Salzburg Festivals – Concerts

‘During recent weeks, we have worked closely with the artists, orchestras and ensembles to plan a programme of 53 concerts in total. Series we have not been able to realize because of the regulations and date restrictions will be moved to the Festival summer of 2021, especially the Ouverture spirituelle entitled “Pax”. Some concert programmes have been adapted so that they can be performed without an interval, like all concerts this summer; others have been redesigned, for example the brief series entitled Fragments – Silence at the  Kollegienkirche,’ says Florian Wiegand, Director of Concerts.


Florian Wiegand, photo SF/ Marco Borrelli

Unfortunately, the Ouverture spirituelle, which was particularly important this year, cannot take place – entitled Pax, it was to reflect the founding mission of the Festival as ‘one of the first peace projects’. The respective events have been postponed to July 2021. Those concert series conceived especially for the centenary – such as Time with Feldman and Moments musicaux – have not been cancelled, but postponed to next year. Modifications were also necessary regarding the performance venues. Thus, the Festival is unable to utilize the hall which usually hosts most of its concerts – the Main Auditorium at the Mozarteum Foundation.


Riccardo Muti, photo SF/Marco Borrelli

Instead, the Mozart Matinees, concerts of the Camerata Salzburg, song recitals and chamber music concerts will take place at the Haus für Mozart. Igor Levit’s Beethoven cycle will also move to the Haus für Mozart and to the Großes Festspielhaus. Even a modified Festival programme would be unthinkable without one very special concert venue: the Kollegienkirche. With reference to Luigi Nono, it will host a brief but invaluable series entitled Fragments – Silence, which the Salzburg Festival has conceived with ensembles and artists whose original projects have had to be modified or cancelled due to the decrees and restrictions governing this summer.


Igor Levit, photo Peter Meisel

The series launches with Emilio Pomàrico and Klangforum Wien performing in vain by Georg Friedrich Haas, followed by Cantando Admont under Cordula Bürgi. The Minguet Quartet focuses on the work which lends the series its title: Luigi Nono’s Fragmente – Stille, an Diotima for string quartet. It is based on poems by Friedrich Hölderlin, whose 250th birthday is celebrated this year – just like Beethoven’s. The composer explained his work as ‘silent songs from other spheres, other heavens.


Sylvain Cambreling, photo Marco Borggreve

The performers should “sing” them.’ The ‘fragments’ Nono transformed musically in his work were taken from pieces by Johannes Ockeghem, Giuseppe Verdi and Ludwig van Beethoven, all of which are also part of this concert programme. Under the baton of Sylvain Cambreling, Otto Katzameier and Klangforum Wien dedicate themselves to Salvatore Sciarrino’s oeuvre in the last concert of the series.


Vienna Philharmonic, photo SF/Annezeuner

The Vienna Philharmonic has long set the musical standard for which the Salzburg Festival is famous worldwide. In 1925 the orchestra first appeared under its famous name at the Salzburg Festival. Previously, individual members of the Vienna State Opera’s orchestra had already participated. The first opera was performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1922, a guest production of the Vienna State Opera. This year, the Vienna Philharmonic will be conducted by Andris Nelsons, Riccardo Muti, Christian Thielemann – with Elīna Garanča as the soloist – and Gustavo Dudamel – with Evgeny Kissin at the piano.


Kirill Petrenko, photo Kaibienert

The Guest Orchestras series features the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under its founder Daniel Barenboim, and the Berlin Philharmonic under its chief conductor Kirill Petrenko.


Daniel Barenboim, photo Peter Adamik

Works by Ludwig van Beethoven, whose anniversary we celebrate this year, appear in all concert series, culminating in a Beethoven Cycle with Igor Levit, the leading Beethoven pianist of the younger generation. Levit traverses the cosmos of all 32 piano sonatas on eight evenings at the Haus für Mozart. The monumental Diabelli Variations are interpreted by Daniel Barenboim in the series of soloist recitals. His piano recital on 19 August 2020 celebrates his 70th stage anniversary on this very day. Further soloist recitals feature Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon, András Schiff, Grigory Sokolov, Daniil Trifonov and Arcadi Volodos, among others.


Grigory Sokolov, photo Vico Chamla

The series Canto lirico includes the greatest singers four times: Sonya Yoncheva joins the Cappella Mediterranea under the baton of Leonardo García Alarcón; together they undertake a journey into the opera genre’s early period. Cecilia Bartoli sings works by Handel and his contemporaries; Gianluca Capuano conducts Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco.


Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov, photo Julian Hargreaves

Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov dedicate themselves to the Russian repertoire, singing excerpts from Piotr I. Tchaikovsky’s operas The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin and Iolanta. Mikhail Tatarnikov conducts the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg at the Großes Festspielhaus. Juan Diego Flórez performs works by Bellini, Verdi, Massenet and Puccini, accompanied by Vincenzo Scalera at the piano. Song recitals will be performed by Matthias Goerne with Jan Lisiecki and Benjamin Bernheim with Carrie-Ann Matheson at the piano.


Arcadi Volodos, photo Marco Borggreve

Chamber music concerts will feature the Belcea Quartet and the Hagen Quartet. Furthermore, Martin Grubinger & The Percussive Planet Ensemble will perform three of the great percussion sextets by Wolfgang Rihm, Iannis Xenakis and Steve Reich under the title The Big Three.


Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, photo Nancy Horowitz

The Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg has a long-standing tradition of appearances at the Salzburg Festival: as early as 1921, members of the Mozarteum Orchestra joined members of the Vienna State Opera orchestra in giving orchestral concerts. Since 1949 the orchestra has offered the Mozart Matinees initiated by Bernhard Paumgartner. In this special Festival summer, the Matinees will not take place at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation, but at the Haus für Mozart, and each will be performed only once. They will be conducted by Ivor Bolton, Andrew Manze, Ádám Fischer and Gianluca Capuano, who makes his debut with the Mozarteum Orchestra as part of the Mozart Matinees.


Evgeny Kissin, photo Johann Sebastian Haeneldg

Bernhard Paumgartner, President of the Salzburg Festival from 1960 to 1971, was not only the initiator of the Mozart Matinees, but also founder of the Camerata Salzburg. The orchestra will appear twice at the Haus für Mozart – once under Ingo Metzmacher with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and once with Manfred Honeck and Daniel Ottensamer.


Christian Thielemann, photo Matthias Creutziger

jung & jede*r

100 years of youthfulness! In celebration of its anniversary, the Salzburg Festival intended to launch a plethora of children’s and youth projects throughout the State of Salzburg, working with highly motivated school teachers. The current situation has required changes to these plans, and many of them can only be implemented as part of the prolonged centenary season.

Two of originally seven productions of jung & jede*r – the Salzburg Festival’s youth programme – can be enjoyed this Festival summer. They offer a preview of a new, extended programme for children and teenagers, to whom high-quality productions and innovative education programmes open new spaces for interaction.


Gustavo Dudamel, photo Nohely Oliveros

1000 Kraniche (for children aged 10 and up) is a world premiere commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, based on a story by Sadako Sasaki: the Japanese gods fulfil a wish to those who fold 1,000 paper cranes. – After the atomic bomb attacks on Japan, young Sadako Sasaki suffers from leukaemia, due to radiation poisoning. She folds origami cranes and hopes to overcome her illness. Letters, documents, images and contemporary eyewitness reports combine in a piece of musical theatre pleading for hope and peace while fighting an invisible illness. Sybrand van der Werf is designing the sets and directs the production. Mezzo-soprano Kanako Shimada and actress and puppeteer Katharina Halus are accompanied by Konstantin Dupelius, piano and electronics, and Gustavo Strauß on the violin. Five performances take place at the University’s Main Auditorium.


œnm, the Austrian Ensemble for New Music, photo Andreas Hechenberger, Markus Sepperer

Anyone who plays percussion will not have to be asked twice when the motto is Hau drauf! (for teenagers aged 14 and up). The drum, which marks the beat when people march together, is the focus of the event, but in this concert-performance by Bina Blumencron and œnm, the Austrian Ensemble for New Music, lots of things and people step out of line. Group pressure and authority figures are not necessarily very popular here, and are thus parodied in the music, which ranges from Steve Reich’s Clapping Music to Maurizio Kagel’s 10 Märsche, um den Sieg zu verfehlen. Three performances take place at the University’s Main Auditorium.


Martha Argerich, photo Afriano Heitman

All the illustrations of the 2020 programme leaflet are by Man Ray

The American photographer, film director, painter and object artist Man Ray is one of the most important protagonists of the inter-war avant-garde, whose photographs have become icons of modernism. In his work he continuously explored the female and male physique and its staging. The cover of our modified 2020 programme features a negative exposure of one of the most famous photographs ever: Man Ray’s Noire et blanche.


Sonya Yoncheva, photo Dario Acosta

William Kentridge designed the logo ‘100 Jahre Salzburger Festspiele’

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 1955 and has made an international name for himself through his drawings and films as well as drama and opera productions. Since the 1990s Kentridge’s works have been shown at museums and galleries all over the world. In 2017 he directed Alban Berg’s Wozzeck at the Salzburg Festival. Since 2014 his visualization of Schubert’s Winterreise with Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser has been performed all over the world. (After Press Materials)

Marijan Zlobec

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