German-born composer Peter Ruzicka will become the next artistic director of Austria's showcase Salzburg Festival, replacing controversial Belgian Gerard Mortier.
Ruzicka, 51, was born in Duesseldorf to Austrian parents. He studied music in Hamburg and was director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1988 to 1997. He is artistic director of the Munich Biennale and president of the Bavarian Theater Academy.
Mortier will depart the post in October 2001. He said in March he would not be available for a new contract after holding the Salzburg job for a decade, during which he received criticism and acclaim for introducing contemporary work to the traditionalist festival.
Ruzicka's contract will run for five years.