For Bruckner’s 200s: free open air on Linz’s main square

“It should be a birthday concert that is fun,” says Markus Poschner, chief conductor of the Linz Bruckner Orchestra, about the open-air concert on July 4th at 8 p.m. on Linz’s main square. They thought for a long time about where the concert could take place; places such as the cathedral square or the castle were also available to choose from. “We wanted to be in the middle of Linz,” says Poschner. Because: “It should be a birthday concert for the Upper Austrians.” Works related to Anton Bruckner, whose birthday will be 200 years old on September 4th, will be played, from Richard Wagner (“Ride of the Valkyries”) to Gioachino Rossini (“William Tell”) to film musician John Williams (presumably “Starwars”) and of course Anton Bruckner himself.

Guests are also invited to the concert. The Mühlviertler band Folkshilfe will appear and, together with the orchestra, play three songs that have been symphonically arranged especially for the concert, including hits such as “Schöner Mensch” and “Hau di her”. Linz is “our city,” says Paul Slaviczek, one of the three Folkshilfe musicians: “The fact that we are allowed to play here, of all places, on the main square – I can’t really think of anything bigger.” The anticipation is huge, says his colleague Gabriel Fröhlich: “It’s going to be really bad.” The second guest was cellist Kian Soltani, who will play Friedrich Gulda’s cello concerto with the orchestra.

Image: VOLKER WEIHBOLD

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The Mühlviertel band Folkshilfe
Image: VOLKER WEIHBOLD

Around 5,000 visitors are expected at the concert. It was made possible by the Tyle private foundation of the Linz entrepreneur Dionys Lehner and his wife Barbara, who died last year. The foundation finances the entire open air. “My husband wanted to give something back to the city and the country,” says Barbara Lehner, without going into the amount of the costs. Dionys Lehner initiated the concert in 2021. After 2007, 2008 and 2011, it will be the Bruckner Orchestra’s fourth open-air event on Linz’s main square.

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