The Program of the Salzburg Festival 2020 presented at the Forum

On November 16, the anniversary program of the Salzburg Festival which is to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020 was announced in the framework of the track 'Festival of Festivals'.

The work of the track was followed by presentation of finalists of the competition 'Young Festivals of Russia and Europe' — festival projects from various Russian regions. 

Presentation '100th Anniversary of the Salzburg Festival: Guardian of Traditions and Trend Setter' was held by Helga Rabl-Stadler (Austria), President of the Salzburg Festival, one of the world's brightest and the most influential art managers. The event was moderated by Dmitry Grinchenko, Executive Director of the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi. 

'The Salzburg Festival is something we see as a benchmark when holding the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi, for example. Its history is just phenomenal — being one of the world's best festivals for 100 years while remaining a relevant event instead of turning the festival into a museum. Every year I open the program of the Salzburg Festival and still feel endlessly jealous about such a fantasy, such a desire to develop what we all have devoted our lives to,' Dmitry Grinchenko noted. 

Helga Rabl-Stadler told about the history of the Salzburg Festival, announced performances of stars of the Russian academic music at the anniversary festival, and shared her impressions of the visit to the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. 

'I like that the Forum is focused on young people and children. The Salzburg Festival will celebrate its 100th anniversary soon, and we are not going to arrange an expensive firework on this occasion. Though there will be fountains of ideas that will be meaningful in work with the audience of young people and children. 

Let me quote composer Gustav Mahler: 'Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.' Tradition means courage to go on doing something. And on the one hand, the Salzburg Festival has been keeping traditions for 100 years, but on the other hand, it looks forward. New tendencies are born from traditions. 

In 2019, 242 events were held on 16 venues in the framework of the Salzburg Festival. We are the world's biggest festival of classical music without exaggeration. 

The Salzburg Festival was established in 1920. Artists, people of art suggested the idea, because after the drama of the First World War they wanted to give disconcerted people another perception of peace. Festivals are organized not because the times are good, but because they are bad. There might not be any excuse or pretence that the time is not suitable for the art. 

There was a camp for Russian war prisoners at the border of Salzburg. After the First World War the first stage for the Salzburg Festival was made of wood planks that used to compose walls of barracks where war prisoners had lived. It was a metaphor of the transition to peace. 

In 2020 we will celebrate, of course. Archives will be opened, we will see programs of festivals of the past 100 years. The first opera in the program of the Salzburg Festival was Mozart's Don Juan, and this year a new version of Don Juan will be staged. The orchestra will be conducted by Theodore Kurentzis, and the production will be directed by Romeo Castellucci. A very serious event is Boris Godunov, the Mussorgsky's opera, where the main party will be played by Ildar Abdrazakov. Russian performers are incredibly important for us,' Helga Rabl-Stadler said. 

The program of the Salzburg Festival in 2020 will include 6 opera productions and 2 operas in concert performance, 91 concerts and 57 theatrical productions. The presentation of the anniversary Salzburg Festival served as the prologue to a series of subsequent joint cultural projects of two countries, including the Cross Year of Literature and Culture in Russia and Austria in 2020–2021. 

At the presentation 'Young Festivals of Russia and Europe' 11 festival projects that have become finalists of the competition 'Young Festivals of Russia and Europe' were introduced to the international jury of Europe for Festivals — Festivals for Europe (EFFE). The open gathering of applications was arranged in the framework of preparations for the VIII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Any young Russian festival that wanted to make itself known on the international scale could take part in the competition. 

The event was attended by Sergey Pershin, Director General of ANO 'Development Center of Cultural initiatives' and Director of the Tavrida Art Cludter; Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General of the European Festivals Association and Co-Director of the Europe for Festivals — Festivals for Europe Project (Germany); representatives of the finalist projects of the competition 'Young Festivals of Russia and Europe', etc. The event was moderated by Dmitry Grinchenko. 

Following the result of the presentation, the EFFE international jury chose three winners and marked them as 'Recommended by EFFE': 

  • A Special View, the Social and Inclusive Theatre Festival and Forum (Moscow); 
  • Tolstoy International Theatre Festival (Tula Region); 
  • Ural Music Night Festival (Yekaterinburg). 

Presentation of Taurida ART, a new Russian festival that took place in 2019 for the first time, also was held in the framework of the event. 

'We hope that our festival will open the door to the future for young talented people of culture. Young people who are involved in culture and arts today are visionary artists, they shape the future. Representatives of technical professions make this future closer. However, to expedite it, we need to see it. And we do with the help of young visionaries. 

First of all, the Taurida — ART Festival is eight art quarters where young artists, musicians, young people interested in film making, theatre and other areas come to. They live in these art quarters, they build these art quarters filling them with the content and the meaning. The evening program of the main stage includes a large group of Russian and foreign musicians who perform together with young people. 

Sudak is a small town, 17,000 citizens only. And both this place and people living there experience incredible transformations. We have held 35 various events straight in the town, for its residents. The audience of our three-day-long festival was 92,000 people. Taurida-ART is an anchor project for the southeast part of the Crimean Peninsula that changes image, infrastructure, inner culture of the region,' Sergey Pershin shared.