The turn of the 17th century was a time of upheaval which affected both science and the arts as well the political, social and economic spheres. It was during this period, around 1600, when the aesthetics and practice of music were both undergoing radical change, that Michael Praetorius became chapel master at the Wolfenbüttel court, not only helping to usher in a new musical age but also acting as one of its key protagonists.

Media preview

Representatives of the media are warmly invited to attend a preview of the exhibition on Friday, 9 June 2023, at 11 am in the Hauptkirche Beatae Mariae, Michael-Praetorius-Platz 9, 38304 Wolfenbüttel. The curators will give a brief overview of what the exhibition is about and will be happy to answer any questions.

Programme for the opening

Johannes Mangei, deputy director of the Herzog August Bibliothek, will launch the opening event with a word of welcome, followed by brief speeches by Uwe Schäfer, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung Zukunftsfonds Asse, and Christoph Helm, Kulturstadt Wolfenbüttel e. V. The curators, Sven Limbeck, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, and Winfried Elsner, Michael Praetorius Collegium e. V., will introduce the exhibition. Ensemble Recercada with Mia Paulus (soprano), Christine Strubel (soprano, baroque harp), Christine Brelowski (viola da gamba, recorder), Roswitha Conrad (viola da gamba, recorder), Nadine Riske (viola da gamba, recorder), Simon Paulus (violone) and Gebhard Decknatel (chest organ) will provide the musical accompaniment. This will be followed by a reception and an opportunity to tour the exhibition.

The exhibition

The new exhibition in Wolfenbüttel’s Hauptkirche Beatae Mariae Virginis brings a fundamentally new concept and design to this memorial site for Michael Praetorius. The colourful exhibition architecture is both a continuation of the church’s interior and a stand-alone in the sense that in creates a space within a space. The cube can be entered from all four sides, and the texts and images displayed on its outside and inside walls are thematically organised. While the outside walls present Praetorius’s life, environment, historical context and legacy, the inside walls are devoted to the different phases and aspects of his music and its significance in musical history.

The exhibition Michael Praetorius: A Musician in a Time of Change is curated by Sven Limbeck and Winfried Elsner and was developed in cooperation with the Protestant Church St. Marien and St. Trinitatis Wolfenbüttel, the Michael Praetorius Collegium e. V. Wolfenbüttel and Kulturstadt e. V. Wolfenbüttel. It is funded by Stiftung Zukunftsfonds Asse, the Michael Praetorius Collegium e. V. Wolfenbüttel and the Braunschweigische Stiftung.

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Admission to the exhibition opening is free.
Opening hours of the exhibition in the Hauptkirche Beatae Mariae Virginis: Tue–Sat, 10 am – 12 pm and 2–4 pm; Sun, 2–4 pm
Admission: free



Das Porträt, das Michael Praetorius allen Bänden seiner „Musae Sioniae“ voranstellte (Regensburg 1605; HAB: 2.5.5 Musica (1))
The portrait that Michael Praetorius used as the frontispiece for all the volumes of his Musae Sioniae (Regensburg, 1605; HAB, shelf mark: 2.5.5 Musica (1))


Musik verbindet Erde und Himmel: Titelblatt der „Hymnodia Sionia“ von Michael Praetorius (Wolfenbüttel 1611; HAB: 2.5.1 Musica (8))
Music joins Earth and Heaven: title page of Hymnodia Sionia by Michael Praetorius (Wolfenbüttel, 1611; HAB: 2.5.1 Musica (8))


Aufbau der Ausstellung "Michael Praetorius - Musiker einer Zeitenwende" in der Hauptkirche Beatae Mariae Virginis. Foto: Sven Limbeck
Exhibition: Michael Praetorius: A Musician in a Time of Change. Photo: Dr Sven Limbeck.