From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Arts and literature
Munich is a major European cultural centre and the domain of many prominent composers including Orlando di Lasso, Mozart, Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Max Reger and Carl Orff. With the Biennale, founded by Hans Werner Henze the city still contributes to modern music theatre.
The Nationaltheater where several of Richard Wagner's operas had their premieres under the patronage of Ludwig II of Bavaria is the home of the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Orchestra. Next door the modern Residenz Theatre was erected in the building that had housed the Cuvilliés Theatre before World War II. Many operas were staged there, including the premiere of Mozart's "Idomeneo" in 1781. The Gärtnerplatz Theatre is a ballet and musical state theatre while another opera house the Prinzregententheater has become the home of the Bavarian Theatre Academy. The modern Gasteig center houses the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The third orchestra in Munich with international importance is the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Its primary concert venue is the Herkulesaal in the Residenz. A stage for shows, big events and musicals is the Deutsche Theater.
Next to the Bavarian Staatsschauspiel in the Residenz Theatre (Residenztheater), the Munich Kammerspiele in the Schauspielhaus is one of the most important German language theatres in the world. Since Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's premieres in 1775 many important writers have staged their plays in Munich such as Christian Friedrich Hebbel, Henrik Ibsen and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Prominent literary figures worked in Munich especially during the final centuries of the Kingdom of Bavaria such as Paul Heyse, Rainer Maria Rilke and Frank Wedekind. The period immediately before World War I saw particular economic and cultural prominence for the city. Munich, and especially its suburb of Schwabing, became the domicile of many artists and writers. Thomas Mann who also lived there wrote in his novella Gladius Dei about this period "Munich shone". Munich remained a center of cultural life also during the Weimar period, as figures such as Lion Feuchtwanger, Bertolt Brecht and Oskar Maria Graf were active. In 1919 the Bavaria Film Studios were founded.
Munich had already become an important place for painters like Carl Rottmann, Lovis Corinth, Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Carl Spitzweg, Franz von Lenbach, Franz von Stuck and Wilhelm Leibl when Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a group of expressionist artists, was established in Munich in 1911. The city was a home the Blue Rider's painters Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, August Macke and Alfred Kubin.