The world’s most important Mozart festival, which should have taken place from January 27 to February 6 this year, has been cancelled. “The situation in Salzburg has deteriorated dramatically and, after consultation with the responsible authorities, there is no improvement in sight,” said director Rolando Villazon in a broadcast on Thursday.
Holding on to this year’s festival with around 60 events at ten locations in Salzburg is unreasonable for everyone involved, explained Villazon. “The health and safety of our artists, the audience and our employees must come first. It is with an immensely heavy heart that we are therefore forced to cancel the 2022 Mozart Week completely due to the pandemic.”
A festival of this magnitude with numerous artists, orchestras and ensembles as well as audiences from all over the world is not feasible given the current framework conditions and the lack of planning security. The peak number of corona cases calculated by the Salzburg state government fell exactly during the festival week, it said. Further short-term tightening such as travel restrictions or a reduction in room occupancy must therefore be expected.
“The health authority of the state of Salzburg estimates the relevant risk to be between 15 and 20 percent in all professions at the end of January 2022, which makes it simply impossible to hold the Mozart Week.” A postponement of the Mozart Week 2022 is not possible at a later date due to the long organizational lead time and the unavailability of key artists.
The program for the 2023 Mozart Week will be presented in May. The Mozart Week looks back on a long tradition. The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation has been celebrating the birthday of the great composer in January with this festival since 1956. In 2021, the Mozart Week was held in a short digital version due to the pandemic.