Christian Thielemann to be The Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival From 2013 to 2017

The Salzburg Easter Festival is extraordinarily fortunate to be able to announce that it has found an outstanding new Artistic Director in the person of Christian Thielemann, who will assume overall responsibility for the Festival’s artistic programming from 2013 up to the jubilee season of 2017, where we shall be marking the the Salzburg Easter Festival’s fiftieth anniversary. This does however not preclude the option of extending the new arrangement beyond 2017. With Christian Thielemann as its Artistic Director, the Salzburg Easter Festival is not only sending a clear signal for a new beginning at the highest possible artistic level but also continuing its existing tradition with an artistically outstanding figure at the head of his orchestra of choice. To the extent that Christian Thielemann worked as Herbert von Karajan’s musical assistant at an early point in his career it is a particular stroke of good fortune that he will ensure that the Festival continues to operate on the very highest level as set by its founder.

The Staatskapelle Dresden to provide the Salzburg Easter Festival's orchestra in residence from 2013 to 2017

Christian Thielemann will become principal conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2012. From 2013 until 2017 he and his orchestra will also form the musical backbone of the Salzburg Easter Festival. Together they will work on new opera productions and concert programmes specially designed for Salzburg. The fact that it has been possible to engage this orchestra at such short notice is due to the extraordinary commitment of our colleagues in Dresden. Dresden and Salzburg have been twinned since 1991, and it is particularly gratifying that these links can now be intensified as the result of this new artistic partnership.

New opera productions at the Salzburg Easter Festival from 2013 to 2017 in co-productions with the Semperoper Dresden

The Salzburg Easter Festival’s new opera productions between 2013 and 2017 will be co-productions with the Semperoper Dresden. The Staatskapelle Dresden will appear under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann. Each new production will open in Salzburg before being presented in Dresden.

About the Programme of the Salzburg Easter Festival from 2013 to 2017

The first joint opera production bring together the Salzburg Easter Festival’s new Artistic Director, Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Semperoper Dresden will take place in 2013 with a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal directed by Michael Schulz. Sets and costumes will be designed by Alexander Polzin. The distinguished cast will include Johan Botha as Parsifal, Stephen Milling as Gurnemanz and Wolfgang Koch as Amfortas. Myung-Whun Chung, the Staatskapelle’s principal guest conductor designate, has been engaged to conduct one of a pair of the subscription concerts in 2013. The soloist will be the pianist Evgeny Kissin.

There will also be an important new addition to the structure of the festival period from 2013: Between the two subsctiption cyles there will be a special concert performed by the Staatskapelle Dresden, entitled Concert for Salzburg. It is targeted especially at a young audience as well as the general public in both Salzburg city and its surrounding region. The tickets will be available at a specially low price. The Salzburg Easter Festival’s young people’s programme will also continue to play a major part in future plans.

Programme details for the seasons between 2013 and 2017 are currently being discussed by Christian Thielemann and Peter Alward with their partners in Dresden and will be announced in due course.

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