Mester and Slawitschek
impress TESS CREBBIN
at the Thann Festival
In Germany, there are two areas traditionally reserved for the affluent elite: classical music and competitive equestrian sports. The nation excels in both, having brought forth some of history's finest and most important composers, as well as the majority of Equestrian Olympic medallists. There is an increasing trend, hence, to join the two, the most prominent example being Ludwig Baumann's annual summer Opera Festival at the Gut Immling equestrian estate, which is now among the most important opera festivals in Germany and held on Baumann's equestrian estate, with all the operas taking place in the indoor riding school.
Thann's Olympic-size dressage arena served as the stage for the floodlit classical music performances. Photo © 2007 Philip Crebbin
Now, there is a second major equestrian event following suit: the renowned Thann Equestrian Sports Festival, under the directorship of German star rider and multiple medallist Uwe Schwanz. Schwanz stems from a family of academics, and had a musical upbringing as a child, having excelled at piano, an instrument that is still being played in his family. This year, on 18 August, during the gala evening, the dressage ring served as a makeshift floodlight classical music stage.
The audience at Thann, awaiting the start of the performance. Photo © 2007 Philip Crebbin
Copyright © 3 September 2007
Tess Crebbin, Munich, Germany