Abendmusik (German for "evening music", plural Abendmusiken) is an evening concert, usually performed in a church.
Specifically, this designation refers to a series of performances at the St. Mary's Church, Lübeck (Marienkirche), Germany, begun in the 17th century and lasting until 1810. Paid for by local businessmen and therefore with free admission for the public, Franz Tunder (organist at the Marienkirche from 1641 to 1667) was the first to perform the Abendmusiken with organ music and a variety of vocal music. Under his successor Dieterich Buxtehude (organist at Lübeck from 1668 until 1707), these concerts came to prominence and were established on the five Sundays preceding Christmas. Buxtehude and his successors even composed five-part oratorios to be performed over the course of the five Sundays.
Organist Walter Kraft (1905–1977) renewed this Lübeck tradition at St. Mary's in 1926.
- Apel, Willi, ed. The Harvard Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1972.