Markus Hinterhäuser given third 5-year term through 2031 as Salzburg Festival artistic director

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Markus Hinterhäuser has been given a third five-year term as artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, extending his tenure in one of Europe's most influential cultural roles to the longest since Herbert von Karajan's reign from 1956-89.

The festival said Thursday that its board of directors agreed to a contract through 2031 with a provision that either side could terminate the deal on Sept. 30, 2029.

A 66-year-old pianist who was born in Italy, Hinterhäuser was Salzburg's director of concerts from 2007-11 and served as interim artistic director in 2011. The festival announced in September 2013 that Hinterhauser would become artistic director on Oct. 1, 2016.

Since Karajan, artistic directors also included Gerard Mortier, who led the 1992-2001 festivals; Peter Ruzicka (2002-06), Jürgen Flimm (2007-10) and Alexander Pereira (2012-14).

This summer's festival is scheduled to include 172 performances from July 19 to Aug. 31 plus 33 youth programs.