The 2018 Salzburg Festival begins this Friday with an opening concert featuring works by Krzysztof Penderecki. Also marking the first concert of the festival’s Ouverture spirituelle series, the Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, perform the composer’s St Luke Passion for three solo voices, narrator, three mixed choirs, boys’ choir and orchestra, with Matthew Rose as bass soloist (20 July).
Before completing his two-year series of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at the BBC Proms later in August, Sir András Schiff brings the work to Salzburg, performing both Book I and Book II over two days (12 & 16 August). His late-night Proms performance of Book I in 2017 garnered significant praise, with one critic claiming: “[…] this was the most riveting performance of the work I have ever heard” (★★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent).
Four artists will appear at the festival for the first time:
Askonas Holt singers perform in four of the five new opera productions to be performed at the festival. In addition to those making their festival debuts, Asmik Grigorian joins Avery Amereau on stage, making her debut in the title role of Salome; and Christiane Karg and Adam Plachetka take starring roles in Die Zauberflöte (27, 31 July, 4, 7, 15, 24 & 30 August). Christiane will also perform Schubert, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky with the Quatuor Modigliani (9 August).
Elsewhere on the concert platform: Lucy Crowe joins Wiener Philharmoniker and Andris Nelsons for Mahler Symphony No. 2 (28 & 29 July) and then remains in Salzburg to perform Mozart’s C minor mass with Camerata Salzburg and Roger Norrington (9 August); Franck Ollu leads œnm.österreichisches ensemble für neue music in a concert of works by contemporary Swiss composers Klaus Huber and Beat Furrer (2 August); Kristian Bezuidenhout performs Bach and Biber with long-time collaborator Isabelle Faust and cellist Kristin von der Goltz (21 July); Evgeny Kissin gives a recital of Chopin, Schumann, Debussy and Scriabin (2 August); and, fresh from her Cleveland Orchestra debut, and performances at the Verbier Festival, Vilde Frang works with Giovanni Antonini for the first time, joining Lawrence Power and Mozarteumorchester Salzburg for Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat (11 & 12 August). In addition to a masterclass with members of the Young Singers Project (12 August), Malcolm Martineau joins Florian Boesch for a recital of works by Schubert, Mahler and Krenek (20 August).
As part of a European summer festivals tour which includes performances at the Santander, Lucerne and Edinburgh festivals, the London Symphony Orchestra give their first performances at the festival with Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, presenting works by Mahler, Bernstein, Dvořák and Janáček, with soloist Krystian Zimerman (20 & 21 August).