The first concert by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, on 22 July, is part of the André Tchaikowsky Weekend in the course of which we will be holding a symposium on his life and work and also performing his six most important compositions. Tchaikowsky was a legendary pianist himself – and so it comes as little surprise that he should become the composer of the "other" Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto. The concerto, premiered by Radu Lupu, will be played in Bregenz by Maciej Grzybowski, who has for some time been regarded as a specialist in Tchaikowsky's music. It shares the bill with Rachmaninov's Second Symphony.
The other concerts present a conscious retrospective of some of the most important composers that have been showcased at the Bregenz Festival over the past ten years. First and foremost among these, of course, is Mieczysław Weinberg, probably the most significant Bregenz discovery of this era. As the concert on 29 July will demonstrate, his Fifth Symphony can hold its own alongside other famous fifth symphonies – and also Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which it will be coupled with on the day.
For the third concert, Sir Mark Elder returns with the Hallé Orchestra after his triumphant previous visit to Bregenz. He will conduct Benjamin Britten's thrilling and very unusual cantata Our Hunting Fathers with a really delightful text by W. H. Auden, along with Antonín Dvořák's Eighth Symphony.
In the concert by the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra we focus once again on Weinberg, with a performance of his Violin Concerto played by Ilya Gringolts. In this last concert of my artistic directorship, I would like to link hands with my predecessor in a symbolic gesture of continuity and have therefore programmed the Fourth Symphony of the man who composed the operas The Greek Passion and Julietta: Bohuslav Martinů.