Grafenegg is the site of the first major festival of symphonic music
to be launched in Austria for over 20 years. It takes place over three
weekends from August 23rd to 9th September 2007.
Resident orchestra is the Tonkunstler Orchestra under Kristian Jarvi
(one of the dynasty). Valery Gergiev will be conducting the London
Symphony Orchestra in two concerts - one Tchaikovsky, Debussy and
\prokofiev, the other Tchaikovsly, Stravinsky and Beethjoven. Zunin
Mehta will be conducting a Mahler symphont, and Philippe will be conducting
the Mahler Chamnber Orchestra in Beethoven, Haydn and Schumann. Zdenek
Macal will be conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Smetana.
Penderecki and Dvorak. In fact, Krzysztof Penderecki is composer-in
-residence, and will be conducting a special premiere of a new work
commissioned by the festival.
Soloists include Alfred Brendel, Ian Bostridge, Arcadi Volodos and, on
the opening night, Renee Fleming. Artistic director is Rudolf Buchbinder.
He says "The maxim is top quality. Everything else is secondary. That's
why there won't be a theme, because I don't want to force the musicians
into a straitjacket and require them to play particular works."
Grafenegg is just outside Vienna, set in peaceful countryside, in 32
hectares of the grounds of a former castle. They even have an extra
specially designed open air theatre, the Wolkenturm. The "pillar of
clouds" stands above the woodland, blending with the horizon. There's
lots to do in this part of Austria, and it's near wine country. Definitely
more informal than Salzburg - as are the prices ! Indeed, they visualise
it as being a kind of European Tanglewood.
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