Zurich slashes festival

The Zurich Festival, founded 20 years ago in a bid to add summer lightness to a somnolent city, is undergoing what bankers call a re-evaluation.

As of now, the festival will cease to be an annual event. It will take place in June every other year. The artistic director Elmar Weingarten (once of the Berlin Phil) is being shuffled off into retirement. He’ll be replaced by Alexander Keil, who once worked at Bayreuth.

There will be less money.

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  • “Slashing a festival” – an intriguing concept. Equipment required — a Samurai sword? The Swiss central bank introducing negative interest rates and blowing 86 billion CHF on foreign exchange operations in 2015 isn’t helping the Swiss economy much. According to the article, slightly more than half of the festival funding comes from the Stadt and Canton of Zürich, the rest from banks, private sponsors and advertisers. They are hoping to accumulate the subsidy in the intervening year, which is unlikely.

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