Göttingen International Handel Festival - Jochen Schäfsmeier appointed Managing Director

A completely new management team will be assuming responsibilities for the Göttingen International Handel Festival as of the 2021/22 Festival season.

Jochen Schäfsmeier will succeed Tobias Wolff as Managing Director. Since 2005, Schäfsmeier has held the position of Managing Director of Concerto Köln, an internationally renowned and multi-award winning orchestra specializing in historical performance practice. "The Göttingen International Handel Festival has drawn a substantial audience to the university city year after year for nearly 100 years. It truly is a stroke of luck for everyone involved. A modern approach to presenting both historical performance practice and Handel's music will also continue to be our goal in the future", announced Schäfsmeier following his appointment. "I am looking forward to working with George Petrou, the FestspielOrchester Göttingen, all of the other artists and, of course, the Göttingen audience", adds the appointed Managing Director.


A five-member selection committee led by Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen GmbH, selected Schäfsmeier from a great number of international applicants. "It is extremely fortunate for us to have gained Jochen Schäfsmeier, a particularly high profile and economically successful candidate, as successor to Mr. Wolff. Together with George Petrou, he will lead the Festival into a strong future", concludes Krull. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sandberger, Chairman of the Board of the Göttinger Händel-Gesellschaft e. V., is also clearly satisfied with the decision: "As Managing Director of the outstanding, self-governing ensemble Concerto Köln, Jochen Schäfsmeier has proven that he is able to operate with great success on an international level. He boasts excellent connections within the early music scene. I look forward to our close collaboration."


With the appointment of Jochen Schäfsmeier as Managing Director, the Festival management team as of the 2021/22 season is now complete.

Designated Artistic Director George Petrou will be responsible for the Festival's programme as of 2022, while Jochen Schäfsmeier will focus on the operational and financial management of the Festival.


The current Managing Director Tobias Wolff announced at the beginning of 2018 that he would not be extending his contract which expires in 2021. With the timely selection of a successor, a long-term, organized and seamless transition is assured.


As long-standing Managing Director of Concerto Köln, Schäfsmeier has extensive administrative and financial experience. Responsible for the operational functions as well as for the strategic economic and artistic planning of the orchestra, his in-depth knowledge of funding acquisition further reinforces his qualifications. Previously, Schäfsmeier was Managing Director of the Hamburger Camerata as well as Orchestra Manager and acting Managing Director of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra.

Since 2014 he has been on the faculty of the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences where he holds lectures on ensemble management and the history of the orchestra at both the Cologne and Stuttgart locations.

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