styriarte [lat.-ital.], n., summer music festival taking place in the Styrian capital
The styriarte Festival was founded in 1985. Johann Sebastian Bach was in the centre of the first Festival programme, later years focused on Monteverdi, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Since 1992 the styriarte Festival has explored themes like "Summer Night Dream", "Sites and Sounds", "Fractures and Links", "Traces of the Mythical" or "Simply Classical!". In 1998/99, the styriarte Festival launched a new series of themes with "Paradise Lost?" and "Tell me, Love" which culminated in "The power of music" in 2003. In 2004 ("From time to time"), in 2005 ("Sensual") and in 2006 ("Finally happy") the styriarte festival started to question models of world explanation. The following years saw themes dedicated to water (2008), to the dignity of mankind (2009) and now, in 2010, it deals with the “homeland”, focussing, in particular, on the Austrian homeland. In 2011 styriarte took a closer look on “The Difficult Easy” in music. This year the Festival tells a story of “Family People”.
The styriarte Festival was originally founded to forge closer ties between the pioneering conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his home town of Graz. His artistic endeavours have made Harnoncourt a world-renowned star in the world of music and his musical believes have become a measure for the artistic events held at the styriarte Festival. The Festival today encourages a rediscovery of long-lost variations of our musical heritage and mirrors today’s wealth of exciting approaches to Early Music and music between the Middle Ages and Romanticism.
Apart from the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble performing Early Music on period instruments which is brilliantly led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the extraordinarily dynamic Chamber Orchestra of Europe has become one the of the favourite ensembles of the styriarte Festival. Pioneering performers of Early Music, for instance Jordi Savall, Quatuor Mosaiques, and Armonico Tributo Austria, have also long become regular guests of the styriarte Festival.
One of the distinctive features of the styriarte Festival are the gorgeous settings in which the concerts take place. The exceptionally well preserved historical city centre of the Styrian capital with its renowned historical sites and halls is a magnificent venue for the styriarte Festival.