styriarte [lat.-ital.], n., summer music festival taking place in the Styrian capital

The history
The styriarte was founded in 1985 as a festival for classical music. Important composers were in the centre of the first Festival programmes, since 1992 the styriarte Festival set its programmes in thematic contexts, their stringent implementation has become a distinctive trademark of the festival.

The ulterior motive
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.

Today, after the death of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the styriarte Festival will put a cycle of operas by the most important Austrian Baroque composer, Johann Joseph Fux, in the center of its work and will do this for a period of six years In 2018 the styriarte brought the opera “Julo Ascanio” on stage, in 2019 it will be the opera “Dafne in Lauro”.

The musicians
Apart from the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble performing Early Music on period instruments founded 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, have also long become regular guests of the styriarte Festival. As part of the styriarte 2014, styriarte presented its own festival orchestra under the artistic direction of Michael Hofstetter.

The venue
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.

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