For many years now, Grafenegg has been exploring new possibilities, asking how a cultural institution can not only endure but also actively shape the future. What motivates creators and influences musical activity? How does performance evolve, and what social norms and broader aspects accompany that journey? Such questions arise when one peers behind the curtain.
In Grafenegg’s inspiring environment, the focus has always been on combining the beloved with the new. The fusion of modernity and tradition can be felt in every corner – the modern open air stage Wolkenturm fits perfectly alongside the historic castle; public art mingles with giant, centuries-old trees; and classical orchestral sounds and premieres are heard alike.
The French historian and politician Jean Jaurès said, «Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation and passing on of the fire». We want to embrace this responsibility, to ensure that as an institution we are prepared to face the challenges of the future; that the musicians who come together here in Grafenegg find a forward-thinking and experimental environment where they can actively participate and develop. It is important for us to pave new paths and create new spaces where work can develop through courage and curiosity.
International diversityMusical excellence
In 2024, the Grafenegg Academy Orchestra celebrates its fourth year. Composed of musicians from more than 30 nations, it serves as a breeding ground for musical excellence that prepares its members for life as artists.
Each year, we welcome a new Composer in Residence who writes a commissioned work and serves as leader of the composer conductor workshop Ink Still Wet. Participating composers have the opportunity to work on their pieces during the workshop and premiere them with the Tonkunstler Orchestra.
Experimentation should not remain hidden, our audience is warmly invited to observe rehearsal situations and discover new music through programs such as the free Musik im Park concerts.
To make the cultural experience accessible to all, we offer tickets for all concerts at €10. Those under the age of 26 also benefit from a 50% discount.
In addition to music, it is important that our location develops sustainably, and we are delighted to have been awarded the Austrian Environmental Label in summer 2023. We are not only a Green Location but also soon a certification body for Green Events. This includes the considerate treatment of on-site buildings, and so we are pleased to report on a major renovation project – the transformation of the historic Reitschule into the Rudolf Buchbinder Hall.
All these activities and values will be summarized under the title «Zeitgeist». This is to demonstrate that we do not lean too far into the future without considering the past, and above all, the present. Zeitgeist is never a final chapter but rather a constant evolution, highlighting new priorities, and never letting the fire die out.