The Board of Trustees of the Salzburg Festival will present brand specialist Kristina Hammer as the successor to Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler on Wednesday.
Until recently, ÖVP politician Brigitta Pallauf had been considered the favorite for the position Years as Festival President at the end of the year.
In her first statement, Kristina Hammer said she was “proud and grateful. I am well aware of the importance and responsibility of the Salzburg Festival.” With Salzburg she was her childhood, “I was allowed to take part in Herbert von Karajan’s rehearsals and witness the debut of Anne-Sophie Mutter. I still have the pictures in front of me today. Visiting the festival was part of my youth.” Later, she carefully observed the development of the festival, said Kristina Hammer.
Unanimous decision from six candidates
“It was a very good, consensual decision,” said Governor Wilfried Haslauer (ÖVP). He spoke of a “conscious decision by the Board of Trustees to take a further step towards the internationality of the Salzburg Festival. We trust Kristina Hammer, thanks to her ability to integrate and social skills, to network in Austria as well as possible.”
The board of trustees agreed on Kristina Hammer from six candidates who were invited to the hearing. Regarding the speculation that Pallauf would have been determined in advance as his successor, the governor said: “I’ve been governor for nine years, YOU know that this is not my way.” The selection process was “a very good, open one”.
“A new chapter begins”
With the now tenth President, a new chapter begins, “which leads into the future,” said Haslauer. The search for a young audience, digitization and sustainability will be one of her future core tasks, says Haslauer. She could also set her own standards in the successor to Rabl-Stadler when it comes to finding sponsors. They were not looking for a personality with the intended qualities or with a commercial focus, both areas were ideally occupied by Intendant Markus Hinterhäuser and Commercial Director Lukas Crepaz. “Kristina Hammer should develop and protect the premium brand Salzburg Festival.”
Lots of experience with brands
The President-elect has a lot of experience with brands: She is the founder and head of the consulting firm Hammer Solutions, based in Switzerland. Before that, the lawyer with a doctorate was “more than 15 years international in a direct position in the field of marketing and public relations,” according to the company’s website. Hammer began her career in the 1990s with the Gerngross department store chain, and later ran the Steffl luxury department store in Vienna. From 2000 she worked for car companies such as Ford and Daimler, then for the s.Oliver fashion label. Her “passion for brand management” is also stated in her biography.
The press conference to take a look: