Two years later, Gidon Kremer gave a warm-up concert in Lockenhaus on the eve of his major Viennese premiere. Kremer had been returning every year since then. He often invited fellow Russian musicians to participate in Lockenhaus Concerts with him, including David Geringas, Andrei Gavrilov, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and Oleg Maisenberg.
In 1981, Josef Herowitsch persuaded Kremer (who were looking for a spot to organize a chamber music festival) to co-found a summer international Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, with concerts hosted at St. Nikolaus' Church and the well-preserved medieval Burg Lockenhaus castle. The festival aimed to present chamber music for small audiences in a less commercial, more academic setting. Gidon Kremer became an Artistic Director, while Herowitsch served as the festival administrator. By 1987, Lockenhaus expanded to a European tour and US concert at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York.