A collection of the best art and cultural events held in major cities across Europe. New events are indicated by bolded and underlined headings.
FASHION/MUSIC: The Life Ball in Vienna on May 25, Europe's biggest charity event, in support of people with HIV/AIDS features a Roberto Cavalli fashion show with a concert to be held on May 24.
MUSIC/ART/THEATRE: "Krems Brulee" is the alternative theme of this year's Danube Festival in the northern town of Krems. The two-week festival will present a mix of avant-garde music, theatre and performance art, from punk to electro and underground hip hop, with emphasis on new and little-known groups with names like Portishead's Geoff Barrow, and Bjoerk collaborator Omar Souleyman also on the programme. April 25 to May 4.
MUSIC: Vienna's Spring Festival will play host to some of the most famous names in classical music with concerts by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Concentus Musicus and the Vienna Philharmonic led by conductor Mariss Jansons, from April 4 to May 16. In all, 57 concerts will take place at the Musikverein hall with Bach, Prokofiev, Dvorak and Schubert all on the programme.
MUSICAL: "Elisabeth," the biggest German-language musical hit ever based on the story of the Austrian Empress Sisi, returns to Vienna for its 20th anniversary with daily performances (except Mondays) at the Raimund Theater.
The show, which retraces the life and tragic end of the iconic 19th century empress, was originally produced in 1992 and has since gone around the world, playing to some 8.5 million people as far as Japan and South Korea.
MUSIC: The Queen Elisabeth Competition, one of the world's most prestigious and most difficult, holds its 75th edition with this year's contest dedicated to upcoming pianists -- piano alternating annually with violin and singing. After a record number of candidates this year, young pianists from 19 nations will perform in public. May 6 to June 1.
ARCHITECTURE/HORTICULTURE: Belgium's royal family opens its stunning art nouveau greenhouses to the public for the usual fortnight a year when the azaleas are in full bloom. Set within the Royal Estate in the Brussels district of Laken, the greenhouses are among the biggest in the world -- of great architectural value and with a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical plants. Until May 12.
EXHIBIT: In "Viva Napoleon?", Antwerp's MAS museum recounts the city's two-decade rule under Napoleon. The 1794-1814 rule had a considerable impact on the city since Napoleon was bent on giving it a key role in his empire, making it his most important military port and helping it regain influence in world trade. Running from March 23 to June 30, paintings, prints, maps, model ships and archive records from this period go on display.
ART/PSYCHIATRY: Housed in a psychiatric hospital in Ghent, the Dr Guislain museum is hosting an exhibit titled "Two centuries of women and their psychiatrists". It looks at whether women are really more often "mentally ill" than men after centuries of belief that they are more "nervous", more susceptible to instability, more often bothered by spirits and demons. The exhibition examines such issues via seven well-known patient-psychiatrist "couples", including Freud and Anna O, and Marilyn Monroe and Ralph Greenson. Until May 25.
LITERATURE/FESTIVAL: For 10 days each year, the Hay Festival transforms a Welsh town on the edge of the spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park into a hotbed of discussion about literature, music, politics, the environment and science, dubbed by Bill Clinton as "The Woodstock of the Mind". From May 23 to June 2.
EXHIBITION/ARCHEOLOGY: Items belonging to the residents of Pompeii who were trapped by Vesuvius's terrifying eruption in AD79 go on show in the British Museum's principal show of the year, "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum". Through artefacts such as a carbonised wooden cradle, mosaics and artworks, the exhibition tells the story of the doomed cities. Until September 28.
ART: Retrospective of the realist painter George Bellows, who was considered one of the greatest artists in the United States when he died in 1925 at the age of 42. The 38 paintings, 14 drawings and 17 lithographs on show at the Royal Academy reflect the artist's fascination with the urban landscape of New York and the diversity of its inhabitants. March 16 to June 9.
ART: Around 100 works from the Picasso Museum in Paris, including 56 paintings and sculptures, go on display at the Klovicevi Dvori gallery in Zagreb. The exhibition, described as the most expensive in Croatia ever and Picasso's largest in the region, covers the period from 1895-1971. From March 23 to July 7.
ARCHAEOLOGY: The grave of "The Ishoj Prince", which dates to the Iron Age (AD 250-400), is considered by archaeologists to be one of the most important discoveries in Denmark in recent times. Its infamy comes from the very fine Roman gifts which were buried with the prince which include two glass beakers decorated with gladiators fighting and dolphins, large gold rings, and an elegant wine set in copper. Until May 5.
ART: US artist Phoebe Washburn's installation in Odense "Pressure Drop for Richard Stands (a history of one thing to another in lemonaideness)" consists of a small apartment occupied by two people everyday from 10:00 am to 5:00pm who will make lunch for themselves, knit, play the guitar or work on the Internet. The installation addresses issues of sustainability, detritus and recycling: the water from the dishwasher is cleansed on its way to a second room via "lungs" and a "heart" and then distributed via many channels to rows of "hospital beds" where plants are grown. At Kunsthallen Brandts until May 26.
FILM: The 66th Cannes film festival kicks off with Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in a remake of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel opening the Riviera festival. Twenty films will be in competition for the coveted Palme d'Or. Sofia Coppola's film "The Bling Ring" will open the parallel new talent section "Un Certain Regard". Steven Spielberg heads the jury which also includes Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee. May 15-26.
ART: "Keith Haring, The Political Line", an exhibition of Haring's drawings, paintings and sculptures at the Modern Art Museum in Paris, invites visitors to consider the political dimension of his work. The exhibition opened on April 18.
ART: The Louvre presents a major retrospective of the work of Giotto (1267-1337), the Tuscan artist who is widely seen as the master of pre-Renaissance Italian art. Runs from April 17.
ART: The Musee du Quai Branly presents, "The Philippines, Archipelago of Exchange", the first major show in France for two decades to put the spotlight on the art of the Philippines. The exhibition contains over 300 pieces from both public and private collections. From April 9.
ART: Paris's Musee d'Orsay hosts "The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst" exploring the dark side of Romanticism. The exhibition illustrates the many different expressions of Dark Romanticism, from Goya and Fussli to Ernst and the Expressionist films of the 1920s, through a selection of 200 works that includes paintings, graphic works and films. From March 5.
SEX/NATURE: From the antics of gay seagulls or free-loving chimps, to the mating rituals of the stalk-eyed fly or hedgehog: a Paris show lifts the veil on sex in the animal kingdom, with some 100 specimens on display, many naturalised in the throes of passion. First staged by London's Natural History Museum under the title "Sexual Nature", the show features a now-cult series of films by Isabella Rossellini, "Green Porno", in which she acts out the quirky sex lives of spiders or snails. "Betes de Sexe" runs until August 25, 2013 at Paris' Palais de la Decouverte. Parental guidance: recommended for over-10s with an accompanying adult.
ANTHROPOLOGY: What's in a hairstyle? Dyed, slicked, plaited, frizzy or straight: hair as a clue to the wearer's personality, culture or social status, is the subject of a new exhibition at the Paris museum of tribal arts.
"The Art of Hair" brings together more than 280 exhibits at the crossroads between art, fashion, anthropology and social history, at the Quai Branly Museum from September 18 to July 14.
MUSIC: Leipzig, the hometown of German opera great Richard Wagner, celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth with a series of exhibitions on his illustrious but controversial legacy. "The Wagner Myth" at Klinger Forum looks at the impact of the composer's music on visual art, with works from the likes of Anselm Kiefer, Jonathan Meese and Thorsten Brinkmann that take inspiration from the world of Wagner. Until July 7.
EXHIBITION: Frankfurt's Jewish Museum shines a spotlight on anti-Semitic stereotypes, in particular those linked to wealth and greed. "Jews. Money. An Introduction" at the former Rothschild palace in Germany's banking capital examines the image of Jews and finance from the Middle Ages through the propaganda of the Nazis, "to reflect on the images that are still in our heads today". Until October 6.
THEATRE: US director and artist Robert Wilson presents the premiere of "Peter Pan", his new musical theatre production about the boy who spends his never-ending childhood in Neverland adventures, at the Berliner Ensemble in the German capital. Music is composed by CocoRosie. Premieres April 17.
ART: Pictures, private photos, books, album covers and films by Germany's late, self-declared "exhibitionist" artist Martin Kippenberger are on display to mark what would have been his 60th birthday, in "Martin Kippenberger: sehr gut/ very good" which explores the prolific artist's private and public persona at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Until August 18.
ART: More than 100 works of art by the Brueghel family, four generations of artists who lived and worked in Flanders from the mid-16th to the early 18th century are on show in Rome.
Renowned for their snow-covered landscapes and scenes of peasant life, often depicting human folly, the artists are on show in a cloister designed by Italian architect Bramante, tucked away off a busy street in Rome's historical centre. Until June 2.
OPERA: A performance of Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" opens the opera season at La Scala in Milan on December 7, with a 2012/2013 programme to celebrate the 200th anniversary from the birth of Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi.
The season also coincides with the 70th birthday of La Scala's Argentinian-Israeli musical director Daniel Barenboim.
MUSIC: The 14th edition of the Oslo Grieg Festival features concerts for adults and children, citywalks in Grieg's footsteps, and the Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers. Until May 5.
MUSIC: On May 22, Poles celebrate the 80th anniversary of composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki at the International Festival of Orthodox Church Music in the eastern city of Hajnowka. Until May 26.
MUSIC: The Portuguese guitar takes centre stage at a temporary exhibition at Lisbon's Fado museum, dedicated to the famous melancholic song genre which the mandolin-style guitar traditionally accompanies. A number of artists including the architect Alvaro Siza Vieira will display their vision of the guitar. Until May 31.
FILM: Twelfth edition of Transylvania's international film festival, one of the biggest in eastern Europe. May 31- June 9.
ART: Madrid's Reina Sofia modern art museum hosts loans from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection focusing on the distinctive 1940-1970 period in Latin American Art.
The Cisneros Foundation, a major resource of Latin American art, says it is also due to make a series of extended loans to the Spanish museum. Exhibition from January 23 to September 16.
MUSIC: Sweden hosts the final of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, the colourful televised pop music extravaganza, in the southwestern city of Malmo on May 18.
MUSIC: The world's first museum devoted to the Swedish pop legends ABBA opens on May 7. It features permanent exhibitions on the famous foursome and their influence, as well as on Swedish popular music more generally.
HISTORY: In "Images of Christina – Queen of Sweden, Queen of Rome", the Royal Armoury in Stockholm focuses on a 17th-century icon who challenged all the century's norms. Christina's abdication, her conversion to Catholicism and "male" behaviour is explored in images, books and on film. Until January 5, 2014.
PHOTOGRAPHY: A new exhibit featuring autobiographical work by Anna Claren, one of Sweden's best-known photographers, is at Stockholm's Fotografiska. Through a series of intimate cliches Claren seeks to preserve in time the happy moments involving the family and friends closest to her. Until May 26.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Stockholm's contemporary photography museum Fotografiska presents a retrospective of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, often referred to as the father of modern photojournalism. "The Man, the Image & the World" features some 250 photographs, including some rare and never shown before images, spanning his entire career with artistic and avant-garde pictures from the 1930s, his photojournalistic work and his portraits. At Fotografiska Museet until May 26.
ART: In "Hilma af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction", Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art dedicates a major exhibition to pioneering Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), featuring many works never before shown in public. Until May 26.
INNOVATION: The "100 Innovations" exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology showcases the 100 top innovations of all time, as voted for by the Swedish people. Visitors can continue to vote at the museum and online to influence what is on display.
Alongside familiar favourites are the next generation of innovations, some still on the drawing board, or little more than a smart idea jotted down on a crumpled napkin. Runs until 2015.
AUCTION: Christie's is to auction off what it describes as one of the world's most perfect diamonds, a pear-shaped gem weighing 101.73 carats, on May 15.
SOUND EXHIBIT: "Our Sound Heritage" is an exhibit aimed at showing how sounds contribute to shaping our identities. Presented by Switzerland's National Sound Archives, which are celebrating their 25th anniversary, the exhibit includes sounds, melodies, music and speech from across Switzerland, highlighting the small, central European country's vast cultural diversity. The interactive exhibit urges visitors to try to identify audio recordings, and presents songs spanning a century of Swiss musical history, as well as recordings of the country's most beautiful fairy tales and legends. At the Swiss National Museum in Zurich from April 26 through August 25.
ART: Amsterdam's world-famous Van Gogh museum reopens on May 1 after a seven-month renovation with an exhibition about how the Dutch master worked based on eight years of research and including works loaned from other museums.
ART/MUSIC: Launch of the second Twente Biennale in the eastern Netherlands, promising controversial exhibitions, lectures and performances, in an urban renewal area in the eastern city of Enschede. May 23-June 9.
CULTURE: Amsterdam commemorates 400 years of its famous Canal Ring, with a programme of exhibitions, concerts, parades and sporting events throughout 2013.
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