Salzburg Festival strips president of public role

Salzburg Festival strips president of public role


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2023

The Board of Trustees of the Salzburg Festival decided yesterday to relieve its president Kristina Hammer of respnsibility for press and media. The sole public face of the festival in future will be that of the artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser.

There are external concerns that Hinterhäuser already holds too much power, especially in his uncritical support for such Putin-linked artists as Teodor Currentzis.


  • Alviano says:

    Forget Putin. The festival under Hinterhäuser becomes less interesting (and more exprnsive) every year.

    • Tristan says:

      couldn’t agree more and the decline is immense. Just look at the pathetic programming of this summer – awful conductors for the wrong repertoire and poor Grigorian is a total miscast as Lady Macbeth – definitely not paying a fortune for such mediocrity

  • Alan says:

    There are fears? Only with this blog apparently. Got my tickets for all concerts I was hoping to attend and looking very much forward to it.

    Netrebko hasn’t been there for a few years and this site’s perverse obsession with Currentzis renders any criticism of him null and void

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    Even during the seemingly endless and omnipotent reign of Helga Rabl-Stadler as Präsidentin der Salzburger Festspiele, Hinterhäuser was quietly accruing power and influence.
    True, he is an accomplished pianist in his own right, but this doesn’t always guarantee expertise or suitability as an Artistic Director.
    Despite his musical education in both Vienna and Salzburg, Hinterhäuser is hardly a stereotypical schnitzel/strudel-loving Austrian.
    He once publically objected to the traditional “Grüss Gott” Austrian greeting.
    The appointment of the spectacularly unqualified Kristina Hammer as Rabl-Stadler’s successor was always going to be merely a token titular position, inevitably subject to Hinterhäuser’s whims and pro-Putin prejudices.
    Typisch Salzburger

  • GUEST says:

    IMHO, her ‘public face’ is far more attractive than his.

  • Laura Dewhurst says:

    Ok. So you relieved Hammer and hired someone you already have concerns about. Perhaps in your screening of candidates, you should find out if they have a dictator loving penchant. I could not be friends with someone who admired Trump.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      I’m no fan of ‘The Donald’, but let’s leave Trump out of Salzburg. He’s probably never even heard of it, much less able to pin it on a map.

      • Jonathan Sutherland says:

        Or if he did hear of it, he would undoubtedly try to build a Trump Tower Mozart-Town on top of the Festung Hohensalzburg.
        Paid for of course by Gazprom or his pal Putin.

  • Doc Martin says:

    I was going to book Tannhauser for Easter, after seeing a wee snippet of the production, however I think I will just watch my DVD of the Gotz Friedrich at Bayreuth, with GJ. That is despite it having Kaufmann.

    What has happened to Salzburg? It was miles better in the olden days pre-1990s!

    The place to stay is just outside on a 20 min bus route, a farmhouse converted to a Gasthof. Salzburg hotels will just empty yer bank account folks.

  • Nina says:

    I hear that Putin supports Currentzis for the first time. To be a conductor at state operas/orchestras of any region does not mean to have a support from president, salaries are paid from taxpayers’ money. I know that he was one of Musin’s last students, along with Tugan Sokhiev, Sabrie Bekirova and other conductors. But he has long been associated with Germany, and earns money there. What do you think of Currentzis as a conductor?