The International Brucknerfest Linz 2023 is something different. In the past five years, the classical music festival has comprehensively illuminated Bruckner's oeuvre from various angles. In 2024, the music world will celebrate Anton Bruckner's 200th birthday, and his œuvre will once again be given full attention, and presumably not only in Linz. The International Bruckner Festival Linz 2023 is thus a kind of interlude, which is clearly reflected in its programme. For the first time in the 49-year history of this festival, not a single work by Bruckner himself will be heard. Instead, under the slogan AUFBRUCH. "The Eternal Feminine Draws Us On", the programme will focus on the compositional work of women.
Women were revered as singers, tolerated as interpreters, but creative talent was largely denied them. Even Hans von Bülow, the premiere conductor of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, said: "There will never be a female composer, only, for example, a printed female copyist." The International Bruckner Festival Linz 2023 will prove the opposite. The motto " Awakening" stands for the breaking up of such patriarchal patterns of thought, but also for the departure to new shores.
MUSIC BY WOMEN AT THE CENTRE OF THE FESTIVAL
Music made by women is the main focus of the programme. With Emilia Mayer, Dora Pejačević, Florence Price, Amy Beach and Louise Farrenc, a striking number of female symphonists will be represented. Women composing piano music or songs was perhaps still going on in the 19th century. However, their penetration of symphonic terrain, at that time the most "sublime" genre in the field of instrumental music, was tantamount to a challenge to male domains. Nevertheless, some of these females were quite successful with their symphonies during their lifetime, Emilia Mayer, for instance, as well as Louise Farrenc. After their deaths, however, they fell into oblivion, music history all too quickly spreading a cloak of silence over their impressive oeuvre. To lift this coat and to give female composers a platform is the purpose of the International Brucknerfest Linz 2023.
Markus Poschner and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Vienna Academy Orchestra under Martin Haselböck, the Prague Symphony Orchestra under Eugene Tzigane and Le Cercle de L'Harmonie under Jérémie Rhorer champion the cause of women. The Bavarian State Orchestra under Vladimir Jurwoski will also come to Linz. With Yefim Bronfman as soloist, it will play Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto, among others, which was premiered by Schumann's wife Clara, who is also strongly represented in the programme of the International Bruckner Festival Linz with her own works.
Needless to say, there are also numerous women at work among the performers. Han-Na Chang, once known as a cello-playing wunderkind and now a successful conductor, will perform the D major Mass by the British suffragette Ethel Smyth in St. Florian. Violinist Francesco Dego, cellist Julia Hagen, oboist Xenia Löffler, pianist Lise del la Salle or soprano Nikola Hillebrand will also provide glamour, and actresses Meike Droste and Sophie Rois have also been won. At the International Brucknerfest Linz 2023, they will all be providing proof: Music is feminine.