The festival was founded in 1986. At the beginning the focus of the festival was on the improvement of the cultural relations between eastern and western Europe. Every year an east-european country was partner of the festival, beginning with Hungary in 1986. Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union followed. So the festival became a place, were one could see artists from east and west, especially of the partner-countries and of East-Germany. Among the artists of the first years were Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Boris Pergamenschikow and Svjatoslav Richter. After the fall of the iron curtain the festival turned to a world-wide view with partner-countries in whole Europe, North America and China. Every summer around 50 concerts are attracting about 30 000 visitors. The occurring interpreters are a mixture of well-known international stars like Cecilia Bartoli, Arcadi Volodos, Fazil Say or Grigory Sokolov, and newcomers, who often later have made a great career too, like Lang Lang, Diana Damrau or David Garrett.