Kurt Weill, born in Dessau on the 2nd of March 1900, spent his childhood and youth in the capital city of the Duchy of Anhalt. The birth house of Kurt Weill was destroyed in World War II. The Kurt Weill Centre was founded in Dessau in the 1990s. This created the first and only European documentation and information centre dedicated to the life and work of the composer of the “Threepenny Opera”. The Kurt Weill Centre has its offices in the so-called “Meisterhaus Feininger”, built in 1925-26 according to plans by Walter Gropius, and in which the Bauhaus proponent and painter Lyonel Feininger lived between 1925 and 1932. The unique building has been named a world heritage site by UNESCO. The Kurt Weill Centre was accorded in the so-called “Blue Book” commissioned by the German Federal Government to nominate cultural hi-lights in former East Germany the title "Kultureller Gedächtnisort" (Cultural Heritage Site) of particular national importance.
The Kurt Weill Centre houses a permanent exhibition with movie and music examples describing life and work of Kurt Weill. The visitors can discover in the combination of the music by Kurt Weill with the Bauhaus building the fascinating world of the “Roaring Twenties”.
Kurt Weill’s birth is celebrated every year around the 2nd of March by the city of Dessau and its visitors with the Kurt Weill Festival.
Germany possesses musical traditions and legacies of extraordinary value: Handel, Schuetz and Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Wagner - to mention only a few names - are composers who are known and treasured throughout the world. Their work has played a significant role in shaping a unique musical landscape.
Numerous orchestras, choruses, ensembles, renowned music festivals and series, music houses with museums, public archives and libraries, but also private collections preserve their musical heritage.
It is necessary to revitalize this inestimable fund again and again and to develop it for the present. At the same time, an important role befits the houses combined in the consortium of music museums of Germany. In them we encounter the work of the musicians and composers who have extraordinarily enriched the cultural nation of Germany. However, beyond the individual portrait, beyond the procurement of individual oeuvres, the music museums also contribute overall to the maintenance of musical tradition. The present brochure underscores this aspect of the synoptic presentation and invites the reader on a journey into the musical history of Germany. I hope this tour guide will be actively used and receive a large response.Bernd Neumann, Member of the Lower House of the German Parliament
Minister of State with the Federal Chancellor
Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media
Quoted from: Foreword to the brochure "Music Museums in Germany", 2007.