Kassel is the city where the main offices of Bärenreiter have been located since 1927 and has a population of just under 200,000. It is roughly equidistant from Frankfurt, Hanover, Dortmund and Leipzig and lies in the German Federal State of Hesse.
The city has a rich musical tradition. As early as 1502 a court ensemble was established. Since then the city has hada permanent orchestra, almost continuously. Heinrich Schütz who was supported by Landgrave Moritz of Hesse lived here from 1599 onwards; John Dowland spent a few months at the Landgrave’s court. In the 19th century musical life in Kassel flourished. From 1822 to 1857 the violinist, conductor and composer Louis Spohr was court Kapellmeister and made Kassel into one of the most important cities in German musical life. Gustav Mahler (1883–85) and Ernst Krenek (1925–27) also worked at the theatre in Kassel for shorter periods. The music festival Kasseler Musiktage was instigated in 1933 by the “Arbeitskreis für Hausmusik”, which had in turn been founded by Bärenreiter. The Kasseler Musiktage continue to the present day.
Kassel has a state theatre “Staatstheater” which offers a varied programme in three disciplines; opera, drama and ballet. It also has a state orchestra “Staatsorchester” which has a very good reputation. Furthermore the lively musical life of this city is enriched by a Music Academy, the music department at the University and many choirs, societies and amateur ensembles.