Christian ThielemannPrincipal Conductor
Brahms and Bruckner cycles, tours to Asia, the USA and through Europe, the debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival as well as numerous concerts and opera performances featuring works by those two local gods, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss – Christian Thielemann’s first two seasons as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle have seen a whirlwind of activity.
Thielemann began his professional career in 1978 as a rehearsal pianist at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Following positions in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe and Hanover he joined the conducting staff of the Rhine Opera in Dusseldorf in 1985. Three years later he moved to Nuremberg to become Germany’s youngest Generalmusikdirektor before returning to the Deutsche Oper in his hometown of Berlin in 1997, holding the position of Music Director for seven years. More recently Thielemann led the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra from 2004 to 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann was appointed Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival in 2013, the same year in which the Staatskapelle became the festival’s resident orchestra.
Christian Thielemann maintains close links with both the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also been a leading light at the Bayreuth Festival since his debut there in the summer of 2000 with Wagner’s »Meistersinger«, returning year after year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations.
From June 2015 he has also been Music Director of the festival.
Thielemann is a popular guest at the Salzburg Summer Festival. For his work on Strauss’s »Die Frau ohne Schatten« at the 2011 festival he was voted »Conductor of the Year« by »Opernwelt« magazine. In great demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the top orchestras of Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as performing in Israel, Japan and China.
As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. In addition to the New Year’s Eve Concerts from 2010 to 2013, he and the Staatskapelle have already recorded numerous symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni as well as »Ariadne auf Naxos« by Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner’s »Parsifal« for CD and DVD. Their most recent release is a complete cycle of Brahms’ symphonies. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic he has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies for CD and DVD.
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.