The Power of Music
June 21 – July 21, 2024
“Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing, thanks for all the joy they’re bringing!“ This is what ABBA sang in 1977 for an audience of millions. This song will feature at the 2024 Styriarte symphonic ABBA concert, and so will the joy it has been bringing people for the past half century. Whether Handel, Robert Stolz, Mozart or Bertl Mütter, music goes straight to the heart – resistance is futile. Alexander the Great finds this out too in Handel’s Alexander’s Feast: song eases him from one emotional state to the next – providing the perfect model for Alfredo Bernardini on the opening night of the Festival. “The Power of Music”, the sub-title of Handel’s famous work, is the theme of the Styrian Summer Festival 2024.
The great classical cornerstones of the programme are luminaries: Jordi Savall conducts Monteverdi’s Vespers for the Blessed Virgin in Pöllau, Alfredo Bernardini plays Mozart’s Gran Partita at Helmut List Halle, Pierre-Laurent Aimard celebrates the second part of The Well-Tempered Clavier, Mei-Ann Chen conducts the Styriarte Youth Orchestra for the New World Symphony, Michael Hell presents his version of Monteverdi’s Orpheo. In the midst of these pillars blooms a colourful array of simple and sophisticated, familiar and unfamiliar, native and foreign music styles, all in their own way showing how powerful the art of music is. Be it a percussion ensemble in the cloisters of the Minorite Church or Schubert Lieder in Stainz, Reinhard Mey à la Eddie Luis or Summ mit with Lorenz Maierhofer, music is always in our midst and speaks straight to the heart.
The main event of the Festival is also about music as an integral part of our lives. In the first part of the Attems Saga, Thomas Höft, Adrian Schvarzstein and Michael Hofstetter relate what happens when an empress comes to visit and then does not stay after all, which is what occurred in the year 1750, when Maria Theresia honoured the people of Graz with her presence for a few hours only. Moving between Palais Attems, the auditorium of the Old University and Graz Theatre, the Festival re-enacts what could have happened on that occasion with great music, hearty humour, boisterous scenes and a Seasons Opera in the style of Vivaldi.