Just in: Salzburg Festival names new chief

Just in: Salzburg Festival names new chief


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2021

The Board of the Salzburg Festival has unanimously chosen Kristina Hammer to be the new president of the Salzburg Festival.

A German-Swiss with long-standing Salzburg links, Hammer’s concept and connections won her the post, in succession to the long-serving Helga Rabl-Stadler.

‘The decision to appoint Kristina Hammer the new president of the Salzburg Festival is a conscious step taken by the Board in order to further internationalize the Salzburg Festival, to secure, hone and expand the special radiance associated with the Salzburg Festival brand and demonstrate the determination to rise to and master new challenges facing the Salzburg Festival as the world’s leading classical three-genre festival. Her successful career, her ability to integrate, her long-term connection with the Salzburg Festival and her cultural track record as a board member of the Friends of the Zurich Opera convinced us to make this decision,’ said local governor Wilfried Haslauer.

Hammer’s company CV reads as follows:

Dr Kristina Hammer has been in leading international marketing and public relations management positions for more than 15 years.

The early years of her professional life were spent at Gerngross, Austria’s largest department store chain in the 1990s. Kristina was in charge of concept development and later also responsible as managing director for “Steffls”, Vienna’s most prestigious luxury department store. From 2000 onward, she spent seven years in England working for Premier Automotive Group (Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Volvo), then also worked for the parent company Ford starting in 2006. She then headed the global Marketing Communications Team at Mercedes-Benz motor cars at their corporate headquarters in Stuttgart from 2007 to 2009. At the end of that year she founded her own consulting company: HammerSolutions, an internationally active brand consulting firm based in Herrliberg/Zurich, Switzerland. Ms. Hammer has also been a supervisory board member at Switzerland’s biggest ski manufacturer, Stöckli Swiss Sports AG.



  • caranome says:

    it’s all about luxury brand management. Just like a watch, perfume, handbag, car, jewelry. The music/art is just the entertainment to draw the global beautiful, fur-draped, bejewelled glitterati in so their pics can be in the media to be mutually admired when they see each other again in a yacht off Cannes.

    • MJA says:

      What a clichéd set of responses so far. I sometimes wonder, judging from the ill-willed nastiness of some contributors, whether they actually care for music or for its institutions. I don’t do a “yacht off Cannes” nor am I “bejewelled” or “fur-draped” – and nor have I seen many such at Salzburg, where I often spend my hard-earned money to go for some memorable music-making. Unlike some, I don’t get free tickets, either. I wish Dr Hammer well.

  • Gustavo says:

    What a timely CV!

    Yes, classical music is a luxury good reserved for a spoilt minority.

    Like fancy clothes, cars and champagne.

    • Patrick Gillot says:

      Classical music is not reserved to a spoilt minority. Just go and hear your local musicians. Salzburg is of course expensive. Same with sport or any other activities .

  • Piano Lover says:

    I don’t see anything related to music in her CV???
    “” concept development “”
    “”managing director for “Steffls”, Vienna’s most prestigious luxury department store. “”
    “” working for Premier Automotive Group””
    “”global Marketing Communications Team at Mercedes-Benz motor cars
    “”supervisory board member at Switzerland’s biggest ski manufacturer, “”
    And finally-last but not least:

    “Founded her own consulting company””
    The usual blabla in PR people.
    Wow-can she read music?

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Her predecessor was head of the tourist board.

      • Jonathan Sutherland says:

        Not quite.
        Immediately prior to her appointment as President of the Salzburg Festival in 1995, Helga Rabl-Stadler was President and Financial Advisor of the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce.
        She was formerly a journalist with the Viennese daily newspaper Kurier, which just goes to show it is not only mendacious, ego-maniac Daily Telegraph hacks who can attain the lofty heights of their particular Parnassus.

      • Piano Lover says:

        You don’t say!

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Piano Lover makes a valid point. Madame Hammer’s CV is awash with marketing experience ranging from skis to expensive auto mobiles and even a department store.
      Perhaps Mrs Slocombe should be slated as the next CEO of Covent Garden?

    • Bill says:

      You’ve misunderstood the job. Her role is not artistic in nature, but rather all of the other things that must go smoothly to make the performances possible.

    • henry williams says:

      has she any knowledge of music.
      it does not seem like it.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    Wise of the Governor to specify that it was a ‘conscious’ decision. Otherwise, one might have assumed that it was made unconciously.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Povera Bartoli!!

  • Peter says:

    What are her BLM-credentials?

  • Herman says:

    They didn’t go all multicultural and name someone called Shakila Amal Jackson?

  • erich says:

    Let’s give the lady a chance. It is fortuitous that the recent scandals surrounding the corrupt and mendacious ruling party ÖVP, both in Austria as a whole and in Salzburg, prevented them
    from infiltrating one of their puppets into the Presidential office. There were several ghastly candidates more than willing to sell their souls (assuming they had them) to get the job, but they have now been thwarted. Gott sei Dank!