Thoughts about the corona crisis

March 26, 2020

Dear friends of our Salzburg Advent Singing!

Last year, when I chose the three words "Don't be afraid!" as title for the Salzburg Jubilee Advent Singing 2020, it was impossible to predict what these words would mean this year. Just a few weeks ago, nobody in Europe had dreamed that the Corona virus, which was rampant in the Far East, would affect the whole world. Now nothing is as it used to be. At the moment, it seems like a powerless fight against an insidious, invisible enemy.

At the same time, the situation reminds me of the comforting Old Testament tradition of the seemingly hopeless fight of the little shepherd David against Goliath, a giant warrior of the enemy Philistines. The young, fearless David, future king of Israel, famously defeated the heavily armed and armored fiend with his simple slingshot.

In a figurative sense, the overpowering virus giant Corona is fighting against the small species human. Seemingly powerless - yet with faith, reason and understanding we will defeat this virus. Everything will be fine.

By the way - at the upcoming anniversary advent singing, Rabbi Jakob will tell his shepherd children this story of David, among other things. Until then - look at yourself, stay healthy and - don't be afraid!

With kind regards

Yours Hans Köhl - Salzburg Advent Singing

Thoughts on the Salzburg Advent Singing 2020

“Don't be afraid!”

This Salzburg Advent Singing Anniversary takes us back mentally to the time around Christ's birth, where we write the year as 3760 according to the Jewish calendar. On the outskirts of Bethlehem, shepherds keep their sheep in the midst of Cypress and Olive groves. The area is considered consecrated and sacred. Here, graze only sheep that are intended for a sacrificial ritual in the temple. Rabbi Jacob, who lives with the shepherds, tells of a promise made by the prophet Isaiah, who said, “Don’t be afraid...”!

A ten day march away from Bethlehem, two Jewish women are immersed in a conversation in Nazareth at the same time. The faithful widow Anna tells her beautiful daughter and temple virgin Mary that she and Joachim were denied the blessings of children for a long time. Because of the great shame, Joachim desperately retreated to the desert to repent. After 40 days, his prayers were answered. An angel appeared to each of them independently and delivered glad tidings, beginning with the words: “Don’t be afraid...”!

These two events are accompanied by music and singing at the start of this new Advent Singing. We go back to the time when people like Rabbi Jacob, the widow Anna, the temple virgin Mary, her kinswoman Elisabeth, the carpenter Joseph or the shepherds all orientated themselves as faithful Jews according to the Tanach. In the context of our Christian traditions, this Advent Singing will be a fascinating imaginary journey into the life and faith of our older Jewish brothers and sisters, from whom Christ was born.

A Salzburg Advent Singing with new ways of thinking, which also in our turbulent times carry within them the persistent power of hope for peace among all people. And this, together with compositions by Shane Woodborne, with music by Tobi Reiser and numerous vocal and folk music treasures from our Alpine culture.

Hans Köhl
Book, programme, overall management

Salzburg Advent Singing 2020

Period of event: 27.11.2020 - 13.12.2020

Performance begins: friday 19.30 , saturday and sunday 14.00 und 17.00 Uhr

Duration of the event: approximately 1,45 hours, no break


How did the Advent Singing begin?

In 1946, the Salzburg Advent Singing was born. Born from the yearning desire for a better, more peaceful world, musicians and singers met Tobi Reiser (1907-1974) in a small meeting room in Salzburg’s Old Town to commemorate the fathers, sons and friends who had not come home from war. It was a silent, devout celebration with familiar songs and sages, heartfelt thoughts, religious folk piety and ancestral customs. That ceremony became an annual tradition and the number of guests rose from year to year. It moved to ever larger premises and fi nally in 1960, into the newly built Large Festival Hall. To-day, this unique „original“ inspires about 36,000 guests from over 40 countries around the world every year.

The Salzburger Advent Singing in the Large ‘Festspielhaus’ is the nucleus of and the big role-model for numerous "Advent Singing" events in the whole German-speaking world. More than 2 million visitors have already visited this unique event during the Salzburger Advent period.

- Hans Köhl -

Whoever comes once, keeps coming back

Although there are 2,200 guests in the hall for each of the 16 performances, one does not feel like being at a huge event. The unique form of the performance, wonderful folk music treasu-res in connection with honest artistic creation, the proximity to the events and the rich experience leading to the birth of the Saviour leave something indescribable - a very special aura of commonality. „Whoever comes once, keeps coming back“, say lots of regular visitors, many of whom are also members of the „Friends of the Salzburger Advent Singing“. At the end of each performance when the guests stand up from their seats and together with around 150 performers sing the devotional Yodel, you can really feel how much magical energy is created by the enigma that is the Salzburger Advent Singing.


Ticket Service Salzburger Advent Singing
Salzburger Heimatwerk - Neue Residenz
A-5010 Salzburg, Residenzplatz 9

+43 (0)662 843 182

Opening times:
Monday to friday: 10.00 to 14.00

Route planning:

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