Artiste étoile

Fixed star at the Mozartfest

Mozartfest means in Würzburg: cooperation, dialogue, discourse. The exchange of artistic viewpoints creates a program that every year exhibits a redefined focus. For one season at a time, the Mozartfest enters into a special dialogue with a soloist or ensemble. Outstanding performers are invited as the Artiste étoile, to raise the profile of a festival season with their artistic input. They are welcomed in Würzburg not only on the stage, but also as dramaturgists: in conjunction with the Artiste étoile, programmatic emphases are created, and guidelines adumbrated for the MozartLab. Since 2014, Jörg Widmann, Renaud Capuçon, Kit Armstrong, Christiane Karg, the Schumann Quartett, Julian Prégardien and Reinhard Goebel have been the Artistes étoile of the Mozartfest.

Artiste étoile 2020: Reinhard Goebel

Reinhard Goebel is a conductor, a musicological researcher, a teacher, a discoverer. He is a musical universalist. A walking encyclopaedia of baroque music, say some. But this does not suffice to describe him. Goebel is more. He’s a lateral thinker and originator, a one-off and discoverer. Reinhard Goebel is refreshingly iconoclastic. He cares little for conventions, researches the periphery of the mainstream repertoire, repeatedly awakens from hibernation composers and works that had long been forgotten, lost or disdained. He attained an international reputation as the founder, violinist and conductor of Musica Antiqua Cologne, with which he revolutionized the early-music scene. Since the ensemble broke up, Goebel has been appearing with traditional symphony orchestras and interpreting, with techniques of historically authentic music-making, works from the late 18th and early 19th centuries as well. He can also be experienced at Würzburg in this role, complemented by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and the Munich Radio Orchestra.

»If you wish to assess Beethoven’s life-work, you have to familiarise yourself with his contemporaries.« is Goebel’s firm conviction. For the Mozartfest, he has conceived four Kaisersaal concerts, in which he juxtaposes and confronts Beethoven with direct predecessors, companions and competitors. The fact that some closely interrelated works have never been heard before in the combination he’s chosen is something Goebel rightly considers »unheard-of«.