Chicago and Birmingham among few star orchestras at Salzburg

Chicago and Birmingham among few star orchestras at Salzburg


norman lebrecht

December 10, 2020

The Salzburg Festival, which announced next summer’s plans today, appears to have wisely cut back on the parade of touring orchestras.

Riccardo Muti, who turns 80, will bring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will be back with the City of Birmingham Symphon Orchestra.

Other visitors include the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, Philippe Herreweghe with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Lahav Shani with the West-East Diwan, Kirill Petrenko with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra with Manfred Honeck and Teodor Currentzis with his musicAeterna Choir & Orchestra.

The less flying about the better is one of the key lessons of Covid.


  • Petros Linardos says:

    Birmingham gets the headline, Berlin the small print. I wonder why.

  • anon says:

    The less flying the better for the planet, period.

    In the final analysis, who is all this carbon footprinting for (Berlin visiting Carnegie Hall every year, Midwest orchestras (Cleveland, Pittsburg, Chicago) making annual pilgrimages to Salzburg and Berlin)?

    A handful of one percenters for a couple of hours of aural pleasure.

    While the rest of the world pays the price by choking on their carbon waste.

  • Allen says:

    “The less flying about the better”

    Unfortunately, in practice this tends to be “The less flying about by other people the better”.

  • Alan says:

    Aircraft contribution to global warming is negligible. And a few orchestras flying about the place makes little difference

  • BP says:

    Pretty much exactly the same number of guest orchestras as in previous years.

  • Ilio says:

    Considering that the US is banned from entering the EU and that the vaccine for most Americans won’t be available till the 2nd quarter of 2021, what’s the likelihood that the CSO will be doing any traveling?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      The Salzburg Festival takes place during the 3rd quarter of 2021. There is room for optimism that measures will not be as tight as now.

  • fflambeau says:

    I very much like the CSO but looking at their programs at Salzburg they appear to me to be weak: Tchaikovsky 6th preceded by two English composers, Britten and Elgar and in the 2nd concert Brahms 2nd preceded by ANATOLI LJADOW
    The Enchanted Lake – legend for orchestra op. 62
    L’Oiseau de feu — suite for orchestra
    (1919 version) . Not a single Austrian composer.

    The BSO has much better programming with Korngold Symphony Opus 40 (I believe he was Austrian so it is a wise tip to the home audience); Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead and Prokofiev’s first piano concerto in one concert. In another, they play Weber’s Oberon Overture, PAUL HINDEMITH’s Symphony ‘Mathis der Maler’
    and FRANZ SCHUBERT (another Austrian which the crowd with love)
    Symphony No. 8 in C major ‘Great’ D. 944. For me, this is far superior programming.