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July 27 – August 31

As early as the spring, the public debate began: what will happen to the Salzburg Festival after Herbert von Karajan? A commission is established to find a successor. The person whose heritage is being decided upon does not live to see the results: on the afternoon of July 16, Herbert von Karajan dies at the age of 81 in his house in Anif; only the day before, he attended a rehearsal for Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, which was to open the season. Sir Georg Solti takes over the musical direction of this new production; Riccardo Muti conducts the requiem for Karajan at Salzburg’s Cathedral. Memorials and concerts in memoriam of the late maestro dominate the Festival summer. Shortly before the end of the season, the new team of directors is presented: Heinrich Wiesmüller returns as the Festival’s president, Gerard Mortier takes over the artistic directorship, and Hans Landesmann is put in charge of administration and concert programming. Officially, the trio is to begin its work in the fall of 1991.

1989: The last photograph of Herbert von Karajan, at rehearsal for Un ballo in maschera with director John Schlesinger and soprano Josephine Barstow.

New production
Johann Nestroy
Das Mädl aus der Vorstadt
Stage director: Jürgen Flimm
Stage sets: Rolf Glittenberg
Costumes: Marianne Glittenberg

New production
Giuseppe Verdi
Un ballo in maschera
Conductor: Sir Georg Solti / Gustav Kuhn
Stage director: John Schlesinger
Stage sets: William Dudley
Costumes: Luciana Arrighi
Großes Festspielhaus

Coproduction with the Vienna Staatsoper
Richard Strauss
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Stage director: Harry Kupfer
Stage sets: Hans Schavernoch
Costumes: Reinhard Heinrich
Großes Festspielhaus

Transfer from the Easter Festvial Salzburg
Giacomo Puccini
Conductor: Georges Prêtre
Stage director: Peter Busse
Stage sets: Günther Schneider-Siemssen
Costumes: Magda Gstrein
Großes Festspielhaus

Revivals: Der einsame Weg, Jedermann, La clemenza di Tito, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La Cenerentola

Concert performance: Orff's Antigonae , Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust

5 Ballet Performances, 18 Orchestral Concerts, 12 Chamber Concerts, 3 Serenades, 15 Matinees, 6 Solo Recitals, 9 Lied Recitals, 4 Church Concerts, 4 Literary Recitals, Requiem and Commemoration Ceremony for Herbert von Karajan

Opening Speach by Maurice Schumann: „1789-1791. Vom aufsteigenden Licht einer Revolution zum Erlöschen eines Genies“

Details of the several years:

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,