The Zurich Festival is a long series of cultural events that is held for about a month, from June to July, in Switzerland’s cultural capital. Visitors get to experience some of the most sophisticated forms of performing and visual arts as three top art institutions are highlighted – opera house, concert hall and art gallery.
Every summer, while the flowers are in bloom, the cosmopolitan city of Zurich celebrates its propensity for fine art. Different cultural venues, as well as outdoor locations are set up for various performances of classical music, opera, drama, ballet and other forms of dance. Museums and galleries also feature exhibits both of contemporary and historical works of art.
Zurich itself is the perfect place to host such a festival. Fine art is like a way of life in this city, with its more than 30 museums, an opera house, the Schauspielhaus theater, and its own orchestra called the Tonhalle. Dadaist paintings can also be found in the Zurich Art Gallery, because the art movement itself originated here.
There’s definitely plenty to see and hear during the festival. It is one of the best occasions to enjoy music from classical greats such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich. Among the renowned musicians who have performed concerts at the Zurich Festival are Mikhail Pletnev, Howard Griffiths, Larissa Gerieva, Elisabeth Leonskaja, the Borodin Quartet, the Alan Berg Quartet, and Mstislav Rostropovitch.
Previous festivals have also highlighted symphonies by Bruckner at the Tonhalle and Robert Lepage’s multimedia production of ‘Far Side of the Moon’ at the Schiffbau Theater. The Opera House, meanwhile, has featured works by Puccini and Verdi.
You will see, when you visit Zurich, how the metropolis is steeped in both old world culture and trendy lifestyles. Everywhere in the city, you will spot art masterpieces and beautiful architecture side by side with urban establishments featuring chic fashion and gourmet food.
Among the popular ways to go around the city during the Zurich Festival is by rented bicycle. You can also ask about the ZurichCard that allows free travel by bus, train, tram or boat, and gives free access to museums as well as a significant discount on a guided tour through the Old Town.
The Zurich festival happens for more than three weeks every year, spanning the summer months of June and July. A lot of the shows require ticket purchase but there are also some that have free admission. You can find out more about the Zurich Festival on their official website (in German).