Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival
“One hardly can experience such an individualistic folk of artists more easygoing and inwardly as outwardly more cheered up. Showing off is in Lockenhaus certainly proscribed.” one could read in Die Zeit in the year of foundation in 1981 about the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival
The world has changed since these days, the festival was selected by the New York Times as European Cultural Heritage and renown German music critic Eleonore Büning writes in the FAZ “anyway, no one will believe this who has not been there”.
The founding spirit is living on under the artistic direction of Nicolas Altstaedt: year after year music lovers from all over the world go on a pilgrimage to this little picturesque village of Lockenhaus in Austria’s smallest county Burgenland to celebrate chamber music in unique intensity and nearness - in the center of Europe – remoted from the world.
“Nicolas Altstaedt, this amazingly charismatic Cellist, is in his fifth edition as artistic director after Gidon Kremer of an unconditionality, which almost could be frightened, if the results wouldn’t be that convincing….an up to the boiling point heated forge of sounds and ideas which one is allowed to approach as listener.”
Gerald Felber, FAZ 18.07.16
Ritterburg Lockenhaus, the former knight’s castle of the Order of the Templars and former residence of the bloodthirsty Countess Erszébet is renown in our days as the unique venue of this excellent chamber music festival - founded by Gidon Kremer - under the artistic direction of Nicolas Altstaedt.
As one of the last real knight’s castles with Ritual Hall, Knight’s Hall, Rauchkuchl, Chapel and Cleric Parlor the Burg Lockenhaus is located above an historic trading route and outstands all other knight’s castles of the country in historic and art historic significance.
The Ritual Hall with its incident of light through an opening at the top of the vaulted ceiling is attributed to the Order of Templars. The Knight’s Hall with the historic ribbed vaults is said to has served as secret assembling place by the Templars.
Today Burg Lockenhaus offers guided tours through its museum and exhibitions featuring different themes.
The foundation for the Lockenhaus church was layed on July, 2nd in 1656. Builder was Graf Franz Nádasdy, owner of the county Lockenhaus – architect the young Italian Pietro Orsolini.
The church nave is 18m high, the tower 57,5m. The main architectural style is baroque while the entrance still is built in renaissance style. After appearing cracks in the walls the construction was stopped for several years. The church was finally inaugurated on September 15th in 1669.
The altarpiece was created by the painter Kéry and shows both patron saints of the church: Bishop Nikolaus von Myra and Monch Nikolaus von Tolentino.
In 2003 the church was equipped with the biggest organ in Burgenland, a Rieger Organ with 35 registers and about 2400 pipes.
Schloss Esterházy Lockenhaus
At the Schloss the Festival office and ticket box are located as well as practice rooms, dining area and the bookstore.