The Gewandhaus is the most famous concert hall in Leipzig; the present building ("Neues Gewandhaus") was established 1977. The first Gewandhaus was built in 1781; a second version was built 1884, but damaged in World War 2 and replaced by the new incarnation of the Gewandhaus in the 1970`s. The foyer is decorated by a fresco of a choir, an orchestra, and musical instruments. In front of the Gewandhaus, the "Mende"-fountain, built 1886, depicts scenes and beasts from Greek mythology.
The Gewandhaus played an important role during the 1989 revolution - the custodian Kurt Masur opened the house for peaceful political discussions.
The present building of the Gewandhaus was constructed 1977 - 81 after the former one was destroyed in WWII. It is home of the famous Gewandhaus orchestra, whose principal conductor Kurt Masur has been from 1970 - 98.
While it is definitely best to attend a concert you should at least have a closer look at the building. It is a modern structure; the massive concrete building opens with an all-glass facade to the Augustusplatz square so you can see the huge fresco "Gesang vom Leben" by Sighard Gille (inspired by Gustav Mahler's "Lied von der Erde") from outside, especially beautiful at night when the interior is lit up.
The Gewandhaus concert hall is well-known for its fantastic acustic. The Grand Hall has a capacity of 1920 seats in hexagon shape like an amphitheatre. Very special is the organ by Schuke (Potsdam), with 6638 pipes the largest ever created in the former DDR.
Very true is the motto that you can read as inscription under the organ: Res severa verum gaudium. (True joy is a serious thing.)
Leipzig’s famous orchestra originally performed in the house of the cloth makers’ guild, that is where it got the name from. Their 19th century concert hall was destroyed in the war. In 1981 the new Gewandhaus in Augustusplatz opposite the opera house has been opened.
From the outside, the modern building is most beautiful in the evening when the foyers and the huge fresco on the ceiling, “The Song of Life” by Sieghart Gilles, are illuminated.
Inside the Gewandhaus the ceilings of the main foyer are dominated by a huge colorful painting called "Song of Life" by the Leipzig artist Sighard Gille.
The painting covers a total area of 712 square meters on four diagonal slabs of ceiling, and they say it is Europe’s largest ceiling painting.
At night they light it up with spotlights, so you can see the painting from inside the lobby and through the glass façade of the building from the square outside.
The Gewandhaus is a large modern concert hall on Augustusplatz, directly opposite the opera house. It is the home of the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra, which also plays regularly at the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas's Church) and in the opera house itself.
The orchestra was founded in 1743, and over the centuries has had such famous Music Directors as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Franz Konwitschny and Kurt Masur. The current Music Director is Herbert Blomstedt, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1927.
The Gewandhaus we can see today is the third building to go by that name. It was built over a nearly five-year period from 1976 to 1981, and was inaugurated on October 8, 1981. The Great Hall seats over 1900 people and contains a huge organ with the inscription Res severa verum gaudium (True pleasure is serious business) -- this is a quotation from the Roman philosopher and dramatist Lucius Annaeus Seneca (who lived from about 4 BC to 65 AD), and has been the motto of the Gewandhaus since 1781.
The Moritzbastei is the rest of the former city-wall. In the background is the Gewandhaus, a concerthall, where the famous Gewandhaus-Orchestra has its home. You see, Leipzig is not only known for its Fair but also for its long history of famous musicians, orchestras and poets.
The gewandhaus is the concert house which is very very nice and spectacular. The orchestra travels often so you really have to hit it lucky to get in..I hit it lucky by one night and was stuck with organ music the second night...Highly recommend a visit
acoustics..every seat is a good seat