The theme of the festival is language. Key works in the "language" cycle include Mahler's Symphony No. 8; a concert version of Verdi's Falstaff; Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, Erwartung and Survivors From Warsaw; Weill's Berlin Requiem; and songs and arias by Schubert and Mozart. Soloists include Matthias Goerne, Cecilia Bartoli and Thomas Quasthoff.
To contribute to the Mozart festivities, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis will play all of the composer's sonatas for piano and violin.
Five orchestras-in-residence — the Philadelphia Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach; the Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-M‹st; the Vienna Philharmonic with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Valery Gergiev and HK Gruber; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons; and the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas — will play three concerts each.
The festival will present sixteen world-premiere performances, including works by Klaus Huber, Heinz Holliger and Hanspeter Kyburz.
Michael Haefliger is executive and artistic director of the festival, which runs through September 17.