The styriarte Festival was originally founded to forge closer ties between the pioneering conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his home town of Graz. His artistic endeavours have made Harnoncourt a world-renowned star in the world of music and his musical believes have become a measure for the artistic events held at the styriarte Festival. The Festival today encourages a rediscovery of long-lost variations of our musical heritage and mirrors today’s wealth of exciting approaches to Early Music and music between the Middle Ages and Romanticism and even contemporary music.
“Transformed” is the styriarte theme for 2019, inspired by the highlight of part two of the styriarte Fux Opera Fest – an opera by the foremost Austrian baroque composer Johann Joseph Fux, “Dafne in Lauro”. In other words, “Dafne in Laurel“ – not because the lovely nymph is sitting in a laurel tree, but because she turns herself into one to escape the unwanted attentions of love-stricken Apollo.
This story from the “The Metamorphoses“ by the ancient Roman poet Ovid is the first of many more stories of transformation that the styriarte present in music and text. And, of course, transformation in the form of variations is a central feature of music anyway. So, to sum up: transformation, change, variation – those things that spice up our lives. That is what the 32 projects and 45 performances of the 2019 festival in Graz and Styria are all about.