunder.
Location: Trains leave from Bahnhof Bad Neuenahr at 12:23pm, 13:23pm, 2:23pm and 15:23pm
Times: July 28, 1-5pm
More Information: Burgunderfest Website
When Justin Vernon retreated with mononucleosis into a Wisconsin cabin one winter, he emerged with what became his critically-acclaimed debut album. Under the name Bon Iver, Vernon began touring with songs from For Emma, Forever Ago, passing out sheet music and encouraging audiences to fill in the harmonies missing from his live performances. In the meantime, grammy-nominated Bon Iver tours as a band of four musicians, with the occassional support of Colin Stetson, Sufjan Stevens and others.
Price: €42.50 - €113.60
Location: Freilichtbuhne Killesberg, Am Kochenhof 16, Stuttgart
Times: July 31, 7:30pm
More Information: Eventful Website