Salzburg celebrates Karajan centenary

Austria celebrated the 100th birthday of acclaimed 20th century conductor Herbert von Karajan. The first of a series of commemorative events in Austria and around the world, the ceremony in Salzburg was attended by President Heinz Fischer.


Salzburg celebrated the 100th birthday of Austria's acclaimed 20th century conductor Herbert von Karajan on Saturday, with a ceremony attended by President Heinz Fischer.

The ceremony in Karajan's home city, featuring the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, was part of a string of musical commemorative events for the maestro throughout the year, in Austria, Great Britain, Germany and Japan.

Salzburg kicked off the celebrations with a performance on January 5 in the venue Karajan had built in 1960. The Mozarteum Orchestra played the same programme with which he made his professional conducting debut in 1929.

Karajan leapt to fame in Nazi Germany during the 1930s. He headed the Salzburg Festival in 1956 and later set up the Salzburg Easter Festival there in 1967.

He also lead the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, as chief conductor from 1955 until his death in 1989.

This year's Salzburg Summer Festival will be dedicated to Karajan, with the Vienna Philharmonic's adaptation of Brahms' "A German Requiem," which will be lead by Riccardo Muti.

Born in Salzburg on April 5, 1908, Heribert Ritter von Karajan studied piano, harmony and composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg between 1916 and 1926.

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