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The Salzburg Easter Festival (the Salzburger Osterfestspiele) is an annual festival of opera and classical music held in Salzburg, Austria during Easter week. It was founded by the conductor Herbert von Karajan in 1967 as a means of expanding the traditional Summer Festival and it presents major productions of operas at the beginning and the end, along with works from the great orchestral repertoire at the Großes Festspielhaus.

One of the keys to the Festival's success has been the strength of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and, continuing the tradition of the principal conductor of the orchestra being the Festival's artistic director, Claudio Abbado took over in 1994 with Simon Rattle in charge since 2003. In 2005 the Festival expanded its horizons by including a contemporary music series and presentations by young people's orchestras such as the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, directed by Franz Welser-Möst, followed by the European Union Youth Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy in 2006.

The range of operatic works is quite broad. Rattle introduced Fidelio in 2003 and Così fan tutte in 2004, following with Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in 2005 and Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande in 2006. Initiating a new Ring Cycle in 2007 was Das Rheingold.

See also

List of opera festivals

External links

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