A memento of Salzburg’s forlorn reformer

The Telegraph is the first English-language newspaper to publish an obituary of Hans Landesmann, the Vienna businessman who did his best to cleanse the Salzburg stables after the 30-year Herbert von Karajan regime.

We mention the publication for two reasons: it uses a unique picture (below) of two fine men on the ramparts conversing in Hungarian; and it notifies us of the death, a month earlier, of Elaine Landesmann, Hans’s gentle and charming life partner. May they rest in peace.


Hans Landesmann with György Ligeti, Salzburg, August 1993. photo (c) Marion Kalter/Lebrecht Music&Arts


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  • What do you mean by ‘cleanse the Salzburg stables’ ? With all due respect to Hans Landesmann how do you credit policy decisions between Landesmann, who was the concerts and business manager and Gerard Mortier who was Intendant ?

      • Norman,

        to set the record straight: Landesmann was the instrumental member of the search committee (Findungskommission) that proposed the appointment of Mortier to the Festival’s board. Consecutively the same committee ( with Landesmann as member) proposed Landesmann’s appointment.

  • Thank you but you didn’t answer either question. Their ‘falling out’ as I remember didn’t happen until Mortier’s penultimate year as intendant.

    • I did. Hans did the groundwork, cleared out the HvK crowd, brought in new corporate sponsors, started the engagement with contemporary music, all while Gerard was still feeling his way in.

  • From what of seen of the nonsense productions of Mozart that have come out of Salzburg in recent years, the stables could do with another cleansing.

  • Well said, DavisA. The grotesque productions of the wretched Klaus Guth have disastrously sullied Salzburg’s reputation. Time for a return to the traditional way of doing things.

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