Big changes are in store at Alte Oper Frankfurt. At the suggestion of the chairman of the supervisory board, Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann, and the deputy chairman of the supervisory board, head of culture Ina Hartwig, the supervisory board has decided that Markus Fein will lead Alte Oper Frankfurt as artistic director and managing director from September 1, 2020. He will succeed Stephan Pauly, who will leave the Alte Oper in summer 2020 after more than eight years and start as the new artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Markus Fein is still the managing artistic director of the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which he has led since 2013. With more than 90,000 visitors, nearly 200 concerts a year and a staff of 30, the Festspiele is one of the largest classical music festivals in Germany.
"The Alte Oper is one of the leading cultural institutions in Germany. Nearly half a million visitors a year speak for themselves - they go to great entertainment shows as well as to performances that belong to the avant-garde of classical music. I am very pleased that Markus Fein, an experienced artistic director in many fields, is coming to the Alte Oper. One of his tasks will be to develop new target groups and to bind younger and middle generations more strongly than before to the house," said Lord Mayor Feldmann, welcoming the future artistic director to Frankfurt.
"I am convinced that Markus Fein is a great asset for the Alte Oper and for Frankfurt. In addition to his musicological training, he has many years of experience as an artistic director and cultural manager. Markus Fein has an excellent reputation in the industry, is regarded as someone who is close to the audience and always comes up with new, original formats. His work is characterised by the idea of networking and participation - both of which are a wonderful fit for the Alte Oper and this city. I am looking forward to the collaboration and the innovative impulses we will experience through Markus Fein, which will further expand the position of the Alte Oper Frankfurt in the international music scene," says Kulturdezernentin Hartwig.
Markus Fein was born in Frankfurt 48 years ago, and this appointment closes a circle for him: "The Alte Oper is a fantastic house of possibilities. I want to build on the work of Stephan Pauly and continue on the path of profiling the content and further open the house for new audiences. The Alte Oper is a great gift from the city of Frankfurt to the music world."
Fein studied applied cultural studies, musicology as well as art history and completed his studies with a musicological dissertation at the University of Hamburg. He then took over the artistic direction of the "Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker" for ten years, to which he had already been associated as a staff member, dramaturge and organisational director from 1993.
From 2006 onwards, he led the "Niedersächsische Musiktage" as artistic director for five years. From 2010 to 2012 he was first artistic advisor, and finally head of program planning/dramaturgy at the Berliner Philharmoniker. During this time, Fein worked with Sir Simon Rattle, among others, on new event formats.
His current work at the Festival in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is characterized above all by a broad musical spectrum and the aspiration to make concerts accessible to a wide audience. Participation, a sharper profile in terms of content and a sensual-discursive approach characterise his thinking as artistic director. He has conceived numerous new concert formats and dialogue forums, especially for young audiences. With a special children's program, he has introduced more than 10,000 children to classical music every year since 2017.