Sunday, November 12, 2017

Salzburg: 2018 Season

The programs and artists are now online for next summer's Salzburg Festival. Just the list of performers goes on for pages and pages:

All my favorite pianists will be there: Grigory Sokolov for the eighth consecutive year playing Haydn sonatas (yes!), Igor Levit, brilliant up and comer doing Wagner, Liszt and Beethoven, and Khatia Buniatishvili, who to my mind is winning the "sexiest pianist" battle with Yuja Wang, doing Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Liszt.

The last time I was in Salzburg, as a student in Pepe Romero's master class in 1988, they had a terrific roster of performers and repertoire. Lutosławski was there conducting a premiere (forget which), Jessye Norman gave a recital, Stockhausen brought his ensemble from Köln for seven concerts of his chamber music, Alfred Brendel did all the Schubert piano sonatas, the Alban Berg quartet did all the Beethoven string quartets and so on. I managed to find time to attend a few of these.

But looking over next summer's offerings I find myself asking, who won't be there? In addition to the pianists I mentioned above there will also be recitals by Maurizio Pollini, Arcadi Volodos, Evgeny Kissin, two by András Schiff (the Well-Tempered Klavier, Books 1 and 2 respectively), and Daniil Trifonov. Any other festival with this wealth of artists? My favorite conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen will be conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, who will also be conducted by Andris Nelsons, Riccardo Muti, Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Möst.

Speaking of orchestras, there will also be concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Vienna Radio Orchestra (I have to see that one: the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Shostakovich Symphony 10), the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. By my count that's seven orchestras. In 1988 I think there were only five. In either case, if you get on a bus, you have to fight your way past cello cases. Ah, Salzburg, city of one movie theater and twelve concert halls.

As for big series, Teodor Currentzis is conducting all the Beethoven symphonies, there is a special series of concerts devoted to the music of Galina Ustvolskaya (student of Shostakovich), and there are five matinee concerts devoted to Mozart. Lots of other stuff as well. I think it will take me about a week to figure out what concerts to attend! One I know for sure is Sokolov on August 8. It's in the Grosses Festspielhaus and tickets run from ten euros to one hundred and fifteen euros.

If any of my readers are also planning on attending, let''s meet for a weißbräu after a concert!

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