Christian Thielemann

Principal Conductor

The 2018 / 2019 season is Christian Thielemann’s seventh as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he occupied until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.

Christian Thielemann has contributed to the birthday celebrations for Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss with numerous Staatskapelle concerts in the Semperoper and on tour. His programmes have also featured a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina. He conducted new productions of »Manon Lescaut«, »Simon Boccanegra«, »Elektra« and »Der Frei schütz« as well as two complete performances of Wagner’s »Ring« Cycle in Dresden. In Salzburg he directed the premieres of »Parsifal«, »Arabella«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci«, »Otello«, »Die Walküre« and »Tosca«. 

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, whose New Year’s Concert he will conduct in 2019. Since his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in the summer of 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with groundbreaking interpretations. After five years as musical advisor in Bayreuth, he was appointed the festival’s music director in 2015. Much in demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras in Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, and has also performed in Israel, Japan and China.

As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent ventures have been the recordings of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies Nos. 1 and 3-9, a complete cycle of the symphonies and solo concertos of Johannes Brahms as well as the operas »Der Freischütz«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci«, »Elektra«, »Die Walküre« and »Lohengrin« for CD or DVD. With the Staatskapelle Dresden he has recorded symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Bruckner, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni as well as various New Year’s Eve Concerts released on DVD. He has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016.