The reputation of the Salzburg festival is known throughout the world. The actor and director Max Reinhardt initiated the festival in 1920 with the goal to create a venue for the international culture elite. Only a supreme artistic level of performance is since then present in Salzburg during the summer. Next to Max Reinhardt two other prominent artists initiated this amazing cultural event: the composer Richard Strauss and the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Together they formed the sophisticated program of the Festival which is still used today.
Since the foundation of the Salzburg Festival it has developed into a Festival of the Superlative. Musicians, singers and conductors refer to it as the climax of their career, when the get to perform at the Festival halls in the Mozart city. The Summer Festival takes place every year in the last weeks of July and in August. Up to 200 performances are given during that time. In addition to the great classical operas and classical music there are numerous theatrical plays presented each year. Many of the stars like Jessy Norman, Riccardo Muti, Jose Carreras, Mirella Freni, Sir George Solti, Placido Domingo and many more where guests in our hotel
The fame of the Salzburg Festival is inseparably connected to the person Herbert von Karajan. In 1948 the maestro conducted an opera production for the first time in Salzburg. From 1956 Karajan managed the artistic part of the festival, it is due to his work that Salzburg has the reputation of a stronghold of culture. Illustrious, prominent and rich guests belong to the tedium – picture the Salzburg Festival since the days of Karajan
Karajan’s successor, Gerard Mortier, opened the Salzburg Festival for a newer, younger audience and often brought controversial productions to Salzburg. He endorsed additional sites like the Halleiner Pernerinsel and relieved the program. Untouched stayed the Salzburg “Jedermann” (everybody), which has been presented since 1920 almost every year on the Domplatz.
Mortier’s successor, Peter Ruzicka, is know for low tones. With the Mozart year 2006 he mastered the greatest challenge in the Festival’s history. Under his direction all 22 stage works of Mozart will be performed.
The opera Festival established by Herbert von Karajan is considered even more sophisticated than the Summer Festival . Instead of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra , who play in the opera during the summer, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is the centre of attention of the Festival. The respective director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is the director of the Easter Festival as well. Currently the British star conductor Sir Simon Rattle is in charge of the Easter Festival. Another obligatory appointment for the Festival lovers is the Whitsuntide Festival, which play tribute to the baroque history of the city.
The Hotel Kobenzl in Salzburg cultivates useful contacts to the Festival and the important ticket offices. That is why we can sometimes make the impossible possible and organise tickets that have already been sold out somewhere else. And that is a service that only our Festival guest can enjoy!