Salzburg Appoints Pianist Hinterhaeuser as Artistic Chief

The Salzburg Festival today appointed Markus Hinterhaeuser as artistic director after Alexander Pereira, the current chief, announced he will leave for La Scala in Milan.

Hinterhaeuser, a pianist, was responsible for the Salzburg Festival’s concert program for several years and was interim artistic director in the 2011 season. His five-year term will begin on Oct. 1, 2016, according to a statement from the Salzburg regional government.

The Salzburg Festival supervisory board was unanimous in its view that Hinterhaeuser was the best qualified candidate for the job, the regional government said.

“This is a wonderful and moving moment for me,” Hinterhaeuser said in the statement. “Much in my life has been influenced by Salzburg and the festival.”

Pereira will leave in 2014, two years before his contract ends. Helga Rabl-Stadler, Salzburg Festival’s president, and Sven-Eric Bechtolf, the director of theater, will take charge in the interim.

Rabl-Stadler’s contract was also extended to 2017 at today’s meeting of the Salzburg Festival’s supervisory board. The board includes representatives of the Austrian government, the state of Salzburg and the city tourism board.

Hinterhaeuser, born in 1959 in La Spezia in Italy, studied piano in Vienna and Salzburg. He remains in his position as director of the Wiener Festwochen festival until July 2016.

Wilfried Haslauer, the premier of the state of Salzburg and a member of the supervisory board, said he hopes the appointment will bring “a long-term perspective and a stable artistic path into the future.” Rabl-Stadler will have outserved six artistic directors by the end of her term.

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on opera and Martin Gayford on art.

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