Changes at the top in Salzburg

The regional governor has decided to separate the presidency of the festival from its commercial management.

The president Helga Rabl-Stadler has held both roles since 2011. Her term ends in September 2017. Both her position and the commercial director’s are to be advertised immediately.

The festival will also be losing its executive director, Stefan Mehrens, who departs at the end of June.

Regime change is in the Salzburg air.

helga rabl-stadler

Rabl-Stader, 67, has been president since 1995, steering the festival through the second half of the turbulent Mortier decade into a period of alternate dreariness and elevation.


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  • It is high time Rabl gave up tbe finance portfolio – she was heavily overparted and overburdened with it. Her great strength is fund-raising, which Markus Hinterhäuser will need desperately, since this is not his skill.
    Austrian law dictates that the position of President needs to be advertised, although it seems more than unlikely that Rabl will not be asked – and want – to continue, in order to be at the helm for the 2020 centenary. The others currently mentioned as alternatives seem generally to be an unimpressive bunch.

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