Dear music lovers, dear friends of Galerie St. Barbara,

The impacts of 2020 and the Covid 19 pandemic will continue to affect us for a long time. The months of silence in the concert halls and the absence of shared cultural experiences have been a hard blow for us all in so many fields of life. All the more moving was the first concert, the first return to togetherness, the music that developed with and through the audience in the auditorium. Although the Internet was a pillar of support during this time, it was clear to many that it could never be a substitute for the real thing. It is true that a first-hand experience can now only be offered on the basis of strict rules and the implementation of additional, vital measures, but the time spent together is a source of strength for us in our hearts and minds. The situation nevertheless calls for carefully designed and constantly modified approaches with resulting changes of plan. That is why you have had to wait a little longer than usual this year for our programme to be released.

This makes it all the more gratifying to be able to present a programme that is more committed than ever to the underlying principle of musik+. The opening of the season with Jordi Savall, for example, brings together different Cultures and Religions of the Mediterranean. After a longish break, the Austrian Ensemble Unicorn led by Michael Posch will be joining us together with Oni Wytars, as they take a pre-Christmas journey to the Star in the Orient.

Several of the concerts have a focus on contemporary music. The subject of A Portrait is Johannes Maria Staud, one of Austria’s leading composers. Two concerts and a Salon are devoted to him and Ensemble Phace. As people living in the here and now, we also see it as our task to commission musical works. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was quite normal to hear and discuss contemporary music in particular. It would be wonderful if we could revive this tradition and enjoy it in a counterpoint between early and contemporary music.

The contrasts and common features will be revealed, for example, by the Enssle-Lamprecht Duo and A quiet celebration of New Year’s Eve, and also in Passion up to Today with especially commissioned compositions.

Changes in music resulting from developments in instrument making will be reflected in a concert given by the Italian harpsichordist Lorenzo Ghielmi on the wonderful instruments built by the Tyrolean Herbert Kuen. This season’s debuts include the young Between Feathers ensemble, the exceptional baritone Konstantin Krimmel singing Eichendorff, the well-known Collegium 1704 and the Belgian ensemble A Nocte Temporis with Reinoud Van Mechelen.

In addition to these new encounters, we are also delighted to have several familiar faces in the programme: the Edding Quartet playing Brahms and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, Igor Levit, who will provide insights into the music of Dimitri Shostakovich together with the Hagen Quartet, and Jean-Guihen Queyras and Beyond T(h)races.

In anticipation of all these shared experiences – come what may – we hope you enjoy reading the programme.

Hannah Crepaz and the team