La Scena Musicale

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Alexander Pereira to Lead the Salzburg Festival

Alexander Pereira, currently director of the Zurich Opera, has been named as the new artistic director of the Salzburg Festival from October 1, 2011. The 61-year-old Vienna native will succeed the current intendant, Jürgen Flimm, in October 2011 for a five year term. Flimm, who did not renew his contract, will take the post of intendant of Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Pereira, widely respected for his work in Zurich, originally began his career in marketing and tourism, and worked for Olivetti for a number of years. Moving toward music management, he directed Frankfurt's Bachkonzerte (1979-1983) and later became General Secretary of the Society of Concert Halls in Vienna. He was artistic director of the Salzburg Festival in 1989 but left to lead the Zurich Opera in 1991. Certain details are being discussed but Pereira has confirmed his acceptance, according to Wihelmine Goldmann, the festival board chairman at a Tuesday press conference. Other candidates for this post included Pierre Audi, chief of Amsterdam's Netherlands Opera and Stephane Lissner, formerly director of the festival of Aix-en-Provence and now heading La Scala Opera in Milan. Last year, the Zurich Opera designated Andreas Homoki, from the Komishe Oper in Berlin, as the new GM staring in the summer of 2012, while extending the contract of Mr. Pereira for another year until that date. This "extra year" is apparently now being discussed and is not likely to pose a problem for Salzburg.

- Frank Cadenhead

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