Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler honoured

Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler received a medal of the Republic of Italy today. She received the “Grande Ufficiale dell’ordine della Stella d’Italia” in the presence of Maestro Riccardo Muti after his concert with the Vienna Philharmonic. The medal was presented by the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Vienna, H. E. Giorgio Marrapodi.

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Helga Rabl-Stadler, Riccardo Muti and Giorgio Marrapodi, photo: SF/Anne Zeuner

He gave his honorific speech in Italian and German. Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler was described as an outstanding personality of Austrian cultural life, valued not only for her artistic experience, but also her exceptional abilities as a manager. He cited her decisive contribution to the prestige of this world-renowned festival which reflects a winning mixture of tradition and modernism. “Thanks to your work, you are in extremely close contact with Italy’s most important musicians, and you have always worked on behalf of the arts. Thus, you have contributed essentially to the development of Austrian-Italian friendship,” the Ambassador said before pinning the medal on the President.


Helga Rabl-Stadler and Giorgio Marrapodi, photo: SF/Anne Zeuner

“It is a great honour and joy for me to receive an official decoration from my beloved Italy,” the Festival President said. First of all, Helga Rabl-Stadler thanked Riccardo Muti for the wonderful concert with the Vienna Philharmonic. “Since 1971 Riccardo Muti has been our fixed star illuminating the Festival skies. Tomorrow will be his 250th performance in Salzburg – an impossible act to follow,” she said. Muti keeps returning with many different orchestras. “My personal favourites are the nights when he conducts our Vienna Philharmonic. As I never tire of saying, without the Vienna Philharmonic there might be a festival in Salzburg, but it would not be the Salzburg Festival.”

“This medal makes me particularly happy, for I think my love for Italy is genetic: I was born on June 2, 1948, the same day as the Italian Constitution. I love the country, its people, its pasta, its vino – but most of all its arts and culture. To me, next to my homeland, Italy is the best part of Europe. This medal is an inspiration to keep championing the presence of Italian artists in Austria,” said Helga Rabl-Stadler.

(Press Release of the Salzburg Festival)



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