Audi and the Salzburg Festival 20 years of strong partnership

The company’s involvement as the main sponsor of the Salzburg Festival has resulted in an intensive partnership with joint projects. The performance at the Audi Summer Concerts is further proof of the close ties of the partnership, which is focused on cultural exchange. Their performance at the Audi Summer Concerts is also the only ongoing guest performance for the Salzburg Festival. “It is something quite special when an automobile company presents its own music festival. The artistic dialogue that goes along with this is extremely important to us. Our performers very much enjoy coming to Ingolstadt for this reason,” said Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Member of the Board of Directors and Drama Director of the Salzburg Festival.

Audi has been the main sponsor of the Salzburg Festival since 1995. The company provides the festival with financial and organizational support. Among other things, Audi provides the vehicle fleet for the festival and over the past 20 years has driven more than 4,000 performers to their rehearsals and performances. Each year, around 3,500 guests take advantage of the Audi limousine service during the festival. Further highlights of the partnership include joint international press conferences, such as the one at Audi City Beijing and Audi Night, which has taken place since 2006 on Mönchsberg Mountain in Salzburg.

Cultural sponsorship as a component of corporate culture
Cultural sponsorship has deep roots in Audi’s corporate philosophy – not least due to the company’s name (“audire” is Latin for “to hear/listen”). In 1962, employees founded the Audi Company Orchestra, which launched the company’s involvement in the arts. Ensuring that employees have access to a wealth of cultural events remains an important issue for Audi today. “Mobilizing culture, making creative advances possible, supporting talent and bringing world-class performers together – this is part of our task at Audi ArtExperience, Audi’s cultural program,” explains Jutta Frisch, Head of Audi Culture Trends Communications at AUDI AG.

Audi has presented its own festival of classical music, the Audi Summer Concerts, since 1990. A Salzburg Festival production featuring the original cast of performers was first presented at the Summer Concerts in 1994. Since then, the guest performance has remained one of the highlights of the Audi Summer Concerts each year.

Today Audi can look back on 20 eventful years of impressive guest performances and famous artists. The 2014 anniversary year will bring the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and Balthasar Neumann Choir, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, to the Danube. These ensembles specialize in historical performances. One concert production will feature the “Israel in Egypt” oratorio by Georg Friedrich Händel, which will first be performed in Ingolstadt and then in Salzburg.

Highlights from the 20 years of guest performances in Ingolstadt:

1994 – The first performance
Audi presents the first production from Salzburg – a “Salzburg Festival guest performance” – featuring Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale.” Members of the Mozart Museum Orchestra of Salzburg, conducted by Andrej Boreyko, performed at the Ingolstadt City Theater.

2002 – The most unusual location
Audi presented Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Everyman” starring Peter Simonischek and Veronica Ferres at the vehicle delivery center of the Audi Forum. The performance was originally intended to be performed on the piazza in front of the Audi Forum, but had to be quickly relocated inside the customer center due to rain.

2004 – The tenth year
For the tenth year, the guest performance tradition brought Barbara Bonney, Michael Schade and Michael Maertens, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, to the stage for the concert performance of Henry Purcell’s semi-opera “King Arthur.”

2013 – The largest orchestra
The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela was the largest orchestra to perform to date in the festival hall of Ingolstadt City Theater. With more than 150 young musicians under the direction of conductors Christian Vásquez and Diego Matheuz, this Latin American orchestra performed its way into the hearts of the audience in Ingolstadt.

2014 – The 20-year anniversary
In the festival hall of Ingolstadt City Theater, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Member of the Board of Directors of the Salzburg Festival, and Jutta Frisch, Head of Culture and Trends Communications at AUDI AG, present a brief review of 20 years of guest performances by the Salzburg Festival. Afterward, Thomas Hengelbrock – one of the world’s most sought-after artists when it comes to historical performances, conducts “Israel in Egypt” by Georg Friedrich Händel.

Current pictures will be available starting July 28, 11 p.m. at: