Kerschbaum has to go

Now it’s final: Brucknerhaus director must go

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09.07.2024 16:37

The director of the Brucknerhaus, Dietmar Kerschbaum, has to go. The managing directors of the LIVA parent company KKV Holding decided at a general meeting to immediately terminate the contract with the cultural manager, who has been on leave since March. In an interview with "Krone", Kerschbaum starts to fight back and makes it clear: "I won't put up with this!"

The supervisory board of the Linzer Veranstaltungsgesellschaft (LIVA), to which the Brucknerhaus also belongs, met for three hours and unanimously decided to recommend the immediate termination of the contract with Kerschbaum. The result of the special audit by the Audit Committee and the result of the compliance audit by KPMG had "revealed serious misconduct on the part of the artistic management".

Shortly afterwards, KKV Holding (creative, cultural and event holding company) followed this recommendation: Kerschbaum's dismissal was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

This is what the affected cultural manager said after his dismissal
The "Krone" reached Dietmar Kerschbaum a few minutes after his official dismissal. As already emphasized several times in his open letter, the cultural manager insists on his correct behavior: "I don't understand the excitement." He had always been transparent in his life and had always stuck to his contract to the letter - whether it was guest engagements or sideline work. "At one of my evening performances, even the director of the control office was there in person and even congratulated me on how good the event was for customer loyalty," says the dismissed artistic director. Everyone knew where and when he had sung at the Brucknerhaus: "To say that it wasn't transparent is ridiculous!" 

Zitat Icon

In my six years at the helm, I brought in 8.2 million euros in sponsorship money for the Brucknerhaus.

Dietmar Kerschbaum zieht Bilanz

The criticism of his many business trips is incomprehensible to him because "most of them went to Vienna". And he adds: "If you are not allowed to perform abroad at an international Bruckner Festival, you should probably only do the international Bruckner Festival nationally."

In his role as director of the Brucknerhaus, he has flushed 8.2 million euros of sponsorship money into the coffers. In this context, it is a matter of course for him to show his appreciation to major sponsors with a meal. The cultural manager is also alluding to the restaurant bills criticized by the city's audit office.

Zitat Icon

I don't understand the fuss. All my energy went into designing the Brucknerhaus.

Dietmar Kerschbaum

"Sales figures speak for me"
The figures speak for themselves, says Kerschbaum. Free evening sales increased by 70 percent between 2018 and 2023. "The average for a large subscription was 1025 people - that's great for Linz," he emphasizes. The fact that he worked around the clock on the programming for the 2024 cultural year and the 2025 season can also be seen from the fact that he has not taken on any other external commitments outside of the Brucknerhaus in the past three years: "All my energy went into shaping the Brucknerhaus." With his departure, Kerschbaum now fears that the economic success of the renowned Linz cultural institution could diminish. "I am a salesman. That was my day-to-day business. I was constantly banging the drum for the Brucknerhaus."

This is what Kerschbaum said after his dismissal
Kerschbaum's answer to the question of what will happen to him now seems unsurprising: "I won't put up with the accusations! I consider myself completely in the right." The next chapter in the LIVA crime story will therefore take place on a legal level. Kerschbaum: "Now it's the labor court's turn."

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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