This festival is well known as the premier stage for music and drama. It was established in 1920 and is held every year in Austria – in the city of Salzburg. The festival is held over a period of 5 weeks starting in July. Salzburg is the birth place of the composer, Mozart.
Salzburg has a rich history as far as the Arts and Music are concerned. Music festivals have been a feature in this picturesque city off and on since 1877. In 1917, two men formed an organization – the Festspielhaus-Gemeinde – which would not only organise annual music and drama festivals but also make Mozart’s work the centerpiece of this festival.
One tradition that happens without fail is the performance of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s play - Jedermann – or Everyman. The festival lost a large number of its Jewish artists like conductor Georg Solti and Reinhardt. It reopened in the summer of 1945 after the end of World Ward II.
Well known conductor Herbert von Karajan took over the reigns as artistic director and the festival came to be known as the premier venue for classical music and opera. Most of all, this festival concentrated on the music of Mozart and Strauss. In 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birthday were celebrated by performing all of his works – 22 ( including the unfinished pieces). A boxed set of all the films were released to the public in 2006 November.
The main idea of the festival is to keep it very old worldly and bring the world to this small city – with music as the uniting theme. The other theme that is dear to the organizers is to make classical music available to everyone who wants to listen – food for the soul and not a luxury item for the select few.