Salzburg nets biggest ever private giftNews
The Salzburg Festival has announced its largest ever donation, around 12 million Euros.
The donor is Hans-Peter Wild, reputedly the richest man in Switzerland.
The money will build a glass reception centre on Karajan-Platz.
Here’s what the giver says:
It is a great honour for me to give the signal launching the construction of the new Festival Centre today! I look forward to supporting this project over the coming three years with up to 12 million Euros, for I have felt a strong connection with Salzburg since the days of my youth.
My parents attended the Festival regularly and often took me along to Salzburg. To this day, I try to visit the Festival every year. In the meantime, as you may know, I have also purchased the two hotels Schloss Mönchstein and Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg, so my relationship with this city has become even closer.
The major project “Festival District 2030” was born as part of the celebrations marking the Salzburg Festival’s centenary. The fact that today’s ceremony marks the launch for building the Festival Centre grew from many conversations with Kristina Hammer and her team, and is surely a milestone for the City of Salzburg as well.
The redesign and expansion of the entire Festival District moves the Festival into its second century, preparing and equipping it for future challenges.
The high esteem which the arts are held in here in Salzburg can be preserved and even extended by this monumental undertaking. I am convinced that it will contribute to the long-term attractiveness of this city. The beautiful space around the historical Horse-Well will receive an upgrade, and guests from Austria and abroad will be able to access it in its original form.
To me, supporting the arts is very important. Unlike business, they cannot pursue only efficiency and profit. Rather, their role is to raise enthusiasm and offer inspiration through creativity and emotions. The arts need free space – in reality and mentally – to unfold their full potential. The new Festival Centre aims to contribute to this. It is intended as a place of encounters and exchange.
I am delighted that the Centre will be open year-round in the future, and it is my wish that it can be used for meetings and events outside of the Festival season, throughout the year. This is one of the potential uses of the hall envisioned for its basement floor. I wish all those involved the greatest success in implementing the new Festival Centre.