THE SALZBURG SUMMER FESTIVAL
The year 1920 marked the birth of the Salzburg Festival. Max Reinhardt was director when Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Jedermann” was performed in Salzburg for the first time on 20th August. Ever since its initial founding, the Salzburg Festival has been defined by the high quality of its music, the involvement of international artists and the successful juxtaposition of traditional and modern.
This extraordinary cultural festival is held in Salzburg in both July and August. Alongside the great classical operas and plays, contemporary works of significance are also presented.
As part of the Salzburg Festival, there are also year-round performances, where the festival village, sets and costumes can also be visited and admired. For those who were unfortunately not lucky enough to have secured tickets for this impressive festival, big screens will be erected on Kapitelplatz (Kapitel Square) in Salzburg’s Altstadt (old town), to enable them to still follow this prestigious event. The so-called “Festival Village, where the events are taking place in conjunction with the festival, is made up of the following: the Festspielhaus (Festival Hall), the Haus für Mozart (House for Mozart), the Felsenreitschule (Salzburg Riding School), Domplatz (Cathedral Square) and the Kollegien Church.
The idea of holding festivals in Salzburg at other times of the year aside from summer goes back to the time of one of the Salzburg Festival’s most important pioneers. Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote back in the year 1919 that the festival should take place "every summer, but also occasionally at other times of the year, such as at Easter and Whitsun“.
Since 2007 the Salzburg Whitsun Festival has been dedicated to Neapolitan Baroque and early classical music. The artistic director, Riccardo Muti (who has become a superstar amongst conductors, at the very latest since the worldwide broadcast of the Millennium New Year Concert) makes an explicit reference to the long and traditional links between Austrian and Neapolitan culture through the title "Salzburg goes Napoli".
As director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, Riccardo Muti has devoted himself to his three great passions: the music of his hometown of Naples, promoting new talent and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “What we are doing is still very much connected to the Neapolitan School and its relationship to Vienna. We often forget today that Vienna and Naples were very closely interconnected in the 18th century and beyond“, said Riccardo Muti speaking again about the historical context of his originally three year-long Salzburg project “Neapel – Metropole der Erinnerung” (Naples – a Metropolis Remembered), which was ultimately extended to a five-year run.
The Whitsun Festival will take place from 13/5 – 16/5/16!
The Salzburg Easter Festival was founded in 1967. It takes place every year during Easter week. Alongside concerts, the main focus will be on Opera.
The centrepiece of the Easter Festival 2016 is the opera, “Otello“ by Giuseppe Verdi. The Musical Director is Christian Thielemann, with Vincent Boussard responsible for staging and Vincent Lemaire for stage design. The costumes have been designed the world-famous fashion designer, Christian Lacroix.
The Easter Festival will take place from 19/3-28/3/16!
The International Mozart Foundation founded Mozart Week in 1954. It is by no coincidence that this has become the cultural highlight of the Salzburg Winter calendar, as on 27th January Salzburg’s most famous son came into the world in Getreidegasse. Mozart stands fully at the centre of this ten-day event. Renowned orchestras and conductors all pay homage to the old classical master in the Mozart city of Salzburg.
Mozart Week 2016: 22/1 - 31/1/16
Every October a hundred concerts in fifty festival venues in Salzburg’s Altstadt (old town) offer unique sound experiences as part of the “Jazz & the City” event. Over five days Salzburg’s Altstadt is transformed into a mecca of the music scene, with its cafés, bars, squares, galleries and many other special venues getting involved. The programme includes world music, jazz, electronic music, international greats, as well as many promising newcomers, and what’s more, admission is free!