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Styriarte: Festival of Classical Music

Music from the Middle Ages through Romanticism is reanimated during the styriarte festival in Graz. Held in the hometown of an illustrious conductor, this festival celebrates the history of classical music and the innovators who keep it alive today.

 © Werner Kmetitsch

Every summer in the south of Austria, the concert halls of Graz revitalize music from epochs as old as the city’s streets. The well-preserved city, with architecture dating back to the Renaissance, provides a perfect backdrop to honor the enduring traditions of music. The world-renowned conductor and Graz native, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, originally founded the styriarte Festival in 1985 to forge ties with his hometown. Today, the festival has become a reflection of the conductor’s pioneering work in the Early Music movement.

During this three-week-long festival, operas, concerts, and other events invoke the classical music history of Austria while exploring themes of changing times. Listeners have the opportunity to witness Harnoncourt lead the Concentus Musicus Wien ensemble perform musical variations entirely on period instruments. Other must-see acts include the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as well as famed Early Music performers like Jordi Savall, Quatuor Mosaiques, and Armonico Tributo Austria.