“Markus Stenz, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s new principal guest conductor, worked several kinds of magic Saturday at Strathmore. […] This new appointment by the BSO was a coup; Stenz makes the orchestra play beyond itself, and future appearances should not be missed.”
Markus Stenz is Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. From 2017 he is Conductor-in-Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. His previous positions have included General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister (posts he relinquished in the summer of 2014), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra (2010-2014), Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998 – 2004), Principal Conductor of London Sinfonietta (1994 – 1998) and Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989 – 1995).
Recent and future highlights include:
- Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven Symphony No. 9
- London Philharmonic Orchestra – Stravinsky Rite of Spring
- Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra – Mahler Symphony No. 10
- Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Glanert Requiem voor Jherominus Bosch (world première)
- Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
- Teatro alla Scala; Netherlands Opera – Kurtag, Fin de Partie (world première)
- Bayerische Staatsoper – Schreker Die Gezeichneten
In 2000 he took the Melbourne Symphony on their triumphant first European tour including concerts in Munich, Cologne, Zurich and Salzburg and in 2008 visited China with the Gürzenich Orchestra and the same year conducted their first ever BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. He returned to China in 2010 with Cologne Opera for two cycles of Wagner’s Ring in Shanghai and Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Beijing and in 2014 with the Gürzenich Orchestra.
He made his opera debut in 1988 at La Fenice in Venice in the first performance of Hans Werner Henze’s revised version of Elegy for Young Lovers. He has since conducted many world premières including Henze’s Das Verratene Meer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Venus und Adonis at the Bavarian State Opera, L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe at the Salzburg Festival, Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico and Detlef Glanert’s Caligula at the Frankfurt Opera and Solaris at the Bregenz Festival.
Markus Stenz has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and international festivals including Teatro alla Scala Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Edinburgh International Festival. Future plans include Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, and a return to Teatro alla Scala Milan.
His notable performances in Cologne have included Wagner’s Ring, Lohengrin Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as Janacek’s Jenufa and Katya Kabanova, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Eötvös’ Love and other Demons.
Other of the world’s leading orchestras which Markus Stenz conducts include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony and the Symphony Orchestras of the Hessische Rundfunk, WDR and NDR.
In the United States these have included the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Houston and St Louis Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Minnesota Orchestra.
Apart from his regular concerts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, he is currently working with Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Helsinki Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish and BBC Symphony Orchestras. He will also continue a regular relationship with the Hallé and return to the Melbourne Symphony.
Markus Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchestra have recorded the complete cycle of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies for Oehms Classics. Their recording of Mahler’s 5th Symphony received a German Record Critics’ Award in November 2009. Their first recording on the Hyperion label of Strauss’ Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel received unanimous critical acclaim and this was followed by an equally acclaimed recording of Schönberg’s Gurrelieder released in 2015, which received the Choral Award at the 2016 Gramophone Awards.
In April 2016 Oehms Classics released a Henze CD including his seminal 7th Symphony with the Gürzenich Orchestra.
Markus Stenz studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne under Volker Wangenheim and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music and the “Silberne Stimmgabel” (Silver Tuning Fork) of the state of North Rhein/Westphalia.