It’s hard to comprehend Mozart’s influence on the world of music. He wasn’t just a great musician and composer; some of the most prominent figures in musical history like Beethoven and Haydn stood in his shadow. With such a reputation, it’s no surprise that more than 200 years after his untimely death, Mozart still has the power to thrill and awe people with the power of the music he left behind. That’s why every year in Salzburg, Austria (Mozart’s birthplace) a whole week is dedicated to celebrating this extraordinary man.
World renowned artists, ensembles, soloists and orchestras have been coming to Salzburg annually for the last 50 years to pay musical tribute to Mozart with a concert series that stands out as one of the most prestigious events in Europe’s cultural calendar. Even if you aren’t a classical music aficionado Mozart Week is still a scintillating display of musical genius, well worth making the journey to Salzburg for. Not to mention the charms of the city itself which are crying out to be savoured, Mozart Week or no. To make sure that you don’t miss any of the amazing opportunities on offer in Salzburg this coming Mozart Week (January 22nd-31st) we’ve picked out some of the highlights of the event, along with a few essential Salzburg attractions for those who have not yet had the privilege of exploring this beautiful city.
This concert series takes place at number of venues around Salzburg, so having your own transport
will make it far easier to get to your chosen performances.
- If you’re wanting to jump straight into the event as soon as it kicks off, make sure to catch the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, an ensemble founded with the help of Mozart’s sons and widow, at the Großer Saal Mozarteum on the 22nd. Accompanied by Katia and Marielle Labèque on piano, the orchestra will explore several pieces from both Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn.
- For those who are keen to explore the strange ways that fame is won and maintained among musicians (using artists like Mozart, Mendelssohn and Dutilleux as examples) there’s a roundtable discussion at the Wiener Saal Mozarteum on Sunday the 24th. Entry is free so drop in to learn some fascinating tidbits about these musical geniuses and the price of fame.
- Make sure to return to the Großer Saal Mozarteum on the 25th to experience the Symphony Orchestra of Mozarteum University presenting selections from Henri Dutilleux, Felix Mendelssohn and of course Mozart himself.
- For a less traditional concert experience, head to Mozart’s Residence (Mozart-Wohnhaus) at Markartplatz 8 on Thursday the 28th to see a film presentation of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor KV 427. Admission to this program is completely free.
- Closing out the event on Sunday the 31st at the Großer Saal Mozarteum is a chamber orchestra consisting of young talented musicians from Baltic countries - the Kremerata Baltica, accompanied by Radu Lupu on the piano.
Having arrived Salzburg, it would be a dreadful waste not to take a look around this classically stunning city. Get a sneak peek at just a few of Salzburg’s highlights below.
Founded by the Romans under the name ‘Juvavum’, the city of Salzburg is more ancient than many realise, but it was in the 16th-18th centuries (Mozart lived in the mid to late 18th century) that Salzburg really came into its own. Incredibly, much of the Baroque architecture from this period still stands today, an integral part of Salzburg’s appeal. But whether it’s Salzburg’s history that intrigues you or its more delights, you’ll find plenty to surprise and amaze you in this beautiful city.
- Hohensalzburg Fortress This citadel is more than 900 years old and has survived wars and peasant revolts without ever once being conquered. If you’re looking for a excellently preserved slice of the past, it doesn’t get much better than Hohensalzburg.
- Mozart’s Residence Even if you’re not planning to visit Mozart’s old family house as part of the concert series, it’s worth paying a visit to this historic building. Although two thirds of the house were destroyed in an air raid during World War II, it has since been faithfully rebuilt according to old structural plans.
- Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg To misquote an old saying, not all that glitters is old. There’s more to Salzburg than just the past, as is made evident by this striking modern art museum. Located atop the impressively steep rock face of Mount Mönchsberg with a stunning view across Salzburg’s Old Town, there’s more reason than just excellent art to visit the Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg.
- Spielzeug Museum This is no ordinary museum. The fact that it’s a toy museum does a little to separate it from the crowd, but that’s not where it stops. Giant wooden toy construction sets, a high speed slide from the second to the first floor and a miniature shop where children can play customer and shopkeeper as well as seeing what a supermarket looked like 100 years ago are just a few of the unique features that the Spielzeug Museum boasts. This is a must for families with young children.
- Salzburg’s Old Town Full of cute little shops, nice restaurants and charming old buildings. Set aside a day to explore the Old Town at your leisure and you’ll soon find yourself walking back in time to a simpler era (but with all the conveniences of our modern times). Perfect for a romantic stroll or an indulgent bout of boutique shopping, don’t miss a visit to the Old Town while you’re in Salzburg.
If you’re flying in to Salzburg, it’s simple to pick up a car from the airport
to get you around the city with ease. Others will choose to make the three hour drive from Vienna
along E60, or start in Munich
before crossing from Germany into Austria, an even shorter journey.
No matter how you choose to get there, don’t miss this opportunity to be part of one of the most prestigious and exciting cultural events of the year!