Grafenegg has rebranded with a new logo and website but the Salzburg-lite concept remains the same, even if the roster of visiting orchestras doesn’t quite measure up to this summer’s blockbuster edition. Highlights include Davis/LSO, Gergiev/Mariinsky, and Gatti/Concertgebouw, all with mainstream programming. Elsewhere there’s a lot of Buchbinder, Dutoit and Maazel, and contemporary music’s spot at the closing concert has been bumped for a Verdi Requiem. When the Metternich family and the Lower Austrian state lavished millions upon millions on this venture, the stated aim was to offer something more adventurous, starting with a high-profile composer-in-residence (this year Brett Dean, in a scaled back role). But the backing of Erwin Pröll, governor of Lower Austria and modern-day Metternich, has always come with the understanding that Grafenegg must make an international name for itself and by association, a Bundesland left in the cultural shade by Vienna and Salzburg. And so caution and Auslastung will take the upper hand next summer; for what it’s worth, Pröll made no effort to conceal his Mitterandian motives at yesterday’s press conference.
The full programme can be seen here.