Flimm, 63, will assume the post in October 2006, and will program the 2007 festival. His contract runs through September 2011. Ruzicka, who has led the festival since the fall of 2001, said earlier this year that he would leave in order to dedicate more time to composing.
At Flimm's request, the festival's board of directors has also named Peter Schmidl, a clarinetist who directs the Vienna Philharmonic and Japan's Pacific Music Festival, as director of concerts.
Trained as a theater director, Flimm served as artistic director of Hamburg's Thalia Theater from 1985-2000. He began directing opera in 1978, and has created a series of prominent and sometimes controversial productions, including a Ring cycle that was unveiled at the 2000 Bayreuth Festival and retired this year. His modern-dress production of Strauss's Salome at the Metropolitan Opera last season, in which soprano Karita Mattila stripped naked, drew both cheers and boos.
At Salzburg this season, Flimm directed a new production of Henry Purcell and John Dryden's music-theater piece King Arthur, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a frequent collaborator.
Flimm teaches at the University of Hamburg, and from 1999-2003 served as the president of the Association of German Theaters. He is slated to direct the Ruhr Trienniale festival starting in 2005.