Salzburger Festspiele Pfingsten

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Artist description

The History of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival

Herbert von Karajan brought the original Whitsun Concerts to life back in 1973, in order to assuage the demands of potential subscribers to the Easter Festival. Until 1982, three orchestral concerts were performed on Whit Saturday, Whit Sunday and Whit Monday respectively by the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan.


After the death of Karajan, guest concerts by international orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra were added to the program. In 1998, it was taken over by the Salzburg Festival, who rechristened the Whitsun Concerts as the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Riccardo Muti became artistic director of the Whitsun Festival in 2007, continuing to serve in that role until 2012, when Italian singer Cecilia Bartoli succeeded him. Since 2012, the main production from the Whitsun Festival is also performed during the Summer Festival.