Manfred Honeck has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008–09 season. He and the orchestra are consistently recognized for their performances and are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad, performing regularly at major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Vienna’s Musikverein. This successful collaboration has been extensively documented by Reference Recordings: their recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, and they earned Grammy nominations for recordings of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janáček’s opera Jenůfa, conceptualized by Mr. Honeck himself, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4.
Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a violist in the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Staatsoper Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his conducting career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and was subsequently engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award. Following early posts as one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig and as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, he was appointed music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. For several years, he also served as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2007 to 2011, Manfred Honeck was music director of Stuttgart Staatsoper. His operatic guest appearances include Dresden Semperoper, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, and the Salzburg Festival.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Vienna Philharmonic. In the United States he has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia, and Boston Symphony orchestras. He has been artistic director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than 20 years.
Manfred Honeck received honorary doctorates from several North American universities, and he was awarded the honorary title of professor by the Austrian Federal President.