Since the 2012–13 season, Christian Thielemann has been Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover, and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997, he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he held until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.
Thielemann has contributed greatly to the birthday celebrations for Wagner, Strauss, and Beethoven. At the same time, he has explored a wide range of music from Bach to Gubaidulina in Dresden and on tour. With the Semperoper, he recently conducted new productions of Ariadne auf Naxos and Capriccio while for the Salzburg Easter Festival he interpreted Die Walküre, Tosca, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Year’s Concert he conducted in 2019. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with his benchmark interpretations. After serving five years as the festival’s Musical Advisor, in June 2015 he became its Music Director. In addition, he has been invited to conduct the leading orchestras of Europe, the United States, Israel, and Asia.
As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent projects with the Staatskapelle have been to record the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Robert Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder, as well as numerous operas.
Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and an honorary professor at Dresden’s Carl Maria von Weber College of Music, and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 2003, he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In May 2015, he received the Richard Wagner Prize from the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the Prize of the Semperoper Trust in 2016 and an honorary award from the state of Salzburg in 2022. He is patron of the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa. Thielemann’s recordings have been showered with awards.