Berlin finds new excuses for quitting Salzburg

Berlin finds new excuses for quitting Salzburg


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2011

The new intendant of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Martin Hoffmann, has been explaining their departure from the Salzburg Easter Festival. The festival, he said, was no longer following Herbert von Karajan’s founding principles and the offer from Baden-Baden was not only ‘richer’ but allowed the orchestra to perform at lower ticket prices.

You can read the interview in German here.

I have three questions for Herr Hoffmann (and for Sir Simon, who’s in the same frame):


– if Salzburg Easter has junked Karajan’s principles, why did Berlin beg for a three-year renewal only last year?

– wasn’t Salzburg also about to introduce lower ticket prices?

– isn’t is a major moral lapse for an artistic ensemble to renege on a performing contract as soon as a better offer transpires?

Answers on a tweet, if you please.