Key steps in the Schubertiade's history
1972 Gerd Nachbauer founds the »Mozartgemeinde Vorarlberg« with the aim of establishing an annual concert series focussing on Mozart’s works and taking place in Hohenems Palace’s unheated Rittersaal and courtyard, as well as in the Parish Church of St. Charles. Due to financial considerations, the first concert has to be postponed for a year. Hermann Prey is one of the artists invited to participate in the series.
1973 On September 19, the Mozartgemeinde’s first concert takes place on the occasion of Count Caspar of Hohenems’s 400th birthday.
1974 While preparing a lieder recital to be given in Hohenems in 1975, Prey’s secretary Christian Lange writes to Nachbauer that this concert could be seen as a test for a large-scale project closely linked with the names of both Prey and Schubert. Visiting Hohenems, Lange works out a programme proposal with Nachbauer for the 1st Schubertiade. Prey accedes to the plans, which provide for 1976 and 1977 as introductory years, and aim at 1978 as the starting point of a long-term concert cycle, in the course of which Schubert’s complete oeuvre should be performed in chronological order.
1975 The »Schubertiade Hohenems Ges.m.b.H.« is established, with Lange and Nachbauer as managing directors.
1976 The Rittersaal is renovated and equipped with a heating On the day before the first Schubertiade concert, a Lieder recital on May 8 accompanied by Leonard Hokanson, Prey unveils a memorial tablet at Salomon Sulzer’s birthplace.
1977 Christian Lange retires as managing director The Hohenems Palace’s courtyard receives a canopy On June 19, the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Karl Böhm open the 2nd Schubertiade. In cooperation with the orchestra, the Schubertiade organizes an exhibition in honour of Joseph Sulzer, a son of Salomon Sulzer and for many years a cellist with the Philharmonic In the course of the year it becomes clear that, for financial reasons, a chronological performance of Schubert’s is out of question.
1978 The British journalist Bernard Levin for the first time writes about the Schubertiade in the London Times.
1980 The Schubertiade launches an exhibition on the occasion of Count Jakob Hannibal I of Hohenems’s 450th birthday, putting on display various documents from the Palace’s archives After his lieder recital, Prey announces his retirement as the Schubertiade’s artistic director in view of the financial difficulties.
1981 Prey appears at the Schubertiade for the last time.
1982 Hans Hotter, who had retired from the concert podium several years before, fills in for Peter Schreier singing «Winterreise”.
1983 On May 8, the New York Times publishes a preview of all important 1983 festivals, in the course of which Bernard Levin describes the Schubertiade as the purest and possibly most ideal of all music festivals Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Nikolaus Harnoncourt make their debut appearances at the Schubertiade.
1984 Under the motto »Schubert’s models«, Schubertiade programmes for the first time include works by other composers Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts his very first Beethoven work.
1985 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau gives four lieder recitals at the Montforthaus in Feldkirch, which subsequently becomes a regular Schubertiade venue.
1986 Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts two concert performances of Beethoven's opera »Fidelio«
1988 Lord Lichfield’s »Courvoisier’s Book of the Best«, published in London, ranks the Schubertiade fifth among the 10 leading music festivals in the world (behind Bayreuth, Salzburg, Glyndebourne and Spoleto).
1989 After thorough renovation, the Feldkirch Conservatory Hall is added to the list of Schubertiade venues.
1991 The Schubertiade being faced with the prospect of having to scale down its programme dramatically due to the renovation of Hohenems Palace on the occasion of a regional exhibition, the decision is made to entirely move the festival to Feldkirch. Since the town of Hohenems is unable to guarantee the Palace’s availability in the following years, the relocation becomes permanent.
1992 Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts all Schubert symphonies; András Schiff performs all piano sonatas.
1993 The Schubertiade programme includes all works based on texts by Goethe.
1994 The Feldkirch concerts are complemented by so-called »Landpartien«, outings inspired by Franz Schubert’s travels and taking the audience to beautifully situated venues like the Propstei St. Gerold and Schwarzenberg, a village in the Bregenzerwald region.
1996 The Kleiner Dorfsaal is built next to the Angelika Kauffmann Hall.
1997 Complementing the »Schubert 200« exhibition, concerts are held at the Lindau Theatre, which remains a Schubertiade venue until 1999.
2000 The Schubertiade celebrates its 25th anniversary with more than 80 events. The Hotel Post in Bezau is added to the list of venues.
2001 With orchestra concerts taking place in the Hotel Post’s spacious hall, Schwarzenberg becomes the exclusive Schubertiade location, the extended and thoroughly refurbished Angelika Kauffmann Hall providing a chamber music venue leaving nothing to be desired.
2004 50.400 visitors and 99 events make 2004 the most successful Schubertiade year in the festival’s history The Schubertiade GmbH succeeds in renting the gym on Graf-Maximilian-Straße in Hohenems long-term and informs the media on the plan of turning it into a concert hall.
2005 A severe flood destroys all concert equipment at the Hotel Post in Bezau On October 6, the refurbished Markus Sittikus Hall is opened by the Mittleres Rheintal Youth Orchestra On December 8, Peter Schreier ends his career as one of the world’s most famous Lieder singers with his 75th Schubertiade appearance. On the following day, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s 90th birthday is celebrated at the Markus Sittikus Hall with a recital given by Matthias Goerne in the presence of the legendary soprano.
2007 The renovation of the Markus Sittikus Hall’s facade, forecourt, and ample garden, which includes a natural open-air theatre, are completed.
2011 The Schubertiade opens the Franz Schubert Museum in Hohenems in a former vicarage which dates back to the days of Schubert’s birth. Later the same year, the range of Hohenems’s museums was further expanded by the Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Museum, which is located on the ground floor at Villa Rosenthal and displays valuable photographs, letters and documents from the estate of the great soprano and her husband, the British record producer Walter Legge.
2011/12 In the course of eight concerts, Paul Lewis performs Schubert’s most important works for piano solo and the three major song cycles with Mark Padmore.
2012 The »Referenzen« series enables young musicians from the region and pupils of renowned Schubertiade artists to make their debut at Hohenems' Markus Sittikus Hall The Cuarteto Casals plays all of Schubert's string quartets in Schwarzenberg.
2013 The Schubertiade opens the Legge Museum, which grants insights into the record producer’s collaboration with legendary artists and features an exhibition on the occasion of Maria Callas' 90th birthday (»Callas for Eternity«). The newly established Dreimäderlhaus Museum offers a home to kitsch, curios and legends on Franz Schubert. (This exhibition has been extended and is, since 2016, on display at the Schubertiade Museum.)
2014/15 Sir András Schiff and his Cappella Andrea Barca perform all Schubert symphonies at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. At the Legge Museum, a room is dedicated to the subject »Stefan Zweig and the Music Life of his time«. (The famous author's maternal grandfather used to co-own and live in the building at Marktstraße 5.)
2015/16 On the occasion of the 40th edition of the festival (2015) and the Schubertiade's 40th anniversary (2016), all Schubert songs are performed in the course of two seasons in Hohenems and Schwarzenberg.
2016 The Schubertiade Museum, newly opened in a house at Marktstraße 15 which was built in 1659, sheds light on the different ways in which Schubert and his oeuvre were received and cared for after his death, referring to the Schubertiade’s history on various occasions. The small Nibelungen Museum, located in the building where Vorarlberg’s first book was printed 400 years ago, reminds visitors of the far-reaching rediscovery of the »Nibelungenlied« in Hohenems.
2018 Under the baton of Michi Gaigg, the L'Orfeo Barockorchester plays all of Schubert's symphonies and symphonic fragments in the course of four concerts in Hohenems, which serve as the basis for a CD production. Other artists who chose the Markus Sittikus Hall for recordings include the Jerusalem Quartet, Pavol Breslik, Amir Katz, Sharon Kam, Ori Kam, Matan Porat, Andrè Schuen, Daniel Heide, Sumi Hwang, Helmut Deutsch and Khatia Buniatishvili.
»You will mingle on the terrace, overlooking fields with your fellow concert-goers. Your mood is mellow as two horn players summon you to your seats. And then the world-class music begins.«