Christian Thielemann

Christian Thielemann

Christian Thielemann was born in Berlin in 1959 and began what Karajan called the classical conductor’s “hard but indispensable slog” through numerous small theatres at an early age. After 20 years of operatic experience, Thielemann, who also has been guest conductor-in-chief at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, started concentrating on a few selected orchestras and opera houses such as Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan in New York and the Vienna State Opera. From 1997–2004 he was music director of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, and in 2004 he was appointed music director of the Münchner Philharmoniker. Thielemann received Germany’s Bundesverdienstkreuz in 2003.

Conducts Wagner’s Lohengrin with great success at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin

US debut in Strauss’s Elektra in San Francisco, followed by engagements at the Metropolitan, including Strauss’s Rosenkavalier and, later, Arabella with Kiri Te Kanawa (release on Deutsche Grammophon)

After engagements at all the major Italian opera houses, named Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna

Conducts new production of Pfitzner’s Palestrina at the Deutsche Oper; be­comes exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon – first releases: Preludes and Overtures by Pfitzner and Strauss with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, and Beethoven Symphonies nos. 5 & 7 with the Philharmonia

Conducts Wagner’s Die Meistersinger at the Deutsche Oper as well as a new production of Palestrina at Covent Garden, having appeared there during earlier seasons with Janáèek’s Jenùfa and Strauss’s Elektra

Becomes Generalmusikdirektor of the Deutsche Oper (until 2004) where he has since conducted Mozart’s Figaro, all of Wagner’s later operas including the complete Ring, Strauss’s Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Daphne, Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg; concert performances of Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena at Covent Garden; debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewand­haus orchestras; CD releases include Schumann’s Second Symphony, the beginning of a complete cycle with the Philharmonia (coupled with the Manfred Overture and Konzertstück for 4 horns), and Wagner Overtures and Preludes with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Records Orff’s Carmina burana with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper and Schumann’s Symphony no. 3 coupled with Overture, Scherzo & Finale and Genoveva Overture (Echo Award, 2000) released this year

Bayreuth Festival debut conducting Wagner’s Die Meistersinger; Wiener Phil­harmoniker debut conducting Strauss (Alpine Symphony and Rosenkavalier Suite), recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon (Edison Award, 2002); CD release of Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper

Conducts Parsifal at Bayreuth and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Met; directs the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper at a Wagner Festival in Paris; CD releases include the Wiener Philharmoniker Strauss recordings, and Schumann’s Sym­phonies nos. 1 & 4, completing the cycle with the Philharmonia

Salzburg Easter Festival debut conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker; Salz­burg Festival debut conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker; conducts a new production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival; concerts with the Wiener Philharmoniker in Vienna’s Musikverein and in London, Paris and Dortmund; conducts the Münchner Philharmoniker (Munich Philharmonic) in a Strauss-Pfitzner-Wagner programme and in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; re­lease of his CD Evening Star with Thomas Quasthoff and the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper (CD Compact, Barcelona, 2003)

Conducts a new production of Wagner’s Tristan at the Vienna State Opera; returns to Bayreuth to conduct Tannhäuser; tour to Japan with the Wiener Philharmoniker; releases include his recording with the Wiener Philharmoniker of Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben and the suite from Die Frau ohne Schatten (Choc du Monde de la Musique, 2003)

Becomes music director of the Münchner Philharmoniker, performing Bruck­ner’s Fifth Symphony at his inaugural concert with them; conducts Die Frau ohne Schatten, Die tote Stadt, La fanciulla del West, and Parsifal at the Deutsche Oper, Tristan at the Vienna State Opera, and Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival; autumn tour of Spain, Greece, Austria and Germany with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper; CD releases: Tristan und Isolde, recorded live at the Vienna State Opera, and German overtures with the Wiener Philharmoniker

Der Rosenkavalier, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Daphne at the Deutsche Oper, Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera and Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival; concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin, the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Salzburg Festival, and the Münchner Philharmoniker in Munich as well as on tour throughout Germany with Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony; concerts with the Munich orchestra in Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands; concert in honour of the new Pope Benedikt XVI in the Vatican. CD release of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony, the live recording of his first concerts as music director of the Münchner Philharmoniker

Concerts in Germany, Belgium, France and Spain with the Münchner Philhar­moniker, in Berlin with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and in Vienna, Brussels and on tour in Germany with the Wiener Philharmoniker; conducts new produc­tion of Wagner’s Ring at the Bayreuth Festival. Appears with Plácido Domingo and the Münchner Philharmoniker at the opening ceremony of the Football World Cup in Munich. CD releases: Parsifal from Vienna and the Mozart Requiem from Munich

Conducts the Münchner Philharmoniker in Germany, Austria and Spain (Bruck­ner, Beethoven, Schumann, Strauss), Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with Christine Schäfer and Christian Gerhaher in Munich, and a Wagner programme with René Pape also in Munich; Beethoven with the Wiener Philharmoniker in Austria, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin; Schumann and Brahms with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin. Once again Christian Thielemann conducts the Ring at the Bayreuth Festival. A further highlight of the year is the world-premiere performance in April of Siegfried Matthus’s Lamento with the Münchner Philharmoniker. CD releases: Beethoven’s Egmont Overture coupled with Brahms’s Symphony no. 1 in the spring, and a Wagner programme with René Pape (scheduled for release in the autumn)
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