Chairman of the Foundation Board confirmed in office

In stormy seas, Professor Ernst-Moritz Lipp to remain at the helm for another five years

Photo that shows Prof  Lipp F5 6444 V2. © Alexander Fischer
© Alexander Fischer

Professor Ernst-Moritz Lipp will remain Chairman of the Foundation Board of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden Cultural Foundation for another five years. The Foundation Council elected the Baden-Baden entrepreneur and economist to this position for the second time during the Foundation Council meeting, which was held for the first time as a video conference.

Ernst-Moritz Lipp heads the private foundation with his deputy Thorsten Klapproth together with the Chairman of the Foundation Council, Professor Horst Weitzmann, and his deputy Richard Kriegbaum. The Foundation Board oversees and advises the Festspielhaus und Festspiele gGmbH and appoints the management as well as the Artistic Director.

After his re-election, Lipp thanked the patrons: “I am honored that you continue to trust me to share responsibility for the destiny of the Cultural Foundation as chairman. At the same time, I would like to thank you on behalf of the Board for your wonderful support of the Festspielhaus idea over the past years and especially for your loyalty and active help during the current coronavirus crisis.”

The Foundation Board explained the current situation to the patrons during the video conference broadcast from the Festspielhaus. The Festspielhaus gGmbH has experienced a loss of more than 80 percent of its revenues in the current year. Among other events, the Easter Festival with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Whitsun and Summer festivals, and the Christmas program including the annual guest performance of the Mariinsky Ballet from St. Petersburg had to be canceled.

Lipp commented on the economic situation: “Thanks to the structural aid granted by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the many private donations as well as the support from the Friends of the Festspielhaus, we were able to avert the worst for 2020. Now we have to concentrate on the 2021 financial year, during which some problems can be expected to arise, with a time delay, for the first time.”

Lipp expressed his special thanks to all guests of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden who donated their tickets during the coronavirus pandemic. This raised more than 500,000 euros in support. Patrons, sponsors, and the Friends of the Festspielhaus raised over six million euros, although the program was discontinued in mid-March 2020 and only resumed briefly in early autumn.

In mid-2020, the property of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, as already envisaged in 1998, was acquired by the City of Baden-Baden. In this context, the patrons thanked the municipal council and mayor Margret Mergen for their trusting cooperation: “The private-public financing model of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden has carried us through this crisis thus far. I ask all those involved that this may also be the case in 2021,” said Ernst-Moritz Lipp.

“Pillar of strength – experienced captains at the helm”

Artistic Director Benedikt Stampa congratulated Ernst-Moritz Lipp on his re-election and added: “The Cultural Foundation is our pillar of strength. I am not aware of any comparable concert hall that has such a loyal support family behind it. With Professor Ernst-Moritz Lipp and the current Foundation Board, I also know that we have storm-tested captains at the helm. This is an enormous advantage in these serious times. As soon as it is possible, the Foundation will help us to be able to offer a festival-worthy program again. With the help of the state, the city, and the Foundation, we will come back stronger than when we left the stage in March 2020.”

Foundation established in 2000

The private Festspielhaus Baden-Baden Cultural Foundation was founded in 2000. Since then, patrons have raised over 60 million euros for the Festspielhaus program. There are currently 35 names listed under the category “patrons.” New patrons donate one million euros to the foundation capital and continuously support the hall with substantial annual donations. Under normal circumstances, the Festspielhaus brings the City of Baden-Baden and the region an annual influx of around 60 million euros in consumer spending. The Festspielhaus property has belonged to the City of Baden-Baden since this year. Thanks to a structural aid grant from the State of Baden-Württemberg and considerable private donations, the immense loss of revenues in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic could be mitigated.

Updated: 3/15/2021