30th Tyrol Easter Festival – über.leben

From early to modern music, from performance and dance to non-European cultures, from film to action art, and from young people at the start of their careers to world-famous artists – all that forms part of the 30th Tyrol Easter Festival, which is being held under the motto über.leben.

The 30th anniversary edition of the Tyrol Easter Festival opens with an evening of exciting contrasts. René Jacobs and the Belgian B’Rock Orchestra will be exploring the world of sound that is the Schubert symphonies during the first and only evening devoted to this new cycle in Austria (17 March). The existential power of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, who lived much of his life in a state of fear, will be evoked by the Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov (28 March). And with his Collegium Vocale Gent, Philippe Herreweghe, a Bach specialist and pioneer of early music, will interpret Bach’s St. John Passion (30 March, Good Friday).

In a number of Austrian premieres, dance and performance, in their different ways, will throw light on life and various modes of survival at a remove from the norm. In Gute Pässe Schlechte Pässe (Good Passports Bad Passports, 26 March) Helena Waldmann playfully contrasts and mixes cultures, people and (dance) languages. The Italian ensemble Motus goes in search of identity with MDLSX (31 March, Holy Saturday), in which the Italian performance icon Silvia Calderoni transcends the limits of nationality and the human body with a hymn to freedom. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s eleven dancers (and Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians) will deliver a dazzling and moving conclusion to the Festival with Rain (1 April, Easter Sunday).

In the field of modern music, Ensemble Recherche (21 March), who have a long record of involvement with the Festival, will carry the audience off to the world of the Tyrolean composer Johannes Maria Staud (his debut at the Festival) and his colleagues Younghi Pagh-Paan, Milica Djordjević and Lisa Streich. A universe of a special kind will open up in Wolfgang Rihm’s Et Lux (23 March), a form of modern requiem with music poised between the Middle Ages and the present. The Huelgas Ensemble (8 voices), which enjoys an international reputation for early music, and the Minguet Quartet will reveal the beauty of Rihm’s music.

Rounding off the 30th anniversary programme, the Festival also includes the film Ikiru (20 March), in which Akira Kurosawa embarks on a search for the meaning of life, and Michael Haneke’s Amour (22 March) with its narrative of transience and helplessness. There will also be a talk with Wolfgang Palaver (in German) in the Theological Faculty on attempts and meanings of survival (29 March, Maundy Thursday).

In the run-up to the Tyrol Easter Festival, 40 Orte (40 Places) will accompany us through Lent with music, text and action art (Ash Wednesday, 14 February to 31 March). Young Tyrolean musicians will play works from various periods and offer islands of quiet and reflection in our hectic world. And once again, we will be blessed with half an hour of joyful sensuousness from the “king of instruments” in 5 x OrgelSPIEL (Saturdays from 24 February to 24 March). With music from the 17th century to the modern period, five young organists resident in the Tyrol will bring moving vibrations to the Hall Parish Church and the audience.