Friends of the Salzburg Festival
In 1961, Festival President Bernhard Paumgartner initiated the Association of “Friends” in order to create an even closer connection between the Festival and its most faithful attendees. One of the occasions was the opening of the Großes Festspielhaus in 1960: the Salzburg Festival now had 2,000 additional seats to offer and to fill.
The “Friends” aim to broadcast the Festival’s concept all over the world, and to support the Salzburg Festival, both in spirit and financially. It is a great idea which its members and supporters fill with life, and which has allowed the Association of “Friends” to become an institution without which the Salzburg Festival could hardly be imagined today. 1,900 supporters, 3,000 regular members and 3,000 subscribers ensure a vivid Festival scene. During the year, the Friends’ Newsletters provide a forum for exchange, and during the Festival season, guests from around the world meet in Salzburg for introductory lectures, artist encounters and tours of exhibitions.
Since August 1999, KR Heinrich Spängler has been the President of the Friends. Heinrich Spängler hails from one of the oldest families in Salzburg – the Bankhaus Spängler is Austria’s oldest bank – and his education in London, Paris and New York made him the ideal candidate for president of an international association. President Spängler’s main focus is the acquisition of patrons and supporters for the Salzburg Festival. Patrons contribute an annual amount of € 1,100, a sum that is tax-deductible in Germany and the USA, where independent associations of Friends exist. Besides the benefits of priority booking, the use of the Fördererlounge (Patrons’ Lounge) during the Festival, and a gift for patrons, patrons have access to designated rehearsals.Every year, the Friends contribute to the annual operating costs – a sum of 2 million Euros – and support special projects: a total contribution of 5% of the Festival’s budget.
Membership in the Silver Club and Golden Club is a very attractive offer. Members of the Silver Club pay an annual membership fee of 10,000 Euros, members of the Golden Club contribute an annual fee of 50,000 Euros. In return, they receive all the membership benefits and furthermore, an invitation to the Festival’s Opening Ceremony, advance delivery of the evening’s program books and reserved seating for performances with general admission.
These additional contributions enable the “Friends” to support Festival projects in addition to the programming support: the Festival Chronicle, commissions for world premieres, air conditioning for performance venues and the installation of subtitle viewing systems.
The Friends also raise funds for building projects – thus, Patrons and Friends from around the world contributed € 3.5 million to the Haus für Mozart. The new roof for the Felsenreitschule and the construction of an additional storey of working space were made possible by € 3.2 million from Friends’ donations.
Thus, the Association of “Friends of the Salzburg Festival” is our greatest sponsor. Thousands of patrons around the world support us through their visits to the Festival and their financial contributions. To all of them, our heartfelt thanks!
The Friends’ office is located at Mönchsberg 1, accessible by elevator from Toscaninihof, and is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm. Phone: +43.662.8045.284
Further information concerning membership in the Friends of the Festival is available at www.festspielfreunde.at.