Hartmut Haenchen is undoubtedly one of the great Wagner conductors of our time.


Hartmut Haenchen's high intellect and musical integrity have secured his place in the forefront of musical life. Born in Dresden in 1943 he was raised in the post-war German Democratic Republic. Despite the restrictions imposed by the former East German regime, Haenchen was granted permission to work with the West’s finest ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1986 he moved to the Netherlands and was appointed Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Chamber orchestras, and Music Director of Dutch National Opera. His breadth of experience and depth of understanding have won respect, while audiences have warmed to the humanity of his interpretations. He is particularly renowned and respected for his readings of works by Richard Strauss, Wagner and Mahler. In October 2008 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of the Republic of Germany, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and the arts.

Current highlights include a new production of Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival to be released on Deutsche Grammophon, Tristan und Isolde and Elektra at Opéra de Lyon, and Così fan tutte at Grand Théâtre de Genève; a continuation of his War & Peace project and symphonic concerts throughout the world. He is also embarking on a Bruckner series, with plans to conduct all the Bruckner symphonies in the new critical edition. In recognition of Haenchen’s recent performances, the German periodical Opernwelt named him Conductor of the Year 2017 and in 2018 Haenchen was awarded the Richard-Wagner-Preis by the Richard-Wagner-Stiftung, Leipzig. Future plans include appearances at Opernhaus Zürich and the Bayerische Staatsoper.

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