KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen 2023

14th edition of KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen
11. – 28.05.2023

The 14th edition of the KunstFestSpiele ended with a record number of visitors: never before in the history of the festival of the state capital Hannover have more tickets been sold. Big names from the international art scene, lots of music and, for the first time, a focus on contemporary circus characterised the programme of the KunstFestSpiele. A total of around 20,000 visitors experienced the productions of the KunstFestSpiele 2023, and for the first time in three years Corona did not play a role in the realisation.

A highlight was the performance of Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony ("Symphony of a Thousand") under the direction of Ingo Metzmacher, together with eight Hanoverian choirs, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the orchestra of the HMTM Hanover and renowned international soloists. Around 3,000 spectators in the Kuppelsaal of the HCC showed their enthusiasm with great applause.

Other outstanding international artists made their mark on the programme: the conductor and singer Barbara Hannigan with the JACK Quartet, the visual artist Tino Sehgal, the violinist Leonidas Kavakos, the choreographers Anouk van Dijk and Simon Mayer as well as the vocal ensemble Graindelavoix and the theatre collective Rimini Protokoll came to Hannover-Herrenhausen. In cooperation with the Wiener Festwochen, the Japanese theatre-maker Toshiki Okada and Klangforum Wien presented the German premiere of Metamorphosis of a Living Room. With three productions from the world of contemporary circus theatre for the first time, the KunstFestSpiele 2023 also offered a new programme for young audiences and fans - for which a real circus tent was erected in the Ehrenhof. In the Ihmepark, the perfectly fitting installation Happiness by Dries Verhoeven was thought-provoking.

In the newly designed festival centre, the freitagsküche with Art & Cuisine and Friederike Westerhaus invited visitors to talk to the artists.

The Festivalcampus Niedersachsen took place for the sixth time and offered students the opportunity to experience the festival at close quarters and to gather listening and viewing experiences together outside the seminar rooms.



Graphics: Aoki & Matsumoto, photo: Jean-Luc Beaujault

Graphics: Aoki & Matsumoto, photo: Kalimba

Graphics: Aoki & Matsumoto, photo: Merlin Nadj-Torma


Arne Jacobsen Foyer, Galerie, Orangerie, Orangerie Hinterbühne, Zirkuszelt im Ehrenhof, Great Garden (Gartentheater, Rehearsel stage), HCC Kuppelsaal, DHC-Halle, Festival centre 

Material zum Download

Programme book 2023 (German)

Press kit 2023

Summary 2023

Sponsors and partners 2023



Maison Maeterlinck / Theater Immobiel
Thom Luz

Theatre – German premiere
Thu 11.05 / 7:30 p.m.


Dries Verhoeven

Walk-in installation
Fri 11.05 til Sun 28.05 / 3:00 bis 10:00 p.m.*
Peter-Fechter-Ufer at Ihmepark / near Ida-Arenhold-Brücke

*except Mon 15.05 and Mon 22.05


O Sentimental Machine
Ictus Ensemble / William Kentridge / François Sarhan

Concert / Film / Performance — German premiere
Fri 12.05 / 7:30 p.m.


A memory of, memory of, memory of
Kostas Ioannidis

Sound installation — German premiere
Fri 12.05 until Sun 28.05 / 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.*
Großer Garten / Sophienplatz – Patte d'oie

*except Mon 15.05, Sat 20.05 and Mon 22.05


Feinkost Lampe Concert

Fri 12.05 / 9:00 p.m.


Justine Emard

Opening Fri 12.05 / 10:00 p.m.
Sat 13.05 until Sun 28.05 / 9:00 bis 11:00 p.m.*
Arne Jacobsen Foyer

* except Mon 15.05, Sat 20.05 and Mon 22.05


Barbara Hannigan / JACK Quartet / Stephen Gosling
Works von John Zorn

Sat 13.05 / 7:30 p.m. (Concert 1)
Sun 14.05 / 7:30 p.m. (Concert 2)


Sons of Sissy
Simon Mayer

Sun 14.05 / 6:00 p.m.


Alexej Gerassimez / Omer Klein Trio

Tue 16.05 / 7:30 p.m.


Nadia Tehran
Feinkost Lampe Concert

Wed 17.05 / 9:00 p.m.


This joy
Tino Sehgal

Wed 17.05 / 7:00 p.m.
Thu 18.05 / 4:00, 6:00, 8:00 p.m.
Fri 19.05 / 7:00, 9:00 p.m.

MOVEDBYMATTER / Collectif Malunés

Circus theatre — German premiere
Thu 18.05 / 3:00 p.m.
Fri 19.05 / 7:30 p.m.
Sat 20.05 / 3:00 p.m.
Rolling Stone

Concert — German premiere
Thu 18.05 / 7:30 p.m.

Metamorphosis of a Living Room
Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch / Dai Fujikura / Klangforum Wien

Music & Theatre — German premiere
Fri 19.05 / 7:30 p.m.
Sat 20.05 / 7:30 p.m.

Symphony No. 8 E-flat Major
Gustav Mahler / Ingo Metzmachern

Sun 21.05 / 11:00 a.m.
HCC Kuppelsaal

KunstFestSpiele Tag
diverse, lively, entertaining

Sun 21.05. / 14:00 bis 23:00
Orangerie, Galerie, Großer Garten, Ehrenhof,
Arne Jacobsen Foyer, Festivalzentrum


Der Lauf
Les Vélocimanes Associés

Circus theatre
Sun 21.05 / 2:00, 4:30 p.m.



Performance — German premiere
Sun 21.05 / 2:00, 5:30 p.m.
Great Garden / Gartentheater


Poufs aux sentiments
Clédat & Petitpierre

Theatre — German premiere
Sun 21.05 / 3:00, 6:30 p.m.



Yousef Kekhia
Feinkost Lampe Concert

Sun 21.05 / 3:15, 7:00 p.m.
Great Garden / Rehearsal Stage



Echoes of Mediterranean

Sun 21.05 / 4:15, 8:00 p.m.


Common Ground
Anouk van Dijk

Dance — German premiere
Tue 23.05. / 7:30 p.m.


Leonidas Kavakos
Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo 

Wed 24.05 / 7:30 p.m. (Concert 1)
Thu 25.05 / 7:30 p.m. (Concert 2)


All right. Good night.
Helgard Haug / Rimini Protokoll
with music by Barbara Morgenstern

Theatre & Music
Fri 26.05 / 7:30 p.m.
Sat 27.05 / 7:30 p.m.



Bia Ferreira
Feinkost Lampe Concert

Sat 27.05 / 9:00 p.m.


Nachmittag eines Föhns Version 1
Compagnie Non Nova / Phia Ménard

Circus theatere
Sat 27.05 / 2:00, 3:30, 5:00 p.m.
Sun 28.05 / 2:00, 3:30, 5:00 p.m.
Orangerie Hinterbühne


The Goldberg Variations
Platform-K & Michiel Vandevelde / Philippe Thuriot

Sun 28.05 / 7:30 p.m.


Talks and Specials

Friederike Westerhaus in concersation with...
Thu 18.05, Sat 20.05, Sun 21.05, Tue 23.05, Fri 26.05,
Sat 27.05

Thu 11.05, Sat 12.05, Sun 21.05



Art & Cuisine
with freitagsküche
Fri 12.05, Sun 14.05, Thu 18.05, Fri 19.05, Thu 25.05




Team 2023

Artistic Director                                               
Ingo Metzmacher

Assistant to the Artistic Director                                                            
Daphne Jaschniok, Mascha-Davina Schmid (until 12/2022)

Rainer Hofmann (Head of Dramaturgy), Beate Schüler

Director of Artistic Administration                                                                  
Marlies Leibitzki

Lena Breitfuß (Leitung), Thomas Seidel, Clara Stuhlemmer (FSJ Kultur), Laura Becker, Mathias Brühlmann, Maria Luisa Glassl, Sandra Hoffmann, Vivien Hohnholz, Jakob Leba, Sarah Reichert, Víctor Zapata

Artistic Administration                                                                    
Julia von Knebel, Nadine Bokop (in parental leave)

Technical Engineering                                                                                                          
Willi Brune (Leitung), Wiglev von Wedel, Petra Wiedenhöft

Press and Marketing / Online Communications                          
Hendrik von Boxberg (Head of Press and Marketing), Vera Fleischer, Ina Walter

Sponsoring / Fundraising                                                                             
Friederike Zschau

Design festival centre
Lucia Vonrhein, Paul Etzel

Concept and realisation Festival Campus Niedersachsen                       
Antonia Rohwetter, Philipp Schulte

Peter Müller KulturManagement

Aoki & Matsumoto

Redaktion Vera Fleischer, Rainer Hofmann, Mascha-Davina Schmid, Beate Schüler, Hendrik von Boxberg

Michael Turnbull

Director Herrenhausen Gardens                                                               
Prof. Dr. Anke Seegert

We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Anke Seegert, Director Herrenhausen Gardens, and all employees of the Herrenhausen Gardens for their excellent cooperation.