Affairs of the heart linger longer – our Recorder Festival has been a firmly established event on the Early Music and international wind instrument circuit since 1985.

It is thanks to the efforts of Eva & Wilhelm Becker (and their supporters) that this popular festival emerged right in the heart of Germany: their achievement in founding, financing for the long term, organising and implementing an event that celebrates all things related to the recorder and Early Music is immense. For over 30 years now, they have been bringing together a veritable A-Z of international artists in front of vast audiences, as well as instrument makers and specialist publishers. Every year they set the stage for top-class musical experiences and a meeting of equals.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the couple received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015 for their joint and tireless commitment – a prestigious and well deserved accolade, honouring nothing less than a life’s work.

It all started in 1985 with the recorder festival days in Darmstadt; not long after, they had to switch to a larger venue – Rüsselsheim’s Municipal Theatre – on account of the festival’s great success. Since 1997, the Recorder Festival has taken place in the couple’s home town of Stockstadt am Rhein in the state of Hessen.

They founded a festival that delighted both young and old with its warmth, spirit and passion. Twenty productions have been celebrated in Stockstadt, and the festival is now a well-established happening, not only for recorder enthusiasts or Early Music fans, but as a musical attraction for all.

The profession’s big names have all appeared onstage in Stockstadt: the gentlemen Savall, Leonhardt, the brothers Kuijken, and especially MsVerbruggen, have all been welcome guests. But not only them: the recorder quartet Loeki Stardust and the Flanders Recorder Quartet, Han Tol and Meike Herzig have often enlivened the town of Stockstadt. Later, the Ensemble l’Ornamento joined in. In 1998 Maurice Steger entered the scene, as did Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel. World-class performers play the provinces!

The German recorder player Dorothee Oberlinger has been visiting Stockstadt since 2000 – giving either solo recitals or joining lively ensembles – without pausing, and she has set the bar higher each time. And every now and again the festival also features vocal performances or Early Music groups who perform as-yet-unheard tunes.

In 2020, the festival, like many other cultural events, had to be cancelled due to corona. In 2021, the recorder festival was organised online in an adapted form. In 2022, the festival will welcome its visitors in Bad Kissingen for the first time.

Take a look at our festival programme: