French-born conductor Sylvain Cambreling is an honorary member and principal guest conductor emeritus of Klangforum Wien and is well known for his persuasive championship of contemporary music.
He became chief conductor of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2018/19 season. In March 2019 he finished his tenure as principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, which he had held since 2010. Sylvain Cambreling was also general music director of the Stuttgart State Opera from 2012 to 2018, as well as being music director of La Monnaie in Brussels for a decade, before becoming music director at the Frankfurt Opera in 1993.
His most prominent opera productions include Pelléas et Mélisande and Les Troyens at the Salzburg Festival and Wozzeck, Fidelio and the Ring in Frankfurt. He has also conducted regularly at the Paris Opéra, including Saint François d’Assise, Pelléas et Mélisande, Katya Kabanova, La clemenza di Tito, The Love for Three Oranges, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Simon Boccanegra, Les Troyens, Louise, La traviata, Ariane et Barbe-Bleue and Wozzeck.
Sylvain Cambreling has conducted orchestras such as the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover, Cologne, Copenhagen and Stockholm Radio Symphony orchestras, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin, the Munich Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Oslo Philharmonic. In North America, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
A great believer in imaginative programming, Sylvain Cambreling is famed for the originality of his concert planning, juxtaposing contrasting but related works or composers, including Haydn and Messiaen or Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust. One of his boldest projects was the performance on consecutive evenings of Messiaen’s three largest works: the Turangalîla-Symphonie, Éclairs sur l’au-delà… and La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ.
In 2009 Sylvain Cambreling won the Echo Klassik Award for conductor of the year and the German Record Critics’ Prize for best orchestral CD. The following year he won the MIDEM Contemporary Music Award for his recording of works by Messiaen with the SWR Symphony Orchestra Freiburg and Baden-Baden. In 2012 he was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.