All in one

In 2021, Mozartfest Würzburg celebrated its 100th anniversary. 2022 now marks a new start, the beginning of a new century in the event’s history. We will, of course, continue to explore Mozart in all his ambivalence, to forge connections between his work and the present day. He has always been our source of inspirational input, and that will not change. A festival can only retain relevance if it addresses topical issues, or – as Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier put it in his 2021 opening speech in Würzburg – if it never stops trying »to save the classics from their worst enemy: the inviolable status of a museum piece«.

As befits such a new start, in 2022 we will be focusing on our musical present. Mozart would surely have expected us to do so. He was a freethinker in two ways: in his soul, because he pursued his own artistic avenues at all times, and in his behaviour, because he opposed social conventions. His music has always embodied both provocation and fascination, both consummate perfection and chaos. »All in one: The freethinker Mozart« is the motto of the Mozartfest 2022.

»How does Mozart’s music speak to us – if, indeed, it does?« This is what composer Isabel Mundry would like to explore: »We need musical stories to understand our present time, in all its complexity and diversity.« Isabel Mundry is the artiste étoile of the Mozartfest Würzburg 2022 – for the first time, a composer has been chosen, one who ranks among the most eminent of her profession. A composer who faces up to our present time in a host of different ways with unusual receptiveness, inquisitiveness and vulnerability. Who explores the juxtaposition of eras. Isabel Mundry creates auditory worlds for new manifestations of cultural remembrance and thus a differentiated form of the aurally vibrant present. This is what Signaturen is all about, which she composed for the Mozartfest: a work for two pianos, drums and orchestra lasting just under thirty minutes. »It’s all about incorporating the one into the other«, says Isabel Mundry.

Isabel Mundry creates auditory worlds for new manifestations of cultural remembrance and thus a differentiated form of the aurally vibrant present.

She has curated eight programmes for the Mozartfest. Each of them is a gem in its own right. Each one developed in close liaison with the artists performing it. Each one constituting an intensive dialogue with Mozart, examining the different aspects of remembering and forgetting, exploring new forms of aesthetic presence. The Mozartfest’s programme includes no less than four premieres of Isabel Mundry’s works. All of them will give the audience a sensory experience of what the present means, not simply juxtaposing old and new facets in music but offering a receptive relationship by incorporating the one into the other. Many musicians and ensembles whom the composer has worked with will be making their debut at the Mozartfest: these include the Musikfabrik ensemble, the Resonanz ensemble and the Recherche ensemble.

Unfamiliar sounds will actually constitute the main part of this year’s programme. We will be introducing the »Unexpected« series for that, gathering together young top-ranking musicians who all share the same passion: performing well-known works in new guises and experimenting at the interfaces of classical music with the Beatles, jazz and world music. The Stegreif.orchester from Berlin, The Twiolins, the New Piano Trio or the Trio Clockwork – Here is a young generation of musicians who have set themselves the task of rejuvenating the classical music business – but without popularising it. This thematic keynote will culminate in three days over Whitsun, which are being put together by the Hanover-based Orchester im Treppenhaus. »Freispiel« is what we call this part of our programme, for which the entire Bürgerbräu premises in the west of Würzburg, including their former production rooms, vaults and summer meadows, will be put to creative use for all generations. The Orchester im Treppenhaus has been working to develop unconventional concert formats for 15 years now. It made its debut at the Mozartfest Würzburg in the Covid summer of 2020. With its artistic director Thomas Posth, it has now been awarded the prestigious DER FAUST 2021 German theatre prize in the Fresh Perspectives category.

Here is a young generation of musicians who have set themselves the task of rejuvenating the classical music business – but without popularising it.

Futuristic music will also feature in the M PopUp, our Raum für Mozart right in the city centre. In the second year, a retail outlet will open for the entire duration of the festival as a meeting point for creative minds and inquisitive souls, offering space for a new listening experience, for encounters and dialogue. As always, the MozartLabor in the Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten will welcome anyone wishing to engage at a deeper level with music, media and topical issues of our time. The philosopher Dieter Mersch will give a talk about freedom in artistic creativity whereas the sociologist and best-seller author Harald Welzer will discuss its future and sustainability. This part is dedicated to interaction and dialogue between experts, scholarship winners and an inquisitive audience, with artiste étoile Isabel Mundry, Carolin Widmann and William Youn leading the musical way.

All the other soloists and orchestras have responded to this season’s motto in an admirably energetic spirit: the soprano Regula Mühlemann, the violinist Vilde Frang, the pianist Robert Levin, the cor anglais player Dominik Wollenweber, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Lautten Compagney Berlin – to name just a few.

So »All in one« also applies to the Mozartfest itself – always seeking, always striving. Our musicians show us Mozart as a freethinker, exploring our present time. They will be providing a truly enriching opportunity at a time when so many things around us are in transition!

You can be sure of the warmest of welcomes at the Mozartfest 2022!


Evelyn Meining
Artistic Director of the Mozartfest Würzburg

As of 27.1.2022

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Program Facets

The Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, churches, monasteries, wineries, palace gardens or industrial monuments are the stages for a multi-faceted cornucopia of events in which the focus is on shared appreciation and exploring aural sublimities.

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