Salzburg Whitsun Festival:
The Salzburg Whitsun Festival is called Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele and takes place every year at Pentecost. It was founded in 1973 by Herbert von Karajan, the famous conductor and a shaping figure of Salzburg′s musical scene. He also founded the Salzburg Easter Festival, by the way. Like all big things that Karajan did with respect to music, the Pfingstfestspiele were dedicated to the good stuff from the beginning - in this case, to Baroque music.
The Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele were incorporated into the wider family of Salzburg Festivals in 1998. In 2007, Ricardo Muti took charge over the festival and re-aligned them slightly. Well, in fact, he narrowed the focus of the festival down, but not to its disadvantage: The Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele were now dedicated to Napolitan composers. This is of course to some extent to be linked to Muti′s Napolitan upbringen; but also because in the 17th and 18th century, Salzburg and Naples were among the musical centres of Europe (alongside with Vienna, Prague and a dozen of other cities with wealthy courts). Muti wanted to acknowledge this fact without altering the basic ingredients of the Pfingstfestspiele.
He maintained the tradition to open the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele with an opera and close it with some church music. Not only does the city of Salzburg provide the ideal setting for Baroque music. It also comes with the right approach to quality in music performance - and Muti′s sense for fantastic music. This combination has preserved the "inside tip" quality of the Pfingstfestspiele that the festival has had among music aficionados around the World ever since Karajan founded it in 1973. Many of the operas performed at the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele since 2007 had not been played for centuries until then. The performance venues are several concert halls and churches in Salzburg′s Altstadt.
German Wikipedia on the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele