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Ingo Metzmacher

Ingo Metzmacher has distinguished himself through his innovative programming and profound dedication to 20th and 21st-century music, making the new sound familiar and the familiar sound new.

During the 2017/18 season he will conduct Lulu and Elektra at the Vienna State Opera, Das Floss der Medusa at the Dutch National Opera and Bluebeard’s Castle and La Voix humaine at the Paris Opéra. He also tours with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the German Youth Philharmonic, as well as conducting the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Orchestra of the National Theatre in Mannheim. In May 2018 he presents the third KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen under his artistic direction.

Highlights of recent seasons include new productions of operas by Luigi Nono, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Harrison Birtwistle and Wolfgang Rihm at the Salzburg Festival, as well as Wagner’s Ring at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has also conducted at opera houses such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Zurich Opera, the Teatro Real, Madrid, La Scala, Milan and the Berlin and Vienna State Operas and orchestras including the Berlin, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

From 1997 to 2005 Ingo Metzmacher was general music director of the Hamburg State Opera. He subsequently became chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera and from 2007 to 2010 was chief conductor and artistic director of the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin.

As a pianist, he has appeared in recital with Christine Schäfer, Matthias Goerne and Christian Gerhaher at the Aspen Music Festival, Wigmore Hall, the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and the Salzburg Festival.

Ingo Metzmacher’s discography includes Hartmann’s complete symphonies with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’au-delà... with the Vienna Philharmonic, Pfitzner’s Von deutscher Seele and Humperdinck’s Königskinder with the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin and live recordings of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District from the Vienna State Opera and Nono’s Prometeo from the Salzburg Festival.

Ingo Metzmacher’s books include Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben (2009), explaining the making of a music theatre production, and Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen (2005), a passionate plea for pioneering composers such as Nono, Ives, Messiaen, Schoenberg, Varèse, Stockhausen and Cage.

Born in Hanover, Ingo Metzmacher studied piano, musicology and conducting in his hometown, as well as in Salzburg and Cologne. He began his career in Frankfurt with Ensemble Modern and at the Frankfurt Opera, under the artistic directorship of Michael Gielen. His international career began in 1988, during Gerard Mortier’s tenure at La Monnaie, when he stepped in to conduct a new production of Schreker’s Der ferne Klang.

Current as of August 2017

Ingo Metzmacher, © Harald Hoffmann

Ingo Metzmacher, © Harald Hoffmann


Ingo Metzmacher