A statement by the Salzburg Festival in tribute to Nikolaus Harnoncourt admits what had previously been denied with great vehemence – that the festival had accepted a demand by Herbert von Karajan that his former orchestral cellist should not conduct there in his lifetime.
Harnouncourt taught and performed at the Mozarteum from the 1970s but was not admitted to the Festival roster.
The Mozarteum Foundation was also responsible for his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic. After all, Herbert von Karajan did not want him to appear at the Festival during his lifetime.
The Festival then goes on to blur the record:
Karajan and Harnoncourt – those were separate musical worlds. However, they did have one thing in common: they were both after truthfulness in music. Both remained seekers throughout their entire lifetimes, but their searches took radically different paths.