Christian Thielemann

Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival and Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Artistic Director and conductor Christian Thielemann
Christian Thielemann © Matthias Creutziger

The 2018/19 season is Christian Thielemann’s seventh as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. He began his professional career in 1978 as a rehearsal pianist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Following engagements in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe and Hanover, he joined Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf as Kapellmeister in 1985, moving to Nuremberg three years later to become eneral music director. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper Berlin until 2004, when he became music director of the Munich philharmonic, a post he held until 2011. Christian Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013.

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 Freischütz as well as two Ring cycles in Dresden. At the Easter Festival he conducted Parsifal, Arabella, Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, Otello, Die Walküre and Tosca.

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. In 2010 he was appointed the festival’s Musical Advisor, and in June 2015 he became its Music Director.

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. Alongside the New Year’s Eve Concerts of 2010 to 2013, he has already released many CDs and DVDs with the Staatskapelle featuring symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Bruzckner, Brahms, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni as well as the operas Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Der Freischütz, Parsifal, Die Walküre, Lohengrin and Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci. He has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic and in 2019 he will conduct their New Year’s Concert.

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.