Codex Dresdensis

Concert at the End of Time

On December 21st, 2012, the Dresdner Sinfoniker will look to the future and welcome the new Mayan age.

A musical homage to an ancient culture.

The world is supposed to end on December 21st, 2012. Esoterics and astrologists are predicting natural catastrophes of hitherto unknown proportions, backing up their claims with references to the ancient Mayan calendar. But the coming apocalypse is just one of many interpretations. For the Mayans, the end of the 400-year calendar cycle is a milestone moment that heralds the arrival of a new epoch.

The Codex Dresdensis, which is held in the Book Museum of the Saxon State and University Library, is one of the three surviving manuscripts of their calendar – and the only one open to the public – and has contributed enormously to our understanding of the Mayan calendar. This is the place where the orchestra will link up live with Mexico to play to the accompaniment of a voice from the Mayan nation. A celebration of the dawn of a new era – on a global yet touchingly intimate level.

Friday December 21st, 2012

Saxon State and University
Library (SLUB)

  • Jens Legler, electric guitar – Germany
  • Jesús Lara, bass guitar – Mexico
  • Luis Miguel Costero, drums – Mexico
  • Conductor: José Areán – Mexico
  • Dresdner Sinfoniker
  • Via live link from Mexico:
    Sara Curruchich Cúmez, Mayan Singer from Guatemala
    Gonzalo Ceja and Horacio Franco, Mayan instruments

  • The concert is sold out. Live broadcast on ARTE Live Web, Deutschlandradio Kultur and MDR Figaro.
9.30 pm

Champagne reception with Mexican canapés

Guided tour of the Treasury
(Dr. Thomas Bürger, Director General of the SLUB)

Documentary «Der Geist der Maya»
by Harald Schluttig

10.30 pm

Concert at the End of Time

Silvestre Revueltas
Sensemayá, Homenaje a Federico Garcia Lorca

Enrico Chapela
Lo Nato Es Neta for electric guitar, bass guitar, drums & chamber orchestra

Greeting address to Mexico
(González Díaz, Mexican Ambassador)

11.55 pm

Enrico ChapelaAlbactún
World premiere with a live link to the Museo Anahuacalli, Mexico City

Followed by a party

The Dresdner Sinfoniker and the Mayans

The Dresdner Sinfoniker and the Mayan culture will join forces in the hall beneath the Library Treasury for a concert of contemporary Latin American music. At the stroke of midnight, there will be a live link with Mexico, the reputed source of the Codex Dresdensis, where we will hear a Mayan singer break into song, chanting verses dating back thousands of years. All on her own, she will bid adieu to the old calendar cycle. Tender yet haunting. Her vocals will be accompanied by the sound of the orchestra in Dresden which will join her in welcoming a new Mayan era.

The objective analysis of a document of outstanding global historical significance – coupled with the poised performance of an indigenous artiste in a meeting of worlds with one of the most renowned orchestras for contemporary music – will make this concert truly unique.

The Orchestra

Dresdner Sinfoniker are amongst the leading symphony orchestras for contemporary music. The ensemble, which is made up of members of almost all of Europe’s most important orchestras, work together entirely on a project basis. Along their way, the Dresdner Sinfoniker have managed to bring together unexpected connections between the different genres of modern music. Amongst their repertoire are composers such as Steve Reich, John Adams, Gija Kantscheli, Awet Terterjan, Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Luis Andriessen and Tan Dun.

In their work, the Dresdner Sinfoniker create connections between classical, jazz, rock and pop without surrendering to any kind of superficiality. In 2003, they attracted a great deal of international attention with the song cycle «Mein Herz brennt» (My Heart Burns) by Torsten Rasch which was inspired by the music and lyrics of the German rock band, Rammstein. The orchestra's recording of this work on Deutsche Grammophon (Universal) was presented with the Echo-Klassik 2004 award.

In collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys, they recorded a new soundtrack for Sergei Eisenstein’s legendary silent film, «Battleship Potemkin» on EMI in 2004, with a further collaboration producing the much-acclaimed «Hochhaussinfonie» (High-rise Symphony) as the climax to Dresden’s 800th anniversary celebrations in 2006.

In the eleventh year of their existence, the Dresdner Sinfoniker can look back over a number of international concert tours and successful collaborations with renowned solo artists and conductors, such as the Kronos Quartet, René Pape, Bryn Terfel, Katharina Thalbach, Andreas Boyde, Peter Bruns and Jonathan Nott. Amongst the challenges of the future, the Dresdner Sinfoniker aim to continue to make multimedia an integral part of their musical creativity.

The concert live

This project will be held in cooperation with the Saxon State and University Library Dresden and sponsored by the Cultural Foundation of Saxony along with the City of Dresden – Department for Culture and Heritage Protection.

This project will be co-financed via crowdfundig and

Dresdner Sinfoniker on Facebook

Dresdner Sinfoniker
Markus Rindt (v.i.s.p.)

Bärensteiner Straße 30
01277 Dresden

office: +49 351 - 490 36 05