During his lifetime Telemann was the most renowned German composer. June 25th 2017 marks the 250th anniversary of Georg Philipp Telemann’s death. Due to Telemann’s impact on music history this event will become a focal point of the music world, to the broad public as well as the media. Just like Telemann himself, who managed an impressive network in the 18th century, the erstwhile places of work of the composer are coordinating their activities to commemorate this special anniversary with a wide multifaceted range of events. It goes without saying that this event will be linked with the with the anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 since Telemann ‘reformed’ and dominated church music in Protestant Germany with his cantatas like no other.
Taking up on an invitation by the Lord Mayor of Magdeburg, Dr. Lutz Trumper, the cities Magdeburg, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Hildesheim, Leipzig, Żary (Poland), Pszczyna (Poland), Eisenach, Frankfurt/ Main, Hamburg and Paris (France) have joined together to form the „Telemann-Cities-Network“ with the incorporation of institutions at those places focussing on Telemann’s life.

Under the trademark „Telemann 2017” it is intended to honour the musical cosmopolitan Georg Philipp Telemann with concerts, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, youth projects and in other creative events and thereby to stimulate the general public’s awareness. Naturally, there will also be a link with the Reformation Anniversary in 2017 as it was Telemann who reformed the protestant sacred music in a lasting way with his cantatas which became more and more popular. This also provided new inspiration and set new standards for his friends Bach and Handel.
Telemann’s extensive work in church music, including cantatas, lieder and texts by Luther, present a welcome opportunity to connect events of both the Telemann and the Reformation anniversary in a meaningful way. As a result this double anniversary will encourage an intensive debate about the topic „music and Reformation”.