has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) since the 2008–09 season; after two extensions, his contract now runs through the end of the 2019–20 season. Since 2010, annual tours have led Mr. Honeck and the PSO to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, including the Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival, and the BBC Proms. The 2012 tour focused on a week-long residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, and they undertook a European Festival Tour in the summer of 2013. Mr. Honeck and the PSO’s recordings of Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben
have been released to critical acclaim on Japan’s Exton label; the recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony won a 2012 International Classical Music Award. Manfred Honeck’s work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings, and began in fall 2013 with a super-audio CD of Richard Strauss tone poems; several additional recordings are completed, with plans to release two recordings per year. Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck began his career as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded, and as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. He was subsequently engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was awarded the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. In 1996 he began a three-year stint as one of three main conductors of Leipzig’s MDR Symphony Orchestra and, in 1997, he served as music director at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. A successful European tour with the Oslo Philharmonic marked the beginning of a close collaboration with that orchestra, which consequently appointed him principal guest conductor. He was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra Stockholm from 2000 to 2006, and principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, a position he resumed at the beginning of the 2013–14 season. As music director of the Stuttgart Staatsoper from 2007 to 2011, he conducted Berlioz’s Les Troyens,
Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier,
Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites,
and Wagner’s Lohengrin
As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the Bavarian Radio and London Symphony Orchestras; Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras; Israel and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras; Dresden Staatskapelle; and Orchestre de Paris. U.S. appearances have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago, National, and Boston symphony orchestras.
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