Some cities emit an energy that’s all their own. In Salzburg, there is a healthy dose of glamour in the air, as well as a refinement and subtle sophistication. The city celebrates culture in all its forms and always at the highest level, making it popular with curious minds from all around the world.
Mention Salzburg to a fan of classical music and they’ll think of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival. Every year, one of the world’s most prestigious arts festivals invites elite musicians, conductors, singers, and actors to enthrall visitors from dozens of countries. Anna Netrebko and Ricardo Muti are just two A-listers from a star-studded program in 2019. But as exciting as the festival weeks are — red carpets and evening gowns fill the Baroque city — Salzburg is a culture hub year-round and a creative city with complex tastes and facets.
On or around the Salzburgian composer’s birthday, the city dedicates an annual music festival to him. The Mozart Week is hosted in January or February by the Mozarteum Foundation and brings the wunderkind’s work to life in his hometown. In early 2020, the festival will stage Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart’s take on The Messiah, and concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic. Many of the performances take place at the Rock Riding School and at the Great Festival Hall, so you get the full Salzburg experience.
Famous Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan established the Easter Festival in 1967, in part as a complement to the Salzburg Festival. Since then, the event has transformed into a cultural magnet all of its own, with performers and productions of the highest caliber. An emphasis on Wagner is common in the program, just like chamber concerts that span from Schubert to Schönberg.
For almost a decade, the Salzburg Foundation commissioned internationally renowned artists like Erwin Wurm, James Turrell, and Marina Abramovic to design public art for public consumption. The Walk of Modern Art connects these contemporary masterpieces, strewn across Salzburg. By following the trail, you not only get your fill of innovative sculptures and installations, but a fantastic overview of Salzburg’s historic core. The Walk of Modern Art beautifully blends the old with the new, just like Salzburg itself.
Salzburg’s iconic Baroque cityscape is dominated by Hohensalzburg Fortress, which thrones on one of the city’s five mountains. Just across Old Town, another stone construction sets the contemporary counterpoint: The Museum der Moderne (musuem of modern art) hosts rotating exhibits for international greats like William Kentridge, Chuck Close, and Alberto Giacometti. Fuel up with breakfast at restaurant m32, which is connected to the museum building and equipped with stunning views of Salzburg.
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