Even the background to the first classical concert on Odeonsplatz was beautiful. In 2000, the millennium year, the event's organisers in the Bavarian capital Munich decided to honour Franco-German reconciliation with a grand gesture. The spectacular success of their achievement continues to be reflected year after year, and ever since 2002 these concerts have been a highlight in this city's already glittering cultural calendar.
Without a doubt, Classics on Odeonsplatz is now established as Munich's finest classical open-air event, with outstanding classical music guaranteed at unusually modest prices. What's priceless however – and free of charge – is the setting for this two-day event: Odeonsplatz is one of the grandest squares not only in Munich but also in Europe. Surrounded by the Residenz Palace, the Feldherrnhalle and Theatinerkirche church, it is perhaps the most Italian of all squares north of the Alps. The atmosphere is as enchanting as the acoustics are wonderful, and magical lighting casts an ethereal glow on the historical architecture. On one July weekend, audiences of around 16,000 experience the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic, the city's two prestigious orchestras, often under the baton of outstanding guest conductors such as Lorin Maazel and in the past Mstislav Rostropovich. World-class soloists such as Sol Gabetta and Lang Lang add even more sparkle to the occasion – if that's possible in such a breathtaking open-air setting as Munich's Odeonsplatz.
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