Classic Open Air at the Ludwigsburg Festival

Live ignition of the fireworks at the concert is considered the supreme discipline

Combining classical music and fireworks – that’s a tradition.

Crowning a classical open-air festival with a brilliant fireworks display – very few can do that.

But who can actually claim to shoot fireworks live and to score during the concert? In Ludwigsburg we are given the opportunity to do this for many years.

The Classic Open Air as part of the annual Ludwigsburg Festival not only impresses with its outstanding musical performances on stage, for there is also a lot going on in the night sky. From a small and inconspicuous pavilion next to the stage, the pyrotechnical effects are conducted above the Monrepos Palace.

How does that work? Our pyrodesigner and pyrotechnician Torsten “Toto” Klewer receives the score and a test recording of the orchestra for the planning and preparation of his show in advance. This recording is used to plan his pyrotechnical accents and the effect images to the music, which he and his team can prepare afterwards.

From the very beginning, his artistic assistant Nhat Tuyen Vo Dieu – a professional musician – is at his side. He is literally the link between the conductor and Toto and therefore knows the score inside out. During the rehearsals in Berlin and the concert in Ludwigsburg, he guides Toto through the changes of rhythm and tempo in the compositions. During the live ignition, he presses the famous red button on the controller of our wireless firing system more than 150 times.

Klassik Open Air Ludwigsburg
Klassik Open Air Ludwigsburg
Klassik Open Air Ludwigsburg

It’s all about precision: tenths of seconds decide whether an effect ignites precisely on time and in tune with the music. This is the very challenge for our pyrodesigner. Because an orchestra playing live obviously follows its conductor. And Pietari Inkinen (chief conductor of the Ludwigsburg Festival between 2015 and 2019), it is said, tends to be a bit faster and more impulsive at his concerts than at the rehearsals.

Safety and precision also have the highest priority in the setup of our pyrotechnical effects. The Monrepos Sea Palace as well as its gardens and parks are a cultural heritage site and a protected landscape area. Nevertheless, selected fireworks effects can be installed in the immediate vicinity of the stage as well as at the castle itself. This way, both the orchestra on stage and the castle in the background become part of the show design. Three pontoons from the THW are provided on the adjoining lake for the high altitude display. Firework bombs with climbing heights of up to 150 meters create glowing accents in the night sky and a brilliant finale for the Classic Open Air of the Ludwigsburg Festival.

Production: Potsdamer Feuerwerk Vertriebs GmbH
Project-Management: Klaus Preuße
Pyro-Design und Live-Ignition: Torsten Klewer
Artistic Assistance: Nhat Tuyen Vo Dieu
Photos & Videos: Jan Schugardt, Elena Gesch

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