Bachfest 2008 in Salzburg:
The Bach Music Festival, October 2008

83rd Bachfest: 4th to 20th of October 2008

The international Bach Society in Germany assigns the organization of the Bachfest, a music festival dedicated to the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, to a certain city. In 2008, this city was Salzburg. If you hear Salzburg and Baroque music, you will immediately think of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the most famous musician of this city. However, during the Baroque era, Salzburg was an important centre for music and composition far beyond Mozart. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach was often played at the court of the Prince Archbishops and Mozart himself is said to be strongly influenced by Bach.

For the Bachfest Music Festival 2008, Salzburg made an excellent stage for other reasons: Almost nowhere else in the World a Baroque town centre can be found that is as well-preserved as here. The concerts of the Bachfest took advantage of Salzburg′s architectural heritage and play Bach music at various sites: The festival halls, the Residenz Palace, or the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The Mirabell Palace with its extensive gardens was a particularly pretty venue. Public squares and narrow lanes were used as concert halls and the musical heritage of Salzburg gained a new dimension.

Bachfest: Music with Salzburg as Baroque Stage

This Bachfest was the 83rd in the history of this festival. The organizers put a lot of attention to allowing an encounter between the audience and local musicians and artists. Among the most famous musicians and conductors that participated in the Bachfest were Nikolaus Harnoncourt with the Concentus Musicus, Christophe with "Camerata Salzburg" and Ivor Bolton with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg.

Other highlights of the Bachfest included Benjamin Schmid, Florian Birsack, Irmgard Schaller, Heribert Metzger, Jacques Loussier, Quatuor Mosaiques, Chorus sine nomine and many other musicians, singers and performers. The event was hugely important for Bach aficionados from all over the World and hotels in Salzburg were fully booked.

The music itself was traditional Bach, but not only. There were crossovers between Bach and modern concert music as well as Jazz; there was a Bach organ tour that takes you to the most elaborate of Salzburg′s many Baroque churches; and there were small concerts for specialist interests. There were five major topics according to which the Bachfest is arranged: Bach and Jazz, Bach and Modern Music, Bach and Baroque, Bach and the Youth as well as Bach and Literature.

Further Reading

The official Bachfest Website

Information on the Salzburg Festival

Information on the Viennese Classic Period

Website of the Mozarteum

Information on Johann Sebastian Bach

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