“Ingo Metzmacher conducts the score with brittle brilliance, every orchestral effect raspingly precise.”
“Ingo Metzmacher conducts with corresponding violence, effectively vulgar, always in control, seldom subtle; the orchestra rewards him with slick yet forceful playing.”
“It is to Metzmacher’s great credit that he found the right way to approach this work, highlighting its many felicities of scoring and keeping Schoenberg’s massive orchestra in good balance. In Metzmacher’s hands, the tone poem became almost an opera without words.”
“Under Ingo Metzmacher’s conducting, the orchestra played Berg’s music with elegance and sophistication.”
Weiner Zeitung (translation)
“…and Ingo Metzmacher lets the orchestra smolder, breed and explode into skewed marches – all of this forms a finest hour of darkness.”
Whether as an opera conductor, orchestra leader, festival director or book author: Ingo Metzmacher is consistently committed to music, especially of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Making the new sound familiar and the familiar sound new has been his focus since the beginning of his career.
Ingo Metzmacher was General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1997 to 2005 and subsequently Chief Conductor at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, as well as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from 2007 to 2010. Since 2016 he has been the Artistic Director of the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, whose next festival edition will take place from 16 May to 2 June 2024.
Ingo Metzmacher is a frequent guest with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Modern, as well as at opera houses and festivals such as the Vienna State Opera, the Opéra national de Paris, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Salzburg Festival and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
His 2023/24 season includes performances with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the SWR Symphonieorchester, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlinm, and Klangforum Wien, among others. He is conducting a new production of lbéric Magnard’s Guercœur at the Opéra national du Rhin, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass – A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers with the NDR Radiophilharmonie and nine choirs from Hanover as part of the KunstFestSpielen Herrenhausen, as well as the closing concert of the Donaueschinger Musiktage.
Metzmacher’s wide-ranging discography includes live recordings of his legendary New Year’s Eve concerts in Hamburg from 1999 to 2004 entitled Who’s Afraid of 20th Century Music?, a complete recording of Hartmann’s symphonies with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Messiaen’s Eclairs sur l’Au-delà… with the Vienna Philharmonic. Most recently, he released two recordings with Ensemble Modern: Andre’s cycle riss and Beschenkt – 40 miniatures celebrating the ensembles 40th anniversary.
He is the author of two books: Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen [Don’t Be Afraid of New Sounds] and Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben [Curtain Up! Discovering and Experiencing Opera].