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Ingo Metzmacher

Intendant, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen

  • Ingo Metzmacher is one of today's most sought-after conductors both in the concert hall and in the opera house. His vivid interpretations and innovative programming have established him as a regular guest with the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

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  • His 2016/17 season sees Metzmacher’s return to the Wiener Staatsoper for Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Bayerische Staatsoper for Schreker Die Gezeichneten. Returning to the Vienna Philharmonic, he also continues to work closely with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.

    Metzmacher returns this season to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (ROH) for a production of Shostakovich The Nose, directed by Barrie Kosky in a new English translation by David Pountney. He made his ROH debut in 2009 conducting Die Tote Stadt and has since conducted The Rake’s Progress.

    In the summer of 2015 he returned to the Salzburg Festival for Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico, Prometeo and Al gran sole carico d'amore by Luigi Nono, as well as Bernd Alois Zimmermann Die Soldaten. Other opera highlights of recent seasons were Königskinder, Tristan und Isolde, Der ferne Klang, Tannhäuser, From the House of the Dead, The Nose, and Palestrina at the Zurich Opera House; Il prigioniero and Suor Angelica at Madrid’s Teatro Real; and Parsifal and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the Wiener Staatsoper. He performed a series of concerts over the past two seasons as Conductor in Residence with the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo and regularly conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker.

    From 2007 to 2010 Metzmacher was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. His thematic concert cycles during this time entitled 'From The German Soul', 'Breakthrough 1909', and 'Temptation', as well as programming 'Casual Concerts' that made a lasting impact on Berlin’s music life. Various tours brought the orchestra and him to Hamburg, Cologne, Bonn, Baden-Baden, Paris, Brussels, Edinburgh, London, Vienna, Rimini, Meran, Madrid, Zagreb, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing.

    He was Chief Conductor of The Netherlands Opera (2005-8) in Amsterdam. Highlights of his tenure included performances of Henze The Bassarids, directed by Peter Stein; Die Tote Stadt and Die Gezeichneten with the Concertgebouw Orchestra; a cycle of the three Da Ponte operas by Mozart in productions by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito; and a Pierre Audi production of Messiaen Saint François d’Assise. As General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera (1997-2005), he conducted a series of internationally acclaimed productions, many of them in collaboration with stage director Peter Konwitschny. Highlights included Lohengrin, Wozzeck, Freischütz, Don Carlos and Moses und Aron. He returned in 2015/16 to conduct Mussorgsky Khovanshchina.

    Metzmacher’s wide discography include Henze Symphony No.9 with the Berlin Philharmonic, Messiaen Éclairs sur l’Au-delà… with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and live recordings of his New Year’s Eve concerts in Hamburg from 1999 to 2004, entitled ‘Who is afraid of 20th Century Music?’. He has appeared as a piano accompanist in recital with such singers as Christine Schäfer and Christian Gerhaher. His books include Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben (2009) and Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen (2005).”

    Ingo Metzmacher was born in Hanover. He studied piano, music theory and conducting in his home town and in Salzburg and Cologne. He found his first artistic home in Frankfurt, with the Ensemble Modern and the Frankfurt Opera under the artistic directorship of Michael Gielen. Metzmacher’s international career began in 1988, during Gerard Mortier’s tenure as director of the La Monnaie in Brussels, when he stepped in to conduct a new production of Franz Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang.

    2016-17 season / 594 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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All praise to the precise and level-headed conductor Ingo Metzmacher and his utterly brilliant orchestra.

Royal Opera House, Telegraph, October 2016

Ingo Metzmacher conducts the score with brittle brilliance, every orchestral effect raspingly precise.

Royal Opera House, Guardian, October 2016

He made the orchestra sound as we have rarely heard ... accuracy, rigor, an incredible talent for varying tempi without losing individual rhythms, a capacity to thunder in the pit without drowning the singers. An orchestral climax where music and speech united, in harmony with the wishes of Richard Strauss.

Forum Opera, Jan 2016

Intermusica represents Ingo Metzmacher in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and for special projects

Stephen Lumsden
Managing Director
+44 20 7608 9911

Francis Williams
Associate Artist & Project Manager, Managing Director’s Office
+44 20 7608 9918

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HK Gruber

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Roger Vignoles