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Salzburg Easter Festival

The Salzburg Easter Festival holds world-class operas and concerts

The Easter Festival, one of the most interesting and best classical music festivals worldwide, is postponed to 29th October until 1st November 2021.

The Easter Festival is now scheduled to take place on All Saints Weekend from 29th October until 1st November 2021. Here you will find all details about the Easter Festival.

The Artistic Director Christian Thielemann and the Managing Director, Intendant Nikolaus Bachler have assembled a new programme for this years easter festival weekend, all details will be published in May. Thus the long-announced artists will be presenting a variety of works in partly new constellations.

Previously programme overview  – Updates in May 2021
Opening Day Choral Concert Thielemann with Golda Schultz, Szilvia Vörös, Sebastian Kohlhepp, Alexander Tsymbalyuk and Bachchor Salzburg, Music by W.A. Mozart
Day 2  Orchestral Concert Thielemann: Denis Matsuev, Music by E. Grieg & L.v. Beethoven
Day 3 Orchestral Concert Pappano with Hilary Hahn, Music by M. Ravel, W.A. Mozart and R. Schumann
Day 4 Gala Concert / Christian Thielemann.WithAnna Netrebko, Golda Schultz, Yusif Eyvazov and Alexander Tsymbalyuk & State music ensemble Dresden

The concert programme partly remains unchanged with violinist Hilary Hahn performing Mozart’s Concerto in A major under the direction of Sir Antonio Pappano. Here you will find all details on the current programme of the Easter Festival:

Herbert von Karajan – Salzburg’s great conductor

The Salzburg Easter Festival was above all the product of a single Salzburger. Herbert von Karajan was born on the modern-day Makartsteg, where today his life-size statue stands in a conducting pose. After studying at the Mozarteum and in Vienna, he conducted the Mozarteum Orchestra for the first time at the age of 20. From this first appearance, it was clear that his path would lead to the very top. From 1960 onwards, Karajan was an integral part of the Salzburg Festival. When, seven years later, with the founding of the Easter Festival, whose leading thereof took over his life, he created a monument not only to himself but also to the music scene in Salzburg.

Exceptional quality

Karajan’s explicit wish and expectations was to only have the best on stage. It had been a conscious decision to keep the Easter festival smaller than the Salzburg Festival as this was the only way they could guarantee unique performances from world-class musicians. Karajan was renowned and respected for his perfectionism. He took the opportunity to use “his” Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and his many contacts around the world to get only the best musicians and singers.

Here you will find all details on the current programme of the Easter Festival:

The artistic directors of the Easter Festival

The high quality of the Easter Festival continued even after Karajan was no longer there. One of the main reasons were the chief conductors of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, who were also automatically responsible for the artistic direction:

      • Herbert von Karajan: 1967 (founding) until 1989 (Karajan’s death)
      • Sir Georg Solti: Solti assumed the artistic direction in 1989 after Karajan died, shortly before the festival, and then worked at the Salzburg Festival. In 1992/93 he took over the artistic direction of the Easter Festival.
      • Claudio Abbado: Abbado became the artistic director in 1994 and expanded his first Festival with the series “counterpoints” (“Kontrapunkte”): chamber orchestras with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra collaborating with first-class soloists.
      • Sir Simon Rattle: The curly-haired Brit took over in 2003. After ten seasons, his time and the time of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra came to an end.
      • Christian Thielmann: The Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden came to Salzburg after the change.
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