In an unprecedented move, the Bayreuth Festival has named conductor Christian Thielemann official “Music Director,” according to a statement by festival spokesman Peter Emmerich quoted in Die Presse. Until now, Thielemann’s position has been that of “musical advisor” (musikalischer Berater.)   

In an email to, Emmerich confirmed “the function and the title of music director… has not been given in the present form. [In] 1931 acted Wilhelm Furtwängler for a very short time as ‘musical director’ of the festival, but that situation is obviously not comparable to the present.”