Festival 2023


This year we begin with the Tonkunstler Orchestra conducted by Yutaka Sado playing Mendelssohn’s «Midsummer Night’s Dream», a title that sums up the Grafenegg Festival. The mischievous spirit continues with «Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks».

Two days later, more Romanticism in a matinee with the Festival Strings Lucerne and Kian Soltani as soloist in Schumann’s Cello Concerto. It begins with Honegger’s «Pastorale d’-été», another homage to summer.

Music from Russia is central to European culture and to the Grafenegg Festival each year. After this year’s opening, Rudolf Buchbinder takes to the Wolkenturm with the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, now based in Germany, and a programme that features Ukrainian music, in solidarity with the beleaguered nation. Russian composers take their place in the programmes of guest orchestras including the London Philharmonia and the Vienna Philharmonic. Manfred Honeck and the European Union Youth Orchestra play the Fifth Symphony by Shostakovich, who learned of his sister’s deportation to Siberia while writing it. Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Markus Poschner conduct Tchaikovsky; Vladimir Jurowski and Jakub Hrůza conduct Rachmaninov. Audience favourite Sergei Dogadin performs Tchaikovsky’s sublime Violin Concerto.

As always, we spotlight contemporary music: the 2023 programme includes not just current Composer in Residence Philippe Manoury but also his predecessor from 2014, Jörg Widmann. The Concertgebouworkest under Iván Fischer performs excerpts from his cycle «The Hot Heart». Kirill Gerstein plays Thomas Adès’s Piano Concerto and Daniel Harding conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in George Benjamin’s Concerto for Orchestra – both Grafenegg premieres.

This year’s soloists include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Denis Kozhukhin, Anna Prohaska, Christian Tetzlaff and Daniil Trifonov. An operatic concert on the last Festival weekend features the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala under Riccardo Chailly and excerpts from Verdi’s operas.

See all concerts of the Grafenegg Festival 2023

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