The festival location Grafenegg presents its program for the year 2021 “full of confidence”. The 15th season starts 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 September 5th). Due to the current Covid-19 situation, only a reduced number of tickets will initially be offered. General ticket sales begin on December 16.
At the nine summer concerts, some of the events that were canceled last year are to be rescheduled, including a Latin American evening with Juan Diego Flórez (“Besame mucho”). Mnozil Brass are coming again, the European Union Youth Orchestra under David Zinman has Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony in its program. The Grafenegg Academy will also be made up for.
Again bad weather alternative
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 orchestras from Vienna, Munich and Prague” as the “pillars” of the season, while Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Semyon Bychkov, Herbert Blomstedt and Andrés Orozco-Estrada are among the conductors. 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 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.
State Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) is proud of the “excellent security concept” and expects “great musical moments” for 2021. Lower Austria’s international reputation as a cultural land is “closely linked to Grafenegg and Rudolf Buchbinder”.
In addition to the open-air stage, the cloud tower, the auditorium is also available again as a venue and bad weather alternative, “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.
Order piece from 2020 should still sound
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. The final concert with Renée Fleming is intended to close the circle at the beginning of the festival, because the American soprano had already participated in the opening on the Wolkenturm stage 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 Austria 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.