Markus Stenz


“Stenz's reading of the Brahms had a terrific, unaffected strength. One felt there was nothing between his mind and the music - no egotism, no false display......He had easily secured the requisite clarity and incisiveness for the Strauss”

The Sunday Times

Markus Stenz has held several high-profile positions including Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and most recently Conductor-In-Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. He was General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister for 11 years, conducting Mozart Don Giovanni, Wagner’s Ring cycle, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as Janáček Jenůfa and Katya Kábanová and Eötvös’s Love and other Demons.


  • Teatro La Fenice in Venice – Wagner Der fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin and Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos
  • Teatro alla Scala; Dutch National Opera; Opéra National de Paris – Kurtag Fin de Partie
  • Orchestra dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra; Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestre National de Lyon; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; MDR-Sinfonieorchester; Gürzenich-Orchester Köln; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Hangzhou Grand Theatre, China – Wagner Die Walküre


He made his opera debut in 1988 at Teatro La Fenice in Venice and, following various highly successful concert weeks with the Orchestra, last season he conducted a new production of Wagner Der fliegende Holländer and will return in the…

He made his opera debut in 1988 at Teatro La Fenice in Venice and, following various highly successful concert weeks with the Orchestra, last season he conducted a new production of Wagner Der fliegende Holländer and will return in the next two seasons for Ariadne auf Naxos and Lohengrin.

In 2018 Markus conducted Schreker Die Gezeichneten at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and that year also saw the world première of Kurtág Fin de partie at Teatro alla Scala Milan where, in the same season, he conducted Strauss Elektra. This was followed by performances of the Kurtág for Dutch National Opera and its French première at Opéra National de Paris.

In the 2023-24 season Markus returns to Dutch National Opera to conduct Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, travels to Hangzhou in China for Die Walküre and conducts a special performance of Fin de partie in Kurtág’s hometown of Budapest before touring performances in Hamburg and Cologne. Elsewhere in Germany he will conduct programmes with MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and Staatskapelle Halle. This season also sees Markus’ return to Orchestre National de Lyon and, following a very successful debut with the CBSO with Mahler Symphony No. 2 in 2022, he returns this season for Bruckner Symphony No. 7. In Italy he conducts both Orchestra della Toscana and Fondazione Haydn di Bolzano, and further afield will return to the New Jersey Symphony and make his debut with the Naples Philharmonic.

Recent symphonic highlights include his debut with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, multiple appearances with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and regular visits to three orchestras where he previously held positions: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln.

While with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln Markus received the prize for ‘The Best Concert Programme of the 2003-04 Season’ as well as initiating a number of youth and educational projects such as ‘Experiment Klassik’, ‘3. Akt’ and the concert live-recording project ‘GO live’.

His extensive discography includes many prize-winning recordings including the Gürzenich Orchestra’s complete cycle of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies with Symphony No. 5 receiving the German Record Critics’ Award; Strauss’ Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel both received unanimous critical acclaim, followed by an equally celebrated recording of Schönberg’s Gurrelieder released in 2015, receiving the Choral Award at the 2016 Gramophone Awards.

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, Manchester and the ‘Silberne Stimmgabel’ (Silver Tuning Fork) of the state of North Rhein/Westphalia.


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