It can be said, with no false modesty, that Gidon Kremer achieved a sensational success with Lockenhaus’s first chamber music festival in 1981. 30 years later the idea of “exposure of the over-commercialised music business” had become established and once a year transforms the little Burgenland town of Lockenhaus into the centre of the chamber music world. 

In 2012 the “Lockenhaus phenomenon” entered a new stage, when Gidon Kremer handed over directorship of the Festival to exceptional 30-year old cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, who Kremer is convinced “has the ability to respect and maintain the ‘spirit’ of this special festival”. 

The first festival under Altstaedt in 2012 received an enthusiastic reception from the public and press, who gave the seal of approval to the baton being handed on to the next generation.

Nicolas Altstaedt remains true to Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival’s founding principles: summer after summer leading musicians from all over the world are invited to Lockenhaus to get to know each other away from the big concert stages and to work and appear in ensembles specially put together for the festival. The concert programmes are put together on the spot and with the cooperation of all the artistes, in order to achieve the maximum spontaneity and flexibility and to facilitate the creative process. The top priority for this working method, which is typical of Lockenhaus, is to break down barriers and make new discoveries. 

Most of the rehearsals are held in public and thus give the public the opportunity to follow how the works progress, from the first rehearsal to the finished performance, and to meet the artistes outside a concert setting. 

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