1967–2017: 50 Years of the Salzburg Easter Festival

In this part of our website we offer you a look back at our anniversary season. Here you can still find the entire 2017 programme. Thank you very much for having visited the Salzburg Easter Festival and celebrated our anniversary with us!


Dear Music Lovers,

Herbert von Karajan rehearsing „Die Walküre“ 1967 in with the Valkyries (in front: Gerda Scheyrer, Helmwige). Photo: S. Lauterwasser, Karajan®-Archiv

when Herbert von Karajan founded the Salzburg Easter Festival 50 years ago, he set artistic standards that remain just as valid today. Under the ideal conditions offered by the Grosses Festspielhaus, Herbert von Karajan succeeded in realizing his dream of a ‘festive play’ within the Festival. The Salzburg Easter Festival revolved around him, just as the Bayreuth Festival had once centred around the person of Richard Wagner, the music dramatist, and just as the early years of the Salzburg Festival had focussed on that impresario and magician of the theatre, Max Reinhardt.

We would like to link up with this great tradition for the jubilee Easter Festival in 2017 by attempting to re-create Karajan’s musico-theatrical vision of Die Walküre from 1967. Our re-creation of this work through the stage designs of Günther Schneider-Siemssen brings the historical original back into focus and at the same time poses the question as to how it may be reinterpreted for our own time. In our revival of the set designs of the 1967 Walküre we are by no means aiming to glorify that era, but are instead asking questions about the stage aesthetic of yesterday, today and tomorrow. An accompanying exhibition and two symposia will trace Herbert von Karajan’s idea of the ‘festive play’, and by contrasting historical and latter-day dimensions we will investigate listening and viewing habits both old and new.
Our programme will also feature Lohengrin, a contemporary chamber opera by Salvatore Sciarrino full of Wagnerian resonances.

The newly founded Herbert von Karajan prize of the Salzburg Easter Festival will be awarded to pianist Daniil Trifonov at the Concert for Salzburg. Trifonov will be our Artist in Residence at the 2017 Easter Festival.

The Staatskapelle Dresden will in 2017 once again be our marvellous Orchestra in residence. We are also delighted to be able to welcome both the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berliner Philharmoniker for one guest concert each – both generously supported by Eliette von Karajan – at our jubilee Festival.

We hope that you find the programme of the 2017 Salzburg Easter Festival appealing and we look forward to welcoming you!

Christian Thielemann
Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival and
Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Prof. Dr. Peter Ruzicka
Managing Director and Intendant of the
Salzburg Easter Festival