City in Ger. with musical tradition dating from 17th cent. Operatic activity was especially vital under Grand Duke Ludwig I (1790–1830), when the court conductor was Vogler. Later Rinck was organist for 41 years. Among 20th‐cent. opera conds. at Darmstadt have been Weingartner, Balling, Böhm, E. Kleiber, Schmidt‐Isserstedt, and Szell. But the most significant development has been the city's association with avant‐garde contemporary mus. The International Summer Courses for New Music were instituted in 1946 by Wolfgang Steinecke, who directed them until his death in 1961. The courses were held annually up to 1970, and now every two years.