“Fürchte dich nicht!”

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Successful production and lots of positive feedback

General Manager Hans Köhl is delighted with the successful production and the exclusively positive feedback from visitors: “A real treat every year during Advent,” praises one corporate customer. “The Advent Singing is a fixed date before Christmas for us every year,” write regular customers from Germany, describing this year’s work as “the most beautiful and best performance we have ever seen. The choir, the soloists, the musicians … simply everything was magnificent.” – “Congratulations on this successful production! It was again very touching and artistically valuable,” was the tenor of another regular guest. “Fantastic! I came across it by chance on ORF 2 and can’t stop watching it! I’ve never seen, or rather experienced, such a great production of the Christmas story with all its participants! Pure goosebumps!”, reports an enthusiastic viewer from Burgenland.

Thoughts on the Salzburg Advent Singing 2024

This Salzburg Jubilee Advent Singing takes us back in time to the birth of Christ. The year is 3760 according to the Jewish calendar. On the outskirts of Bethlehem, shepherds tend their sheep in the midst of cypress and olive groves. The area is considered sacred and holy. Only sheep intended for a sacrificial ritual in the temple graze here. Rabbi Jacob, who lives with the shepherds, recounts a promise made by the prophet Isaiah, who said: „Fürchte dich nicht…!“

Ten days’ march from Bethlehem, two Jewish women are engrossed in a conversation at the same time in Nazareth. Anna, a widow with a strong faith, tells her beautiful daughter and temple maiden Mary that she and Joachim were denied a child for a long time. Because of this serious disgrace, Joachim desperately withdrew into the desert to do penance. After 40 days, his prayers were answered. An angel appeared to them both independently of each other. He brought good news, beginning with the words: „Fürchte dich nicht…!“

This is just a very small insight into a newly structured, eventful Advent story that has once again become a harmonious whole with lots of music and singing. I can already say this much: with all our great singers, musicians, performers and shepherd children, it will once again be a heart-warming Advent song that, if we allow it, will touch our innermost being with the power of silence and the mystery of divine love. These two events, accompanied by music and song, will mark the beginning of this jubilee Advent carol service. We will go back to the time when people such as Rabbi Jacob, the widow Anna, the temple maiden Mary, her base Elizabeth, the carpenter Joseph and the shepherds all followed the Hebrew Bible as believing Jews. In the context of our Christian traditions, this Advent singing will be a fascinating imaginary journey into the world of life and faith of our Jewish sisters and brothers, from whom Christ was born. A Salzburg Advent carol with new ways of thinking, which even in our turbulent times carries the persistent power of hope for peace among people.

Review in pictures

That was the Salzburg Advent Singing 2023!

Leading Team


Hans Köhl

has been the main director of the Salzburg Advent Festival since the turn of the millennium. He, who is also the managing director of the organizer “Kulturwerk Salzburg”, is responsible for all aspects of this successful cultural event.
Every year, he conceives new scenic-musical complete works, writes the books, takes care of the folk music components and develops new complete works in close cooperation with the respective composer. Tireless striving for new ways of thinking and creative implementations incorporating valuable traditions are the driving forces behind his successful work.
Conscious of his responsible, traditional heritage, the Salzburg native from the Styrian Enns Valley sets the highest possible artistic standards for himself and all those involved. Under his leadership, the Salzburg Advent Singing always surprises with new experiences of the Advent event surrounding the divine miracle of the Nativity.

Shane Woodborne

Studied cello and piano in Cape Town, South Africa and at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. During his studies, he increasingly devoted himself to composition. He was commissioned to write works for the Beethoven-Gesellschaft Bremen, the Zeitfluss-Festival Salzburg, Jeunesse and the Lindesnes Chamber Music Festival Norway, among others. These include works for choir and orchestra as well as song cycles, solo works and chamber music. The musician and composer has been a member of the Camerata Salzburg since 1992.Shane Woodborne has composed numerous musical works for the Salzburg Advent Singing such as “Da hat vor dem Stall der Äpfibam bliaht” (1999, 2007 new version), „Siehe ich bin des Herren Magd“ (2002), „Maria“ (2009), „Sehnsucht“ (2013), „Schnee in Bethlehem“ (2015), „Der blinde Hirte“ (2017), „Fürchte dich nicht!“ (2020/2021), „Schnee in Bethlehem!“ (2022 Neufassung), „Fürchte dich nicht!“ (2023 new version)

Herbert Böck

First musical training as a Viennese choirboy – soprano soloist. Studied conducting, oboe, composition and music education at the Vienna University of Music. 1985-1989 solo oboist with the Vienna RSO. 1989-1998 artistic director of the Vienna Singakademie with conducting duties at the Vienna concert hall.
Chief conductor of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra, artistic director of the Concentus Vocalis, since 1995 professor of choral and ensemble conducting at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Founded the Mozarteum University Chamber Choir in 2007.
Collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic Wind Ensemble, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, Orchestra Santa Cecilia die Roma, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra Ljubljana, Radio Orchestra Budapest, Symphony Orchestra Latvia, RIAS Chamber Choir Berlin, Berlin Radio Choir, MDR Choir Leipzig, WDR Choir Cologne, among others. Numerous concert tours throughout Europe, to Russia, Israel and the USA. 

Herbert Böck has been a congenial conductor for the Salzburg Advent Singing since 2001, who appreciates and respects folk music as a basis and for whom working with choirs is a much-loved task.

Gerda Gratzer

Gerda Gratzer celebrated her debut as an acting director at the Salzburg Advent Festival in 2022. The sensitive artist grew up in Carinthia and studied musicology, ethnology, cultural management and acting in Graz and Salzburg.

She directed the International Music Weeks in Millstatt and was managing director of the Prima la Musica youth music competition in Salzburg. Finally, she devoted herself entirely to theater and founded the Theater Panoptikum and the Theater der Freien Elemente, participated in 30 productions as an actress and has directed 25 plays to date.

Recently, the play developments “Geht’s noch?” and “Komm, süßer Erfolg!” as well as the productions “Drei Mal Leben” by Yasmina Reza, “Der thermale Widerstand” by Ferdinand Schmalz and “Glück” by Kateřina Černá could be experienced at ARGEkultur Salzburg. Under her direction, the crime comedy “Acht Frauen” was a resounding success at the “Lungauer” Theater Mokrit in 2022.

Gerda Gratzer is also a systemic therapist with her own practice.


Hellmut Hölzl

has been giving the Salzburg Advent Festival an unmistakable corporate design with his costume designs for many years. As the former head of the men’s tailoring department at the Salzburg Festival for many years, he is a master of perfection. Each production requires new costumes that correspond to the current directorial concept and, above all, support the personality of the performers.
The costumes are precisely tailored to the characters of the respective actors, shepherd children and singers and are handmade. “This task at the Salzburg Advent Singing is particularly intensive but also interesting and a great challenge for a classical costume designer,” says Hellmut Hölzl.




Brigitte Schiebler

In Salzburg-based Brigitte Schiebler, design, cut and draft director, is celebrating her debut as costume and make-up designer at the Salzburg Advent Festival this year. In her studio, she creates magical, tailor-made models in all styles. www.zauberhaft-salzburg.com

Dietmar Solt

Born in Salzburg, he studied stage and costume design at the Mozarteum University under Heinz Bruno Gallee. Assistant and subsequently independent stage and costume designer at the opera houses of New York, San Francisco; London, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Berlin and others, regionally at the Danube Festival, Art Concerts, Wagner Festivals Wels, Opera Festival Jennersdorf and others.

Since 2001, he has been developing the stage sets for the Salzburg Advent Singing in the Great Festival Hall. He incorporates his international experience into the realization of the new requirements. With the help of his highly motivated team, fascinating spaces and venues are created. The immensely wide but not very deep space in front of the “Iron Curtain” of the Great Festival Hall has to be adapted to the scenes and accompanied in a supportive and seemingly imperceptible way. Due to the new productions of the Salzburg Advent Singing every year, a new stage interpretation is always required.


Work 2023


People and their actors

Eva Maria Schinwald

celebrated her stage debut in 2013 with the leading role in the contemporary opera “Die Kavalleristin” by Adriaan de Wit. In 2014, she was engaged for the first time in the Salzburg Advent Singing “Der Sterngucker” at the Großes Festspielhaus/Salzburg as “Maria”. In 2017, she delighted the audience in the work “Der blinde Hirte” as a soprano in the role of the angel. In 2021, Eva Maria Schinwald enchanted audiences as an actress and soloist in the role of “Maria” in the anniversary Advent Singing (without an audience due to coronavirus), was seen as “Maria” in the work “Snow in Bethlehem” in 2022 and will also delight audiences in this role this year.

Concert tours have taken the lyric soprano to Germany, the Hugo Wolf Festival in Slovenia and to London, where she sang J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion with the Salzburg Bach Society and the Baroque Orchestra of the Royal School of Music. She has also appeared in numerous staged productions at the Salzburg State Theater and the Salzburg Festival.

Eva Schinwald completed her master’s degree in singing at the Mozarteum Salzburg with distinction. She completed international master classes with Horiana Branisteanu, Edda Moser, Helena Lazarska, Margreet Honig, Gerhard Kahry and Wolfgang Holzmair.

Bernhard Teufl (Tenor)

received lessons in clarinet and singing at the Musikum Salzburg for many years and graduated with honors in both subjects. He studied genetics and theology at the University of Salzburg and singing at the Mozarteum University, was a member of the Salzburg Bach Choir and has already taken part in many opera performances and concerts at the Salzburg Festival, the Mozart Week and the Easter Festival. Furthermore, he has been a regular soloist at concerts and masses in many churches in Salzburg and beyond.
Bernhard Teufl has been impressively singing and playing the role of “Josef” at the Salzburg Advent Singing since 2007 and was rewarded with thunderous applause at his 200th solo performance at the Great Festival Hall in Salzburg in 2019.


Elisabeth Eder (Sopran)

Elisabeth Eder, soprano and harpist from Salzburg, has embodied the role of the angel as a soprano soloist since 2018. She enjoyed her artistic, pedagogical, scientific and musicophysiological training (concert subject, IGP studies, teaching degree, music physiology, university didactics, PhD studies) at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, the Paris Lodron University Salzburg, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (all eight degrees or academic degrees with distinction as well as two university courses). She completed her vocal studies with Norbert Prasser and John Thomasson.
She demonstrates her versatility as a soloist, chamber musician and with various orchestras and choirs at national and international level. Highlights of her artistic career include 1st prizes at international and national competitions on the harp, concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, an invitation to Edinburgh in 2020 to represent Austria as a singer at the Young Professionals’ Program as part of the Eurovox Congress, scholarships and awards at the respective universities, the doctorate Sub Auspiciis as well as the presentation of the Award of Excellence in December 2022 for the best dissertations in Austria and numerous concert tours to major concert halls in Europe (including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Barbican Hall London, Verona Opera and Milan). Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Barbican Hall London, Verona Opera and Milan, St. Petersburg State Academic Capella and many more).)
Elisabeth Eder teaches singing and pedagogical-scientific courses at the Mozarteum University Salzburg.

Martina Gmeinder (Mezzosopran)

The mezzo-soprano Martina Gmeinder touches people deeply with her warm, sonorous timbre, which is balanced in all registers. She is convinced that just a few notes can make the world a little brighter. Her interpretations are characterized by great musicality and charisma; the audience always has an inspiring effect on her.
Martina Gmeinder has a broad repertoire in the oratorical field.
Her passion is the piano song of the 19th to 21st centuries. This includes first and world premieres. Her artistic career has taken her from Europe to Japan. Martina Gmeinder has been a soloist in the role of Elisabeth at the Salzburg Advent Singing since 2018.

Marcella Theresa Wieland

Her passion for theater sparked the “Theater Mokrit” of the Lungau Cultural Association in 2012. Since then, she has performed in many productions such as Tannöd, Ein Jedermann, 8 women and many more.

She has been on stage with the ensemble for puppet and children’s theater since 2018 and goes on tour throughout Austria with changing productions. The “Theater Mokrit” and the Lungau Cultural Association around Robert Wimmer have always promoted and supported her passion for theater. The cultural association is her valuable source of inspiration and employer. Marcella Wieland will complete her training as a theater educator in Innsbruck in spring 2023.

Marcella Wieland began her professional career as a family helper, where she also worked for many years. She went on to qualify as a non-medical practitioner in Munich. After spending time in South Africa and the city of Salzburg, she moved to “Salzburger Lungau” in 2008. She runs a practice in Unternberg and offers individual coaching sessions as well as the “Mentoring for Women” workshop, which she also holds regularly in the city of Salzburg.


Edwin Hochmuth (Bariton)

He grew up in the Zillertal in Tyrol and graduated from the Sachers drama school in Innsbruck in 2006. After that, he had numerous engagements in Tyrol, South Tyrol and Switzerland. Important engagements include the Kellertheater Innsbruck, the Tiroler Volksschauspiele in Telfs, the Tiroler Landestheater and the Theater in der Effingerstraße in Bern. Edwin has also appeared in front of the camera several times, including in “K2 der Schicksalsberg” – “Das Programm” – “Rise up and Dance” and “Zersplitterte Nacht”.[/caption]

Edwin Hochmuth is also a qualified social worker. However, his passion clearly lies in theater and the stage. In summer 2019, he took to the stage at the Telfser Volksschauspielen. He has been part of the Salzburg Advent Singing with interruptions since 2012 and has become a favorite of the shepherd children in recent years, which is why he is once again in close contact with the children this year as Rabbi Jakob. Edwin describes himself as an all-rounder and is a likeable team player.


Salzburg shepherd children
Lena Bernhofer (contrabass)
Lisa Brunauer (flute)
Julia Burkali (violin)
Vinzent Fernsebner (flugelhorn)
Hannah Marie Fuchs (violin)
Marlene Fuchsberger (dulcimer)
Franziska Gwechenberger (harp)
Mia Karl (guitar)
Luisa Kober (violin)
Niklas Mischkulnig (violin)
Benjamin Nagl (trombone)
Jana Neuherz (flute)
Paul Pühringer (klarinet)
Sophia Rosenberger (violin)
Rebekka Singer (klarinet)
Philipp Stadler (harmonica)
Marie Juliane Stöger (klarinet)

v.l.n.r.: Markus Helminger, Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly, Hildegard Stofferin, Gerda Gratzer, Hans Köhl, Edwin Hochmuth (not in the picture)

Vocal ensembles

Der Salzburger Volksliedchor

80 Sängerinnen und Sänger 

Einstudierung, Lg: Burgi Vötterl

The Salzburg Folk Song Choir has been an important pillar of the Salzburg Advent Singing since 1950. Generations of excellent singers have borne and continue to bear witness to the high vocal quality of this traditional ensemble.

The Dengg family is now the third generation of the Dengg family to lead the choir. Sepp Dengg since 1950, Harald Dengg since 1972 and his daughter Burgi Dengg since 2001. The organizational management has been in the capable hands of Berta Wagner since 2007.

Under the direction of Herbert Böck (since 2001), this choir community of around 80 participants blossoms into a very special top form every year in the Great Festival Hall.



Once again this year, the High C vocal ensemble will delight us with a changing quartet line-up at the Salzburg Advent Festival. The singers impress with their special sound spectrum ranging from cultivated Renaissance works to folk music and “crispy” pop arrangements.
Concert tours have taken the ensemble to South Africa, Germany, Italy, Finland, Croatia and Canada in recent years. At the largest choir competition in the world, the World Choir Games in Riga, the ensemble was able to impress in the Male Vocal Ensemble category and was named “WORLD CHOIR CHAMPION”. The ensemble was also awarded a gold medal (Musica Sacra acapella) and a silver medal (Folklore).

v. l. Tobias Kremshuber (baritone)
Johannes Schmidhuber (tenor)
Valentin Stemeseder (baritone)
Bernhard Ainz (baritone)
Benedikt Gurtner (tenor)
Florian Schneider (bass)
Tobias Widhalm (bass)



We are delighted that the CMM vocal ensemble with Christina Standl (soprano), Maria Brunauer (alto) and Marlene Schuen (mezzo-soprano) will be back on stage this year after their fantastic debut last year.

Christina Standl, soprano

Christina Standl comes from Nußdorf am Haunsberg and is musically active mainly with her sisters, the 3mäderlhausgsang. Apart from singing, she plays the flute in the traditional music band and the dulcimer and guitar in the family ensemble.

Marlene Schuen, mezzosoprano
Singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer. Born in the middle of the Ladin Dolomites, she went to Innsbruck and Munich to study and now lives in Munich again after a stay in Berlin. After international concert tours with various artists, including Hubert von Goisern, she founded her own band “Ganes”.

v. l. Marlene Schuen (mezzosoprano), Maria Brunauer (alto) Christina Standl (soprano)

Maria Brunauer, alto
Having grown up with traditional Austrian folk music, the mezzo-soprano studied concert singing and vocal pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. Since graduating, she has worked as a freelance opera singer, teaches singing at the University of Augsburg and is a member of the Bavarian Radio Concert Choir.


f.l. Johannes Rohrer (zither)
LG: Reinhold Schmid (guitar)
Ingeborg Weber (harp)
Elisabeth Neureiter (dulcimer)
Elisabeth Weber (orgelportativ)
Magdalena Kufer (contrabass)

v. l.

Gundl Aggermann (flute)
Burgi Vötterl (violin)
Timea Laczkò-Tòth (cello)
Andrea Brucker (viola)
Lg: Maria Dengg (violin)
Magdalena Kufer (contrabass)

v.l. Erwin  Wendl (trombone)
Hans Gerl (horn)
Christina Eberl (trumpet; flugelhorn)
Christian Sperl (horn)
Lg: Horst Hofer (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Thomas Höger (trombone)

Lg: Gottfried Linsinger (oboe, cor anglais),
Gerti Hollweger (bassoon),
Anton Gmachl (klarinet)

Technology & equipment

Lg: Hubert Schwaiger
Light-Inspiciency: Thomas Herbst

Hans Köhl
Gerda Gratzer
Hubert Schwaiger

Lg: Edwin Pfanzagl-Cardone

Lg: Helmut Schauer

Joinery Alfred Laserer, Gosau

Ticketservice & Administration

Das Ticketservice-Team

under the management of Gertraud Ainz does a great job every year. Always polite and courteous, they make every effort to fulfill the wishes of the 36,000 or so visitors to the Advent Festival each year. A recent visitor survey attests to the ticket service team’s very high satisfaction ratings!

v.l.n.r.: Elisavet Anagnostou, Regina Strübler,  Gertraud Ainz

Stefan Sperr

is responsible for accounting, controlling and IT matters. His decades of experience as head of this important administrative area and his financial expertise are of particular value to the Salzburg Advent Festival.

Hans Köhl

has been the main director of the Salzburg Advent Festival since the turn of the millennium. He, who is also Managing Director of the organizer “Kulturwerk Salzburg”, is responsible for all aspects of this successful cultural event.

Residenzplatz 9
A – 5010 Salzburg