The Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle walked out of the Salzburg Easter Festival at short notice in May 2011 when they got a better offer from Baden-Baden.
They were swiftly replaced by the Dresden Staatskapelle and Christian Thielemann. Ticket sales immediately improved and the Berliners were not missed.
Next year, however, Eliette von Karajan has paid to bring the defectors back for a single, conciliatory concert, marking the 50th anniversary of her husband’s festival. She has also summoned the Vienna Philharmonic for a Beethoven 9th, conducted by Thielemann.
‘The Salzburg Easter Festival would like to thank Eliette von Karajan for her extremely generous support of the special concerts’ – as the programme puts it.