Cathedral concert to mark 60 years of Coventry Dresden link - The Coventry Observer

20th Aug, 2022

Cathedral concert to mark 60 years of Coventry Dresden link

THE CITY’S cathedral will mark the anniversary of an historic connection between Coventry and German city Dresden with a major classical concert.

Both cities rose from the ashes of Second World War bombings to be recognised as global cities of peace and reconciliation.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the formal link established in 1959 when Coventry and Dresden became twinned cities.

To celebrate, Spires Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, based in Coventry, have invited Dresden’s Neuer Chor to join them in a performance of choral and orchestral music from many of Europe’s most famous composers, including Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn and Elgar.

The concert takes place at the cathedral at 4.30pm on Saturday, June 1 and will be led by Spires conductor Jack Lovell and Axel Langmann, who conducts the 65-strong Dresden choir.

Just over four years after Coventry was bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940, the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces dropped more than 3,900 tonnes of bombs on Dresden.

As rebuilding began after the war, young people were sent from Coventry Cathedral to reconstruct the Diakonissen Hospital in Dresden.

In turn, young people from Dresden’s Churches ventured to Coventry to repair the crypt of the cathedral ruins.

Coventry and Dresden were both devastated. Yet rather than turn to thoughts of anger and revenge, in the post-war years the two cities sought reconciliation and friendship and formed the connection.

The concert will coincide with an exhibition put together by the Coventry-Dresden Arts Exchange, which opens on Friday, May 31 in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel.

The exhibition, titled Condition Humaine, was first shown at the Kreuzkirche in Dresden in February, to launch the anniversary celebrations.

Dr Helen Atwood, chair of Spires music, said: “In the modern world, international town twinning is as important as it ever was. We’re delighted to be hosting our friends from Dresden in what promises to be a wonderful celebration of music in our extraordinary cathedral.”

Tickets for the concert are £12 a head (family ticket £24, students £6) and are available from ticketsource.co.uk/spiresmusic, at the reception desk in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum or on the door.

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