5 Apr 2024

Markus Hinterhäuser Remains Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival

The Supervisory Board of the Salzburg Festival today made an important decision for the future of the company: the contract of Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser was extended by another five years, through 2031. From the hearing of candidates, Hinterhäuser emerged the clear favourite.

Continuity during Challenging Times and Quality of the Highest Degree

The position of Artistic Director was advertised – in keeping with international custom – at the beginning of the year, in order to ensure planning security for the Festival. The current five-year contract of Markus Hinterhäuser runs through 30 September 2026. The Artistic Director has been acclaimed by audience members and critics worldwide for his extraordinary artistic success, including under the most difficult circumstances, for example during the coronavirus pandemic. The Supervisory Board under the chairmanship of Hans Scharfetter decided unanimously to extend the contract through 30 September 2031, with the mutual possibility of termination on 30 September 2029.

Unanimous Decision to Extend Contract

“Markus Hinterhäuser truly convinced us during the hearing with his concept; therefore he emerged as the frontrunner. His artistic concept, his instinct and sensitivity in grappling with social questions, and his courage to keep breaking new ground, simply convinced us. Furthermore, Markus Hinterhäuser knows the company extremely well and has been involved in the expansion plans from the very beginning, so he is well familiar with the future challenges they will entail,” the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Scharfetter, explained the Board’s unanimous decision.

The Salzburg Festival as a Worldwide Calling-Card

Landeshauptmann Wilfried Haslauer congratulated the Artistic Director on the extension of his work as part of the Festival’s Directorate: “Today’s decision by the Supervisory Board has set the stage for the period beginning at the end of September 2026. Markus Hinterhäuser is one of the people responsible for the position the Salzburg Festival occupies today: at the international crown of artistic events, leaving numerous guests from Austria and abroad enthusiastic fans every summer. In particular, the imminent rebuilding process requires detailed knowledge of the performance venues and will entail major challenges for the Festival’s programming. The contract extension for the Artistic Director is proof of the high esteem his excellent work is held in. The Salzburg Festival and its artistic excellence are a worldwide calling-card for our State of Salzburg,” thus the Landeshauptmann.

“With this decision, we wish to ensure a long-term perspective and a stable artistic and qualitative path towards the future. Artistic excellence must continue to have the highest priority, preserving the radiant reputation of the Salzburg Festival throughout the world. Therefore, I am delighted that Markus Hinterhäuser remains Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival,” said Salzburg’s Mayor, Harald Preuner.

“Vote of confidence fills me with pleasure and pride”

“This is a great vote of confidence, which fills me with pleasure and pride,” said Markus Hinterhäuser in an initial reaction to the renewal of his contract. “The responsibility for the Salzburg Festival’s artistic leadership is not only a special privilege – to me, it is truly dear to my heart. During the coming years, we face eminent challenges, mainly because of the renovation and expansion of the Festival’s performance venues; of course, our striving for the utmost quality will remain unaffected by these challenges,” said the Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival upon hearing of his contract’s renewal.