2019 Mid Europe Eröffnung 062 © Gerhard Pilz

Mid EUROPE celebrates its 25th anniversary!

Tuesday, 21.12.2021

Wind music with its many facets and genres, musical highlights and marching shows, open-air and church concerts, World Music and music from around the globe – this is what the Mid EUROPE wind-music festival has represented for an incredible 25 years. In fact, for the participants as well as locals and visitors, it is practically impossible to imagine the Schladming-Dachstein Region without it anymore. Notwithstanding, COVID-19 forced the festival to take a 2-year hiatus. But that means, we now look forward to the 2022 edition of Mid EUROPE from 12 to 17 July 2022 with even greater anticipation.

Highlights Mid EUROPE 2022
The fingers of our participating musicians are already getting fidgety. Their instruments are in fine shape. The instrument cases are packed. We can already look forward to the musicians’ outstanding performances. Which will include the opening concert on 12 July, the LONG NIGHT on 14 July and the international Concert Evening on 16 July. “Better late than never” definitely applies to the children’s concert “Kids in Concert” (scheduled for 13 July), as it does the International Master Class for Conductors, during which the participants will have an opportunity to finetune their skills at the rostrum. The aptly named marching show “Schladming TATTOO” returns after a 3-year break in its traditional form at Planai Stadion on 15 July, with four great marching beds already signed up to perform. Other popular Mid EUROPE highlights, such as open-air concerts on the main square in Schladming and on the Schlossplatz in Haus im Ennstal, along with the annual music competition “CISM” won’t be missing in 2022 either.

Mid EUROPE – how it all began . . .
In 1997, Schladming was “only the back-up host” for WASBE (Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) and the associated wind-music festival. The mayor at that time, Hermann Kröll, was already extremely enthusiastic and advocated for the event to be continued. Which resulted in the 1st International Mid-Europe Conference for Symphonic Wind Orchestras and Wind Ensembles – a.k.a. Mid EUROPE – taking place in 1998. Prof. Johann Mösenbichler – Artistic Director of Mid EUROPE – has been a part of it all since the very first moment and has made significant contributions to the evolution of this event.

Likewise a component of the festival since 1998 is the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project – WYWOP in short. Young musicians ages 16 to 30 from around the world gather to enjoy an intensive week of music in Schladming, during which they have the opportunity to work closely with international conductors, composers and section coaches. Since the WYWOP is subject to age limits, a counterpart was created in 2017 for adults – the WAWOP (World Adult Wind Orchestra Project). Every year, roughly 70 musicians take part and are coached by Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant.

The “Schladming TATTOO” marching show is one of the highlights for spectators, it being worth noting: in 1998, the marching show still served as the closing ceremony. The combination of music and show components reflects the diversity of wind music, explaining why the “Schladming TATTOO” simply fascinates young and old alike.

The internationality of the participants continues to be a special distinguishing feature of the event. Over 2000 musicians from different nations, including Australia, the USA, Ireland, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and many more, take part in the Mid EUROPE. It is also remarkable that it is an honor for orchestras to participate. They do not receive a fee for their appearances and even bear the associated expenses themselves. That said, Mid EUROPE doesn’t only focus on high-caliber musical performances. It also forges a link between tradition and innovation, promotes regional and international development, and contributes to cultural exchange. In other words, a 25-year success story that will (hopefully) continue for many years to come.

Heartfelt Thanks
To transform a “back-up event” into a major happening in its own right, aside from dedication, creativity and vision, the success story also needs the contribution of many partners and sponsors. In this regard, our heartfelt thanks goes out to the Borough of Schladming, the market town of Haus im Ennstal, the Province of Styria, all sponsors as well as helpers and supporters, participants and visitors – without you, the Schladming-Dachstein Region simply wouldn’t be filled every year with those magnificent sounds of wind music.

Even today, we eagerly look forward to the countless musical highlights of the Mid EUROPE wind-music festival!