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History

1921 - 1944
1951 - 1960
1961 - 1970
1971 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000
2001 - 2013
2014 - 2020
2021 - ...
1920s | How it all started: Hermann Zilcher, the founder and director of the Mozartfest © Private archives Helga Zilcher
1940s | »A profound symbiosis of sound, architecture and colour«. Hermann Zilcher with Mozart in the Kaisersaal © City Archives / Photo: Groth-Schmachtenberger
1942 | Mozart in the 1940s: »Schäferspiele« dancing and games in the Hofgarten © City Archives / Photo: Groth-Schmachtenberger
1942 | World-class local musicians: The Schiering-Quartet and the Würzburger Wind Soloists © City Archives / Photo: Groth-Schmachtenberger
1951 | The first Mozartfest under the aegis and sponsorship of Würzburg City Council is staged following a six-year break. © City Archives
1951 | Eugen Jochum conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; he remained the Mozartfest’s artistic director until 1961. © Mozartfest Würzburg
1952 | »On the ruins of time«: Dance performed in front of the burnt-out Würzburg Residenz © Archive Main-Post
1959 | Celebrated guests: Principal conductor Josef Keilberth debuting with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra at the Mozartfest © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1959 | In the same year: Rudolf Kempe with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1961 | Eugen Jochum is the first musician to enter his name in the »Artists’ Book«. © City Archives
1961 | The names of eminent Mozart performers recorded for posterity: The first entries in the »Book of ensembles, conductors and soloists« © Mozartfest Würzburg
1967 | Early-summer feeling and savoir vivre since 1922: Würzburg and its night music events © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1971 | Always en vogue and the talk of the town: The Mozartfest team’s ‘uniform’. Only »finest silk« was used for the 50th anniversary. © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1972 | The Mozartfest, »a jewel in Bavaria’s culture crown«: Bavaria’s Prime Minister Alfons Goppel honours the Mozartfest with his presence. © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1974 | Spick and span for a glamorous evening at the Mozartfest © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1974 | International star Yehudi Menuhin makes his first appearance at the Mozartfest in the Kaisersaal performing Mozart’s violin concerto in A major. © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1977 | A celebrated guest at the Mozartfest since 1962: Rafael Kubelík © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1979 | Discord: 16-year-old Anne-Sophie Mutter cancels her Mozartfest debut. A beaming Edith Peinemann takes over. © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1979 | Always en vogue and the talk of the town: The Mozartfest team’s ‘uniform’ in 1979 – dazzling »flamingo red« © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1981 | Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor in the cathedral with Rafael Kubelík and the soloists Lucia Popp, Julia Hamari, Peter Schreier and Robert Holl © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1985 | Celebration in honour of Sir Colin Davis’ Mozartfest debut © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1986 | Legendary Mozartfest classic: The Night Music. The number of visitors peaked in the 1980s, reaching around 15,000. It was not before 1993 that it was limited to 9,000. © Heußner
1987 | Always en vogue and the talk of the town: The Mozartfest team’s ‘uniform’ in the 1980s © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1987 | A Mozartfest premiere: The leading Mozart artist Mitsuko Uchida performs in concert with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1991 | 70 years of Mozartfest: A »Cloud of Sound« floating above the Residenz. A spectacular mix of fireworks and laser show with music by Mozart, consummately staged by Walter Haupt © City Archives / Photo: Hans Heer
1992 | Controversial change to the programme: repertoire now to include works by composers other than Mozart. © Mozartfest Würzburg
1994 | An elaborately designed »Mozartfest« programme brochure is published for the first time. © Mozartfest Würzburg
2005 | Baroque splendour: The Kaisersaal shortly before its restoration © Oliver Lang
2009 | The Mozartfest office in the municipal theatre © Mozartfest Würzburg
2010 | The Kricks with Horst Seehofer and his wife © Mozartfest Würzburg
2013 | In tune with the times: The premiere of “Breakin' Mozart”, a breakdance performance commissioned by the Mozartfest © dps Photography
2014 | The MozartLabor is set up for the first time with Jörg Widmann as artiste étoile and composer in portrait. © Pat Christ
2015 | A magical moment: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Konrad and »No. 4 Kontinent« Wolfgang Rihm talking to Katharina Eickhoff © Schmelz Photodesign
2015 | On the fringe of the MozartLabor – a moment to savour: Renaud Capuçon in the Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten © Schmelz Photodesign
2016 | »Mozart’s Europe«: Kit Armstrong with his mentor Alfred Brendel © Mozartfest Würzburg
2017 | One stage - three artistes étoiles: Christiane Karg, Kit Armstrong and Renaud Capuçon © Schmelz Photodesign
2017 | Since 2014: »Bruckner in the cathedral« with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra © Schmelz Photodesign
2018 | Marc Minkowski with Les Musiciens du Louvre rehearsing in the Kaisersaal © Pia Traub
2018 | Shooting star Jan Lisiecki debuts at the Mozartfest – with the German TV channel ZDF on hand to record it. © Erika Mayer
2018 | Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Director Evelyn Meining discussing future plans © Pia Traub
2019 | Kit Armstrong and Julian Prégardien visiting schools in Würzburg as musical ambassadors © Thomas Obermeier
2019 | »On stars and star dust«: Interview with Unsuk Chin, »Composer in portrait« at the MozartLabor © Daniel Peter
2020 | »Renewal« – The Mozartfest in Year One of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Bavarian Radio live stream from the Kaisersaal with artiste étoile Reinhard Goebel © Dita Vollmond
2021 | 100 years of Mozartfest: Multimedia presentation of the anniversary programme © Dita Vollmond
2021 | Small line-up due to the pandemic: Musicians of the Stegreif Orchestra in the CURVE © Dita Vollmond
100 Years Mozartfest Würzburg- »100 Mozart Pictures«

After Würzburg Residenz had been approved to be used for charitable purposes in 1919 and the first concert held in its Kaisersaal in the following year, the director of the Bavarian State Conservatory of Music, Hermann Zilcher, initiated a music and theatre week in 1921, the precursor of today’s Mozartfest. Zilcher organised the first »Mozartwoche« from 17 to 26 June 1922, during which only works by Mozart were performed. The programme comprised concerts in the Kaisersaal, night music events in the Hofgarten, a teatime concert in the Gartensaal, sacred music in the Neubaukirche and a garden party in Veitshöchheim, laying the foundations for the Mozartfest’s distinctive concert formats right from the outset. The architectural features of both the Residenz and Hofgarten were taken into account in the programmes. In 1923, Zilcher called his concert series the »Mozartfest«  for the first time. Concertante opera performances became part of the programme in 1931.

During Hermann Zilcher’s tenure as the Mozartfest’s artistic director (1921 – 1944), he was himself the principal performer. Right from the start, internationally acclaimed musicians enriched the Mozartfest’s programme. Elisabeth Schumann, Adolf Busch, Carl Flesch, Alma Moodie, Elly Ney, Edwin Fischer, Maria Cebotari, Karl Böhm, Gaspar Cassadó, Julius Patzak and many more were ranked among its guests in those early years. From 1941, choreographer Friderica Derra de Moroda was responsible for the traditional »Schäferspiele« in the Hofgarten, involving singing and dancing in Baroque costumes. Marking the 150th anniversary of Mozart’s death, Hermann Zilcher was also awarded the Gold Medal of the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg in 1941.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Mozartfest gradually fell victim to Nazi ideology: in Würzburg, too, Mozart’s name was misappropriated to place excessive emphasis on national German identity and folk traditions. From 1942, the Nazi leisure organisation »Strength through Joy« was the Mozartfest’s coordinator. Under the name of »Mozartsommer«, the last wartime Mozartfest took place in 1944, before theatres in Germany were closed on 1 September 1944 and before the devastating air raid on Würzburg of 16 March 1945.

    Following a six-year break, the Mozartfest was resumed in 1951 under the aegis and sponsorship of Würzburg City Council. The Mayor of Würzburg at that time, Dr. Franz Stadelmayer, was later on appointed director of the Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR; Bavarian Radio). At his behest, the Bayerischer Rundfunk provided financial support for the reconstruction of the Residenz. Eugen Jochum, the principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, became the overall artistic director of the Mozartfest, which was to present works exclusively by Mozart in future. In the 1950s, the performers at the Mozartfest included Wilhelm Kempff (1953), Edwin Fischer and Pierrette Alarie (1954), Johanna Martzy (1955), Irmgard Seefried and Wolfgang Schneiderhahn (1956), as well as Joseph Keilberth, Fritz Wunderlich and the 18-year-old Martha Argerich (all in 1959). Starting in 1952, the Koeckert Quartet from Munich began their series of more or less annual guest appearances in Würzburg. 1959 saw the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra perform at the Mozartfest for the first time. In 1960, Eugen Jochum staged a concertante performance of »La clemenza di Tito« in the Kaisersaal.

    Audio samples:

    • 1954: Edwin Fischer (piano), Eugen Jochum, Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra: Concerto-Rondo for piano and orchestra in D major KV 382*.
    • 1955: Johanna Martzy (violin), Eugen Jochum, Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major KV 216, 1st movement*
    • 1956: Irmgard Seefried (soprano), Eugen Jochum, Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra: Recitative and Aria »Non temer amato bene« KV 490*
    • 1959: Joseph Keilberth, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra: Symphony No. 30 in D major KV 202, 1st movement*

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

    • 1954 | Fischer, Jochum | KV 382

    • 1955 | Martzy, Jochum | KV 216

    • 1956 | Seefried, Jochum | KV 490

    • 1959 | Keilberth | KV 202

    The new decade brought a change in the Mozartfest management, and a four-year break in the festival. In 1961, Rafael Kubelík was appointed the new principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestra’s concerts at the Mozartfest from 1962 were under his baton. One year before, Eugen Jochum had been the first Mozartfest performer to enter his name in the newly created Mozartfest Book, which all artists performing at the Mozartfest have signed ever since. When the Kaisersaal of the Würzburg Residenz was being restored in the years 1963 to 1967, the Mozartfest’s programme had to be restricted to the night music events in the Hofgarten and a greatly reduced repertoire for four years. Its full scope was resumed in 1967. In the same year, the radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle recorded three concerts for the first time and broadcast them to countries as far away as Canada and New Zealand. The German television channel ZDF also broadcast its first concert from the Mozartfest. Under the title »The Enchantment of Music« , the Munich Chamber Orchestra performed together with the Gächinger Chorale under the baton of Helmuth Rilling. That decade’s performers at the Mozartfest included Hermann Zilcher’s son Heinz Reinhard (1961), Robert Casadesus and Rudolf Kempe (both in 1962), Horst Stein and Arthur Grumieux (both in 1967), Erika Köth (1968) and Alfred Brendel (1969).

    Audio sample:

    • 1967: Rafael Kubelík, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Adagio and Fugue in C minor KV 546*

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    • 1967 | Kubelík | KV 546

    In 1971, on the occasion of the Mozartfest’s 50th anniversary, Erich Valentin gave a commemorative speech entitled »Mozart – our contemporary«. 1975 saw the Mozartfest organise its own competition for the first time, thus creating a new institution. From 1977, the Mozartfest Competition focused exclusively on singing, with Waltraud Meier winning first prize that same year. Eminent performers at the Mozartfest in this decade included Elisabeth Grümmer (1971), Helen Donath and Rudolf Buchbinder (1972), Elly Ameling and Martha Argerich (1973), the Melos Quartet (1970 and 1973), the Tokyo String Quartet (1971), Yehudi Menuhin (1974), Ingeborg Hallstein (1975), Christoph Eschenbach (1976 and 1979), Zoltán Kocsis (1978), Edda Moser (1979) and Clifford Curzon (1975 and 1979).

    Audio samples:

    • 1973: Martha Argerich (piano), Eugen Jochum, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Piano Concerto No. 18 in B flat major KV 456, 1st movement
    • 1977: Koeckert Quartet: String Quartet No. 14 in G major KV 387, 1st movement*

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

    • 1973 | Argerich, Jochum | KV 456

    • 1977 | Koeckert-Quartett | KV 387

    The Mozartfest’s seventh decade saw the festival develop in various directions. In 1982, Nikolaus Harnoncourt made his first guest appearance, and his historically informed performances of Mozart did not meet with unanimous approval. At the same time, the programme was extended to include popular formats. Sir Colin Davis became the new principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and, from 1985, also conducted all its concerts in Würzburg. Lioba Braun and Thomas Quasthoff won first prize at the Mozartfest Competition in 1987. In 1989, the Mozartfest was extended, soon lasting three weeks. The soloists performing Mozart included Alfred Brendel (1981), Lucia Popp and Edith Mathis (both in 1981, 1983 and 1988), Frank Peter Zimmermann (1982), Hermann Prey (1983), Christoph Eschenbach and Justus Frantz (1983 ff.), Sir András Schiff, Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Trudeliese Schmidt (1984), Sabine Meyer (1984 and 1985), Siegfried Jerusalem (1985), Christian Zacharias (1986 and 1989), Mitsuko Uchida (1985 and 1987), Jörg Demus (1983 and 1989), Arleen Auger (1987 and 1989), Tabea Zimmermann (1988), Elisabeth Leonskaja (1989), Rudolf Buchbinder (1989 and 1990), Christian Tetzlaff (1990) and the Hagen Quartet (1987), the Abegg Trio (1988) and the Alban Berg Quartet (1990). Wolfgang Sawallisch (1983), Eliahu Inbal (1984), Frans Brüggen and Herbert Blomstedt (both in 1989) were among the conductors who performed in this decade. Concerts in the Kaisersaal were given not only by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra but also by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the radio symphony orchestras from Frankfurt and Stuttgart, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Collegium Aureum, the English Chamber Orchestra and Concerto Köln.

    Audio samples:

    • 1981: Alfred Brendel (piano), Rafael Kubelík, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor KV 466, 3rd movement*.
    • 1981: Lucia Popp (soprano), Rafael Kubelík, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Great Mass in C minor KV 427, Et incarnatus est.* 
    • 1985: Mitsuko Uchida (piano), Sir Colin Davis, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major KV 453, 1st movement
    • 1987: Ana Chumachenco (violin), Sir Colin Davis, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major KV 219, 3rd movement*
    • 1989: Edith Wiens (soprano), Iris Vermillion (mezzo-soprano), Ferdinand Leitner, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Vesperae solennes de confesserore KV 339, 1st Dixit.


    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

    • 1981 | Brendel, Kubelík | KV 466

    • 1981 | Popp, Kubelík | KV 427

    • 1985 | Uchida, Davis | KV 453

    • 1987 | Chumachenco, Davis | KV 219

    • 1989 | Wiens, Vermillion, Leitner | KV 339

    The Mozartfest celebrated its 70th anniversary in 1991. It staged the »Magic Flute« in a funfair setting, entirely in line with the contemporary tastes of the early 1990s. The festival adopted an event-driven approach with its »Mozart Cloud of Sound«, and also organised a Mozartnacht promenade concert in the Residenz. In the following year, Jonathan Seers took over as the festival’s artistic director and, despite a certain amount of resistance, initiated the Mozartfest’s transition into a new era. The General Musical Director of Würzburg’s Municipal Theatre broke with the principle of performing Mozart’s works only. To quote Jonathan Seers: »Anything that challenges the image of Mozart as a ‘harmless classical composer’, anything that brings about a reappraisal of Mozart, must be welcome here.« Carefully and prudently, he extended the programme and defined keynote themes, such as »Mozart versus Haydn«, »Mozart and Salieri« or »Mozart and the Mannheim School«. In 1996, Diana Damrau won second prize at the Mozartfest Competition. The key performers and ensembles included Musica Antiqua Köln conducted by Reinhard Goebel (1991, 1993, 1994), Alfred Brendel (1991), Christiane Oelze, Tzimon Barto and the Melos Quartet (all in 1983), The English Concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock (1994), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sir Roger Norrington (1998) and the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood (1999). In 1994, the Gesellschaft der Freunde des Mozartfestes e. V. (Association of the Mozartfest’s Friends) was set up.

    Audio sample:

    • 1996: Lorin Maazel, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Symphony No. 41 in C major KV 551 »Jupiter«, 1st movement*.

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

    • 1996 | Maazel | KV 551

    In 2001, Würzburg’s General Musical Director Daniel Klajner took over as the Mozartfest’s artistic director, and in 2003 he selected Martin Haselböck as the festival’s first »Artist in Residence«. He took the first tentative steps towards performing contemporary music in 2005, under the title »Mozart and the modern age«. Mozart’s 250th and Hermann Zilcher’s 125th birthday and the Mozartfest’s 85th anniversary were all celebrated in 2006. In this year, Hermann Schneider, in his function as director of Würzburg’s Municipal Theatre, was appointed artistic director of the Mozartfest, and the Mozartfest Competition took place for the last time. In 2008 and 2009, the Kaisersaal was not available for any Mozartfest concerts due to ongoing restoration and conservation work. There was yet another change in 2009: Würzburg City Council gave the Mozartfest an autonomous organisational structure within the city administration, and appointed Church Music Director Christian Kabitz as its artistic director. Under his aegis, the Mozartfest spread even further into the city, with the introduction of the Mozarttag, for example. With 61 events at 23 venues, the Mozartfest had by then reached the scope it was going to retain in the following years. The performers, ensembles and conductors in the first few years of the new millennium included Il Giardino Armonico conducted by Giovanni Antonini, La Petite Bande conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken, Hanna Schygulla (all in 2001), the Camerata Salzburg conducted by Sir Roger Norrington (2002), the London Mozart Players under the baton of Howard Shelley (2003 and 2012), Sir Neville Marriner (2003 and 2009), the Royal Flemish Philharmonic conducted by Philippe Herreweghe (2004), Murray Perahia (2006), Lars Vogt (2007), Les Siècles conducted by François-Xavier Roth (2009), Thomas Hengelbrock, Martin Stadtfeld and Sir András Schiff (all in 2010), Gidon Kremer (2011) and many more.

    Audio samples:

    • 2001: Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande: Symphony No. 33 in B flat major KV 319, 4th movement*.
    • 2003: Christopher Hogwood, Basel Chamber Orchestra: Symphony No. 31 in D major KV 297 »Parisian«, 1st movement
    • 2007: Veronica Cangemi (soprano), Ádám Fischer, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra: recitative and aria »A questo seno deh vieni« KV 374*
    • 2007: Giovanni Antonini, Il Giardino Armonico: Divertimento in F major KV 138 »Salzburg Symphony No. 3«, 1st movement
    • 2009: Sir Neville Marriner, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: Overture KV 311a
    • 2013: Veronika Eberle (violin), Nils Mönkemeyer (viola), William Youn (piano):
      Notturno in F major KV 346 »Luci care, luci belle«*

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.

    • 2001 | Kuijken | KV 319

    • 2003 | Hogwood | KV 297

    • 2007 | Cangemi, Fischer | KV 374

    • 2007 | Antonini | KV 138

    • 2009 | Marriner | KV 311a

    • 2013 | Eberle, Mönkemeyer, Youn | KV 346

    2014

    »Mozart – trazoM. The Musical Mirror« was the festival’s theme, and also a symbol of the revamped Mozartfest with Evelyn Meining at the helm: The dialogue with the present day now took on a vital role. There was to be an annual motto every year, defining the content of the festival in an entirely new way. Jörg Widmann was the first artiste étoile of the Mozartfest and also its composer in portrait. The MozartLabor was introduced. »Bruckner in the cathedral« continued the tradition of pioneering Bruckner interpretations in Würzburg. The »Any time…« series of talks was inaugurated, and the »Jupiter Night«, as the Mozartfest’s finale, epitomised the idea of »Mozart for everyone«. Wolfgang Rihm’s »Winter Journey in the Harz« was premiered in Würzburg.

    2015

    »Classical? Are you sure?« was the question posed by the Mozartfest that year. In his lifetime, Mozart was a contemporary disrupter. How did he come to be labelled a »classical« composer? The artiste étoile was Renaud Capuçon, and the composer in portrait was Toshio Hosokawa, whose »Hika« for violin and orchestra was commissioned by the Mozartfest and premiered there.

    2016

    With the theme »Mozart’s Europe«, the Mozartfest embarked on a quest for cultural diversity and artistic integrity. Kit Armstrong was that year’s artiste étoile and premiered a lieder cycle commissioned by the Mozartfest. The composer in portrait and guest in the MozartLabor was Aribert Reimann. The conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner made his first appearance at the Mozartfest – on the day of the Brexit referendum. Waltraud Meier took the Mozartfest as a fitting occasion to celebrate 40 years on the stage.

    2017

    The theme »Mozart 36 – What is maturity?« explored the factors which determine artistic maturity. With Christiane Karg as that year’s artiste étoile, the Mozartfest’s focus was on vocal music. Wolfgang Rihm was the composer in portrait. Dieter Schnebel stepped in for him in the MozartLabor after Rihm had been taken ill. There was Mozart-themed clubbing in the first ever »Lounge Amadé«. René Jacobs made his first appearance at the Mozartfest.

    2018

    »Enlightenment. Clarification. Transfiguration« was the thematic triad of the Mozartfest in this season. The artiste étoile was, for the first time, a chamber music ensemble, the Schumann Quartet. The composer in portrait was Arvo Pärt. Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre made their first appearance at the Mozartfest with a concertante performance of »Così fan tutte«. The »Magic Flute reloaded« brought together Mozart and street art.

    2019

    The »Mozart, a romanticist?« theme tackled the interfaces of the epochs. In one of five exclusive concert projects, the 2019 artiste étoile Julian Prégardien juxtaposed Schubert’s »Winterreise« (Winter Journey) with piano works by Mozart. The composer in portrait Unsuk Chin premiered an extended version of »snagS&Snarls«. Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel made their first appearance at the Mozartfest.

    2020

    2020’s motto »Resistance. Resurgence. Renewal« alluded to both Mozart and Beethoven but also acquired an entirely unexpected topical resonance. In April, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Mozartfest to cancel the originally planned concerts. A new programme, completely revised within just a few short weeks, included 43 events. Two concerts were live-streamed. The inaugural concert alone reached 104,000 viewers. To quote Evelyn Meining: »The aspiration which we wholeheartedly and passionately embrace here in Würzburg is to be a city of culture. Against all odds we managed to play music again for an audience in a live concert. That was such a liberating experience – not least for the musicians themselves.«

    Audio samples:

    • 2014: Reinhard Goebel, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne:
      Serenade No. 9 in D major KV 320 »Posthorn«, 2nd trio*.
    • 2016: Kit Armstrong (piano): Suite in C major KV 399, 2nd movement: Allemande
    • 2017: Renaud Capuçon (violin), Kit Armstrong (piano):
      Sonata for violin and piano in E flat major KV 481, 3rd movement
    • 2017: Sakari Oramo, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra: Serenade No. 13 in G major KV 525 »Eine kleine Nachtmusik«, 4th movement*
    • 2017: Jörg Widmann (clarinet), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Dénes Várjon (piano): Trio for clarinet, viola and piano in E flat major KV 498 »Kegelstatt«, 3rd movement
    • 2019: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Clemens Schuldt, Munich Chamber Orchestra: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major KV 453, 3rd movement*.
    • 2019: Julian Prégardien (tenor), Lorenza Borrani, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra: »Dalla sua pace« from: »Don Giovanni« KV 527
    • 2020: Ragna Schirmer: Piano Sonata No. 9 in A minor KV 310, 1st movement*

    *The complete concert recording is part of the anniversary CD box »Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Imperial Hall Concerts« and was released by Orfeo in May 2021.


    The concerts were recorded live in the Würzburg Residenz (Bavarian Palace and Garden Administration), a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. 

    • 2014 | Goebel | KV 320

    • 2016 | Armstrong | KV 399

    • 2017 | Capuçon, Armstrong | KV 481

    • 2017 | Oramo | KV 525

    • 2017 | Widmann, Zimmermann, Várjon | KV 498

    • 2019 | Aimard, Schuldt | KV 453

    • 2019 | Prégardien, Borrani | KV 527

    • 2020 | Schirmer | KV 310

    2021

    The Mozartfest Würzburg celebrates its 100th anniversary. The artiste étoile and the composer in portrait will be Wolfgang Amadé Mozart himself. The anniversary season will hold a mirror up to 100 years of Mozartfest and look at how the image of Mozart has changed over the course of time. The IMAGINE MOZART | MOZART BILDER exhibition, the »Mozart’s Europe« concert series, the »How much Mozart do people need?« series of presentations and the »100 for 100« ideas competition are all key parts of the anniversary programme. Specially commissioned works by Ulla Hahn, Jüri Reinvere and Anno Schreier will be premiered.

    You will find all events here.