Quite a while ago, when I was working very hard on my career as a performer, I spent a month at the Mozarteum's Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. This may be the most prestigious music school in the world and I had a wonderful experience. The guitar maestro was Pepe Romero and I spent most of the time studying the Concierto de Aranjuez, on which he is an authority. At the same time as the Summer Academy, is the Salzburg Festival, one of the most distinguished music festivals in the world. When I was there, decades ago, the Alban Berg Quartet were performing the whole cycle of the Beethoven string quartets (I attended both a concert and a rehearsal), Alfred Brendel was playing the whole cycle of the Schubert piano sonatas, Karlheinz Stockhausen was there with his ensemble from Cologne giving seven concerts of his chamber music (and I met him after a concert and had a very interesting conversation), Witold Lutosławski was there conducting the premiere of his violin concerto, Jessye Norman gave a solo recital and on and on. There were at least five orchestras in attendance. Salzburg is a city devoted to music with one (1) cinema, but at least a dozen concert halls! At the end of the course, I gave a short recital in the Wiener Saal, the smaller of the Mozarteum's two concert halls:
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Now that's a beautiful concert hall!
What I would really like to do next summer is spend a couple of weeks attending concerts at the Salzburg Festival. There are some five or ten every day! I don't think next year's schedule is out yet, you have to apply for tickets in January, but here is a little glimpse of what will be on this year. The festival runs from July 21 to August 30.
- Mozart, Clemenza de Tito
- Shostakovich, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
- Verdi, Aida
- Berg, Wozzeck
- Handel, Ariodante
- Monteverdi, Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and L'Incoronazione di Poppea
- and a bunch of others
- Vienna Philharmonic giving ten concerts under five different conductors
- Berlin Philharmonic, two concerts with Simon Rattle
- Pittsburg Symphony
- Mahler Youth Orchestra
- West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Barenboim
- Vienna Radio Symphony with Meister
- Bavarian Radio with Nagano
- Nine concerts with focus on Shostakovich
- Eight concerts with focus on Grisey
- Six lieder recitals
- Three by András Schiff
- One by Grigory Sokolov
- One by Evgeny Kissin
- Two by Igor Levit (one entirely of Shostakovich)
- One by Mitsuko Uchida
- One by Maurizio Pollini
- One by Ilya Gringolts
- and duo recitals by Argerich/Barenboim and Mutter/Orkis
There is also a host of chamber music and an entire festival of drama.
Hard to resist...
For our envoi, let's listen to Mitsuko Uchida playing a little Mozart. Here she is with the Camerata Salzburg and the Concerto in C major, K. 415: