Conductor Manfred Honeck was born in Austria and studied at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, he spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Staatsoper Orchestra.
In January 2007 Mr. Honeck was appointed the ninth music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Following successful European tours in 2010 and 2011, the orchestra returned to Europe in the fall of 2012, performing in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Luxembourg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and as part of a week-long residency at the Vienna Musikverein. The orchestra has released recordings on the Exton label of Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5; and R. Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. The recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony received a 2012 International Classical Music Award (ICMA).
From 2007 to 2011 Mr. Honeck was music director of the Stuttgart Staatsoper. His other opera engagements have included the Dresden Semperoper, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Royal Danish Opera, and Salzburg and White Nights Festivals.
Mr. Honeck began his career as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra, which he cofounded, and as an assistant to Claudio Abbado for the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 1993, while working at the Zurich Opera House, he received the European Conductor’s Award. Three years later he became one of the main conductors of Leipzig’s MDR Symphony Orchestra, and in 1997 he served as music director at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo for a year. A tour of Europe with the Oslo Philharmonic marked the beginning of a close collaboration with that orchestra, for which he served as principal guest conductor for several years. From 2000 to 2006 he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and from 2008 to 2011 he served as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, a position he will hold again from 2013 to 2016. For more than 15 years he has been artistic director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany.
Other ensembles Mr. Honeck has led include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; German Symphony Orchestra Berlin; Dresden Staatskapelle; Orchestre de Paris; Vienna, London, Israel, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; and Chicago, Boston, National, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. Engagements for the 2012–13 season include concerts in Stockholm and Prague and appearances with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Cleveland, Bamberg Symphony, and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras; and debuts with the Berlin and New York Philharmonic orchestras.