All change at Karajan Inc.

All change at Karajan Inc.


norman lebrecht

February 05, 2020

The conductor’s widow Eliette, 80, has stepped down as head of the foundation that sustains the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Her place will be taken by her daughters, Isabel and Arabel von Karajan.


  • PHF says:

    His daughter and grandaughter in the photo above? If you know what I mean…

  • Tristan says:

    ‘The conductor’s widow Eliette, 80, has stepped down as head of the foundation that sustains the Salzburg Easter Festival’
    ALL WRONG, not only is Madame Karajan older than 80 but the loyal patrons of the Festival sustain the event that will finally get a professional management in 2023 when the highly successful Nikolaus Bachler – currently heading Munich Opera which most probably has become the best in the world due to his and Kiril Petrenko’s stewardship – will introduce an ardently wished facelift – that is the talk in Salzburg as Thielemann doesn’t sell well….

    • Max Grimm says:

      Regarding Eliette von Karajan, she is not older than 80. She was born on the 13. August 1939.

    • Olassus says:

      Bachler can’t raise money, and his record of nearly three dozen useless stagings in Munich ensures he will fail with the Salzburg public and Land officials — even if he did recruit Petrenko, indulge top singers at the massively funded company, and help Arabel and Isabel fit in with Munich’s “visual” crowd at the countless shallow premieres.

      So please kiss where you need to on payroll, but spare the smart readers here your empty hype.

      • erich says:

        This is all well and good and Bachler will have to prove himself very quickly if the Easter Festival is to survive. It’s dubious if the two daughters are any more prepared to open their cheque books than their famously tight—fisted mother (who, by the way, is 84 and no longer really compos mentis).An annual change of orchestra/ conductor in residence (one hears that in 2024 it will be Pappano with St.Cecilia) will maybe not please all the sponsors. One thing however needs to be said: the way the Dresdner Staatskapelle have been treated is an absolute disgrace, since they saved the Festival after Rattle and the avaricious Berliners answered the siren call from Baden-Baden. The jury is out on this change of direction and Bachler will need all the luck in the world to make it work.

        • Olassus says:

          Well, Pappano/S.Cecilia are junk compared with Karajan/BPO, the combo that justified the festival in 1967.

          And Pappano/S.Cecilia perform everywhere, whereas Karajan/BPO in opera was unique to Salzburg at Easter.

          So, “maybe not please all the sponsors” is the kindest of understatements on your part — which is not to say Bachler’s judgment and the lying “communications” brownnose under him will not speed the demise.

          I fully agree about the treatment of the Dresden musicians and of Christian Thielemann. Disgraceful. Blame:

          1. the idiot now in charge of marketing the Osterfestspiele Salzburg for continually failing to price and sell properly,

          2. his boss, the non-manager now managing the Osterfestspiele, and

          3. the politician-fool Wilfried Haslauer.

        • Tristan says:

          why disgrace? Didn’t just their chief behave disgracefully like he did wherever he has been before? One should listen to the orchestra….
          Salzburg just terminated the contract, right?
          Looking at the Festival‘s website shows that all the concerts they offer are poorly sold! No demand for Thielemann or the failure of Peter Ruzicka? What would we do under such circumstances? Change the team or keep losing audiences?

    • Tamino says:

      You know… in the world of the arts, there is never anyone „best in the world“ for longer than one final applause (and an apres opera dinner). One has to earn the audience‘s appreciation every performance anew.
      Any manager in the classical world worth their money knows that.
      Or they should switch to professional sports. There we have actual world championships.

  • Sounds wonderful that Karajan’s two daughters are undertaking to keep the Karajan legacy.

    • Anon says:

      Sounds wonderful that you, Pil Lee Orbison. A notorious ‘vexatious litigant’ of the state of California in ‘Contra Costa County’ will be in jail soon for harassment and not paying taxes that you owe millions of dollars to the government! finally! 😀