Salzburg shuts Mozart Week

Salzburg shuts Mozart Week


norman lebrecht

December 22, 2020

Although the Austrian government expects some theatres to reopen from January 19, the annual Mozart Week in Salzburg at the end of January has been canned due to ongoing Covid uncertainties.

‘I am heartbroken,’ said artistic director Rolando Villazón, who is putting together a streaming substitute programme.

Official statement:

We are very sorry that we will not be able to hold #MozartWeek2021 in its planned form! With much optimism, we hoped until the very end, that the festival in Salzburg could take place in full at the end of January.

The current regulations of the Austrian Federal Government pertaining to the reopening of the cultural sector on January 18 are a positive signal, but in view of the many organizational and legal questions that remain unresolved, these regulations are not practicable for Mozart Week. After all the planning, countless discussions with artists and orchestras, and also the positive feedback we received from you after the announcement of our adapted program, this cancellation really hurts us a lot. 



  • Dalledu Alletre says:

    What happened to the Idomeneo he was to record with Yannick Nézet-Séguin for Deutsche Grammophon? They did the other six in the canon (2011–18) and then stopped. Covid? No voice for it? Substitute lead?

  • Albertkloss says:

    I wish I could say it is a great loss. Last Mozartwoche was mediocre to say the least, starting with an embarrassing staged version of The Messiah (“conducted” by overrated “conductor” Minkowski) and finishing with under rehearsed performances of Mexican music by Villazon.

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Every music cancellation is a loss. But yes, last Mozart Week was not interesting, and that Der Messias was not good (particularly choir, conductor and staging; the soloists and ensemble were OK).

    • Manu says:

      WhenI see a clown like Villazon is chosen to direct such an historical festival, I see the world we live in…

      • FrauGeigerin says:

        Indeed. It is all about name and image. Villazon WAS an good enough tenor in the past (cannot really sing anymore, so he moved on to lighter music, like Latin American traditional songs), but he is no music intellectual and that position is TOO BIG for him.

    • Pedro says:

      I enjoyed the Barenboim Gran Partita though. Nearly as good as a performance by Boulez several years ago in Paris with the EIC. One of the greatest masterpieces of western Art.