Ingo Metzmacher’s work as a conductor is notable for his consistent advocacy of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as for his innovative programming. Ever since the start of his multifaceted career, his great passion has been to ensure that new music is widely heard and that familiar works are heard in new ways.
His most recent projects include the world premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s Die Weiden in Vienna, new productions of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in Paris and Enescu’s Œdipe at the 2019 Salzburg Festival, as well as the first French performances of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz at the 2019 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In autumn 2020 he will conduct a new production of Walter Braunfels’s Die Vögel at the Bavarian State Opera.
He has also recently conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. In autumn 2020 the fifth KunstFestSpiele under his artistic direction will take place in Herrenhausen. In December he will conduct Ensemble Modern in a gala concert to mark its 40th birthday.
Ingo Metzmacher appears regularly at all the world’s leading opera houses, including the Berlin and Vienna State Operas, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, Milan, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Paris Opéra and the Zurich Opera. A focus of his work in recent years has been new productions of music theatre works by Luigi Nono, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Harrison Birtwistle and Wolfgang Rihm at the Salzburg Festival and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has given numerous concerts with some of the world’s most distinguished orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Ingo Metzmacher was general music director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1997 to 2005. He left a permanent imprint on the company thanks to his internationally acclaimed performances, many of them directed by Peter Konwitschny. He later became principal conductor of the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and, from 2007 to 2010, principal conductor and artistic director of the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin.
Ingo Metzmacher’s extensive discography includes CDs of his New Year’s Eve concerts between 1999 and 2004, released under the title Who is Afraid of 20th Century Music?, his complete recording of the symphonies of Karl Amadeus Hartmann with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Olivier Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-delà… with the Vienna Philharmonic. He has published two books on music: Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen and Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben.