Christian Thielemann & Staatskapelle Dresden To Leave Salzburg Easter Festival In 2020

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Matthias Creutziger)

Christian Thielemann is leaving the Salzburg Easter Festival.

According to an article by the New York Times, Thielemann will leave after the 2022 festival after a public fight with Nikolaus Bachler, the festival’s incoming artistic director, over the future of the festival.

The battle of wills began over the Staatskapelle Dresden’s role at the festival and the division of power during the transition between Thielemann and Bachler.

In an open letter to the Austrian press Thielemann expressed his hope to conduct Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in Salzburg in 2022, and Strauss’s “Elektra” there in 2023. However, festival officials split the difference, announcing that Thielemann would conduct “Lohengrin” as his farewell in 2022.

Bachler is set to take over the festival in 2020 and reconfigure the 10-day event to make it more immersive and will invite different orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, for which the festival was originally conceived.