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PC: Matthias Creutziger

Happy Birthday Christian Thielemann!

The German conductor turns 65 today.


Born in 1959, accomplished German conductor Christian Thielemann commenced his musical education at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, majoring in viola and piano.

At 19 he had already begun his professional journey as a répétiteur at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, under Heinrich Hollreiser. Alongside his practical experience, Thielemann dedicated himself to private studies in composition and conducting. His skills as a conductor led him to serve as an assistant to the esteemed Herbert von Karajan, further enriching his musical expertise.

In 1988 he became Musical Director of the Nuremberg Staatstheater. After a successful tenure, he returned to his hometown of Berlin in 1997 to lead the Deutsche Oper until 2004. Following this, he served as the principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic until 2011.

In 2012, Thielemann assumed the prestigious role of chief conductor of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, and concurrently served as the artistic director of the Salzburg Easter Festival, where the Staatskapelle served as the resident orchestra. He is set to take on a new role as the music director of the Staatsoper and the Staatskapelle Berlin in September 2024.

Since his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in the summer of 2000, Thielemann has been a regular presence, his involvement increasing over time, culminating in his appointment as the festival's musical adviser in 2010, and its music director five years later. Alongside numerous productions of Wagner's operas, he has also conducted notable performances of Verdi's Otello and Puccini's Tosca in Salzburg.

Thielemann maintains close connections with both the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, including leading the latter in its renowned New Year's concert in 2019. His remarkable contributions to music have been recognized with several awards, including the prestigious Richard-Wagner-Preis from the Richard-Wagner-Verband Leipzig in 2015.

Thielemann will conduct the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Bruckner's Eighth Symphony in June 2024, and will also impart his expertise to aspiring young conductors in the Concertgebouw Orchestra's Ammodo Masterclass.

He is currently chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the designated Generalmusikdirektor of the Berlin State Opera.



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