After scandal, Berlin Philharmonic urges Salzburg Festival to ensure commitment

Posted on: February 25, 2010

Thursday (2/25) on, Shirley Apthorp writes, “The Berlin Philharmonic is urging Salzburg politicians to clean up the Easter Festival to ensure the orchestra’s continued involvement after a fraud scandal, said Gabi Burgstaller, the governor of Salzburg province. Michael Dewitte, the former director of the Easter Festival, is under investigation for embezzlement and serious fraud, according to state prosecutors. He left his job in December. … The Easter Festival, which is a separate legal entity from the better known, older summer festival, was founded by Herbert von Karajan in 1967 as a showcase for the Berlin Philharmonic. Simon Rattle, the orchestra’s chief conductor, is artistic director of the 10-day event. Burgstaller said in a Feb. 23 interview in Salzburg that she is doing ‘everything in her power’ to keep the Berlin Philharmonic on board. … She also announced a new legal structure for the festival, with 25 percent stakes held each by the regional government of Salzburg, the local city administration and the Salzburg Tourism Promotion Fund. The remaining 25 percent would stay in the hands of the foundation that previously owned 98 percent, the Herbert von Karajan Easter Festival Salzburg.”

Posted February 25, 2010