The Grafenegg Festival presents its program for 2021 with “full confidence”. The 15th season begins with the summer night gala on June 10th and 11th, followed by the summer concerts (June 26th to August 7th) and the festival (August 13th to 5th September). Due to the current Covid 19 situation, according to the festival broadcast, initially only a reduced number of tickets will be offered. General ticket sales begin on December 16.
At the nine summer concerts in the run-up to the festival, some of the events that were canceled last year will be made up for, including a Latin American evening with Juan Diego Florez (“Besame mucho”). Mnozil Brass are coming again, the European Union Youth Orchestra under David Zinman has Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony in its repertoire. The Grafenegg Academy will also be made up for.
The festival, under the artistic direction of Rudolf Buchbinder, will open on August 13 with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Messa da Requiem”, with Krassimira Stoyanova, Anita Rachvelishvili, Piotr Beczala and René Pape as soloists. Buchbinder names “the Philharmonic from Vienna, Munich and Prague” as the “central pillars” of the anniversary season, while Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Semyon Bychkov, Herbert Blomstedt and Andres Orozco-Estrada are among the conductors. Artistic director Buchbinder: “I’m looking forward to every single artist.” A total of 15 evening concerts and four matinees over four weekends are planned for the festival.
Composer in residence next summer is the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa, who is also leading the composer-conductor workshop “Ink Still Wet”. The Austrian premiere of his violin concerto, which was also commissioned by the festival, with Veronika Eberle as soloist is on the program on August 20th.
Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) is proud of the “excellent security concept” and expects “great musical moments at the highest level” for 2021. Lower Austria’s international reputation as a cultural land is “closely linked to Grafenegg and Rudolf Buchbinder,” said Mikl-Leitner.
In addition to the cloud tower, the auditorium is also available again as a venue for matinees and as an alternative to bad weather “thanks to the updating and expansion of our prevention concept,” explains Philipp Stein, Managing Director of Grafenegg Kulturbetriebsgesellschaft. Unfortunately, at this point in time, it cannot be guaranteed that the musical framework program with preludes, introductions and late night sessions will be available again.
On the last day of the festival (September 5), works from the 2020 festival opening, which has been canceled due to weather conditions, will be heard in a matinee, including the world premiere of Konstantia Gourzi’s trumpet concert. Buchbinder: “The final concert with Renée Fleming then closes the circle at the beginning of the festival” – the American soprano had already participated in the opening on the stage of the Wolkenturm in 2007. This time she sings “Four Last Songs” by Richard Strauss.
The Grafenegg Kulturbetriebsgesellschaft as part of the Lower Austrian Culture Industry (in partnership with the Metternich-Sandor family, Lower Austrian Hypo Beteiligungsholding GmbH and the municipalities of Grafenegg and Grafenwörth) has an annual budget of 9.4 million euros. This not only includes own events, but also costs for park maintenance, building maintenance, technology, marketing and personnel. The company itself brings in 3.7 million euros in particular through ticket sales, sponsorships and rentals, the state of Lower Austria contributes 5.3 million euros in subsidies, the federal government and the municipalities support Grafenegg with 410,000 euros.
(SERVICE – Grafenegg summer season 2021, June 10th to September 5th. Ticket sales: for Friends of the Grafenegg Festival from December 2nd, for Grafenegg Card holders from December 9th, general sales start on December 16. Tickets and information: as well Tel. 02735/5500 and 01/586 83 83)
(BILDAVISO – press photos at grafenegg.com/presse)