The Philosophy of the Salzburg Easter Festival

The Easter Festival’s founding father, Herbert von Karajan, had an unconditional commitment to achieving the highest artistic standards. This commitment has remained to this day an unbroken tradition at the Salzburg Easter Festival.

A New Era in 2013 with Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden

From 1967 to 2012, Herbert von Karajan’s commitment to quality was impressively achieved thanks to the Easter Festival’s collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and its respective chief conductors. Since 2013, Christian Thielemann – von Karajan's sometime musical assistant – has taken the Easter Festival into a new era, alongside the Staatskapelle Dresden. Together, they continue to uphold the Festival’s highest artistic standards.

Exclusivity in the Very Best Sense

Just how much the corporate philosophy of the Salzburg Easter Festival is founded on exclusivity is reflected not just in its demanding yet attractive programming and in its endeavours to engage the very best artists, but also in its financial basis. Herbert von Karajan created the Salzburg Easter Festival as a private undertaking so as to fulfil his dream of having his own festival while ensuring the greatest possible financial and artistic independence. His ideals have been upheld, and today the great majority of the Festival’s financial resources are of private origin, namely 88%. Besides ticket sales, it is above all the contributions of the Patrons and sponsors that are of very special significance.

An Exemplary Association of Patrons

The idea of setting up an Association of Patrons can also be traced back to Herbert von Karajan. In many cases, Patrons have been members of the Association since the year the Festival was founded – this is in itself a token of the high esteem in which the Patrons hold the Festival and its familial atmosphere, and also of their identification with the Festival itself. The supporting role played by the members of the Association of Patrons is by no means restricted to the merely financial. Many Patrons have in fact been closely connected to “their” Festival over the years, and they are an idealistic pillar of support. At present, as of the 2015 season, the Association numbers 2,100 members.