Jay Nordlinger on the world’s most prestigious music festival
Salzburg, Austria — Lucky me, I received a box of chocolates from Fürst, just about the best sweet-maker in creation. The chocolates had a special wrapping — something I had never seen before (and I had downed a few Fürst chocolates, believe me). The wrapper said, “90.” And, clever as I am, I figured it out immediately: Must be the 90th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival. It was.
The festival began on August 22, 1920, with a performance of Hofmannsthal’s treatment of Everyman, called, in German, Jedermann. I knew a man who attended that performance: He was seven years old and went with his grandparents, who lived outside Salzburg. That boy, George Sgalitzer, became an American and the senior patron of the Salzburg Festival. He died just a few years ago. At the following festival, we held a beautiful memorial service for him, replete with music.