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What Dietmar Kerschbaum is accused of

What Dietmar Kerschbaum is accused of
Brucknerhaus: Trouble in the 50s
Image: Röbl

On Tuesday, the first details of an extensive report in the weekly newspaper “Der Falter” emerged with massive allegations against the artistic director of Linzer Veranstaltungs GmbH (LIVA). Dietmar Kerschbaum’s way of working was massively criticized with numerous references to exclusive reports in the OÖN.

  • Also read: Kerschbaum wants to clarify everything: “It will be a feat of strength”

The tenor and cultural manager is said to have anonymously received the hearing commission’s questions in advance before his appointment in 2017. His close relationship with commission member Brigitte Fassbaender was also known; she is also said to have stood in for Kerschbaum on the commission.

Committed in-house

The allegations of “self-contracts”, i.e. personal commitments by Kerschbaum and his wife, Renate Pitscheider, in the Brucknerhaus are also serious. The couple is said to have earned 55,000 euros in a single year.

  • Editorial on the topic: Nothing learned from the Frey era

A prime example of conflict of interest and distortion of competition, rarely practiced so openly in the cultural sector, was the appointment of Daniel-Fréderic Lebon as head of the house’s program, for which Kerschbaum was responsible. He works for one of the largest agencies in the classical music world and can now decide who performs at the Brucknerhaus and who doesn’t. He also leads the salary negotiations and gets an insight into offers from competitors who are applying for concerts in the Brucknerhaus. Lebon is the successor to Jan David Schmitz, Kerschbaum’s intimate and highly valued right-hand man for a long time. The German was also responsible for the programmatic revival after the disastrous Frey era in the house. They parted ways by mutual agreement in October, and Schmitz will continue to reduce overtime for around a year (!).

Organ building awarded privately?

The list of rumors and accusations goes on: It is rumored that Kerschbaum (he is presumed innocent) awarded the new organ in the Great Hall, which cost around 1.1 million euros, to the Rieger Orgelbau company without a tender and also financially has benefited. Kerschbaum could also have a deeper hand in the Lido Sounds Festival than planned: the co-organizer of the festival, Arcadia Live, is being advised by the company PannArt, allegedly for high consulting fees. Kerschbaum is a partner in the company.

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