Salzburg revives the dead to run its Easter Fest

They’ve announced the new boss to succeed Peter Alward, who is stepping down from the Karajan Inc. enterprise next July.

The suit they’ve picked is Peter Ruzicka, who was a deadly-dull artistic director of the summer festival from 2001-2006 and was then shoved off gently to the eternal Valhalla of the Munich Biennale.

But Ruzicka, 66, is a master fixer – also a composer and conductor – and those types keep popping up well past their sell-by. Lucky old Salzburg.




Peter Ruzicka zum neuen Allein-Geschäftsführer der Osterfestspiele Salzburg ab 1. Juli 2015 bestellt



Salzburg, 24. Oktober 2014



Die Generalversammlung der Osterfestspiele Salzburg hat in ihrer Sitzung am 24. Oktober 2014 Peter Ruzicka zum neuen Alleinge­schäftsführer der Osterfestspiele Salzburg ab 1. Juli 2015 bestellt.


Peter Ruzicka konnte sich nach einer internationalen Ausschreibung in einem mehrstufigen Auswahlverfahren gegenüber weiteren hochkarätigen Bewerberinnen und Bewerbern durch­setzen und überzeugte die Generalversammlung durch seine Vorstellungen zur Zukunft der Osterfestspiele Salzburg.


Der Komponist, Dirigent und Jurist Peter Ruzicka kann auf eine langjährige internationale Karriere nicht zuletzt als Intendant der Salzburger Festspiele von 2001 bis 2006 und als Künstlerischer Leiter der Münchener Biennale von 1996 bis 2014 zurückblicken.


Die Gesellschafter der Osterfestspiele (Stiftung Herbert von Karajan Osterfestspiele Salzburg, Verein der Förderer der Osterfestspiele in Salzburg, Land Salzburg, Stadt Salzburg, Salzburger Land Tourismus GmbH) freuen sich sehr, mit Peter Ruzicka eine angesehene und kompetente Persönlichkeit von internationalem Format gefunden zu haben, die den erfolgreichen Neustart der Osterfestspiele Salzburg unter ihrem Künstlerischen Leiter Christian Thielemann und mit der Staatskapelle Dresden fortsetzen wird.


Geschäftsführer Dkfm. Bernd Gaubinger wird dankenswerterweise seine Tätigkeit noch bis einschließlich 31. Dezember 2015 fortführen, um einen fließenden Übergang zu gewährleisten.


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  • PR is not only a dull artistic director, but a very pretentious modernist ‘composer’, wallowing in German Nachkriegsschuldbewältigungsmusik (a modernist German is a morally good German, since their musical tradition has been associated with crime). Nodboy wants to play this stuff, except when obliged in some forced circumstance. I remember a concert he conducted in Amsterdam with the KCO at which he thought it appropriate to present one of his pieces. Before beginning to conduct it, he turned to the audience and gave a lecture upon the work, to be sure people were duly impressed in advance. His writings about contemporary music are unreadable and when you pierce through the quasi-profound word mist, you find that he does not want to offer any aesthetic position that could be criticised.

    The Salzburg Festival would deserve better. Probably nobody capable wanted the job.

  • From what I hear, the man is a complete Thielemann stooge and Thielemann made it clear he would not accept other candidates. It seems a very retrogade step – but which modern arts managers would be willing to put up with Thielemann’s behaviour. There is a trail (the latest being Serge Dorny) of managers who have fallen foul of the Maestro and presumably Ruzicka will just do his bidding. Sad.

  • Frankly why Thielemann has invokes such kowtowing is beyond me – every interpretation I have heard of his, with the possible exception of his Elektra, was boring, overblown and all about him. Yes, the sound he obtains is rich and sumptuous in that satisfying old Mitteleuropaisch way, but where is the finesse, the subtlety, the collaborative spirit with singers etc etc?

  • He appeals to a certain type of audience. Mainly wealthy, mainly elderly, mainly deeply conservative. He is a fine orchestral trainer, can deliver major interpretations, if in a very limited repertoire, and has a certain type of charisma which leads those sort of people to a rather unhealthy form of hero worship. Anyone attending a concert of his in the Vienna Musikverein or Vienna opera could be forgiven for thinking that the clock had been turned back around 75 years and to a different kind of audience reacting in a similar way!

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