Salburg festival celebrates 91st anniversary

Updated: 2011-07-28 13:58


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SALZBURG -- The 91st Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele), held in the Austrian town of Salzburg from July 27 to August 30, opened Wednesday.

Salzburg, the capital of Austria's western state Salzburg, is also the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Salzburg Festival is held every summer for five weeks starting in late July, and is therefore also known as the "Salzburg Summer Festival."

Austrian President Heinz Fischer attended the opening ceremony and gave a speech in which he said that all European countries should unite to jointly face the challenges posed by the economic crisis and terrorism.

German Protestant theologian, journalist and politician Joachim Gauck also made a speech in which he condemned the recent terrorist attacks and said that art should play a role in society and politics to encourage people to overcome difficulties.

During the five-week-long festival, a total of 213 musical presentations including operas, concerts and dramas will be performed.

The highlight of this year's Salzburg Festival is the five concerts performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Orchestra will give musical presentations and concerts.

The Salzburg Festival was officially founded on August 22, 1920 by poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, composer Richard Strauss, scenic designer Alfred Roller, conductor Franz Schalk and the director of the Salzburg City Theater, Max Reinhardt. Since then, it has always been opened with the traditional performance of Hofmannsthal's play "Jedermann" on the steps of Cathedral Square.

As the world's largest classical music festival, performances consist of classical compositions mainly from Mozart and Strauss. However, in recent years, an increasing number of modern musicals has also been staged.

The state government of Salzburg and the Salzburg Festival organizer have planned a series of cultural and musical activities for the whole city to enjoy.

As one of the most prestigious cultural events in the world, the Salzburg Festival attracts a large number of tourists each year with performances by internationally acclaimed musicians as well as a variety of cultural activities. The festival has also contributed a lot to improve local tourism.


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