© Marco Borggreve / OnP
Born in London in 1971, Karel Mark Chichon hails from Gibraltar. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and was assistant conductor to Giuseppe Sinopoli and Valery Gergiev. From 2011 to 2017, he was Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, enjoying critically acclaimed seasons and receiving praise for his profound interpretation of a wide repertoire and transformative music-making with the DRP.
A further testament to his outstanding partnership with the DRP has been the unanimous critical success of the first album release of the complete orchestral works of Dvorák – a cycle which he will record over the next 4 years for the label Hänssler Classic. Critics said “Karel Mark Chichon scores significantly over several esteemed rivals” and praised this first release as “the finest version available”. In May 2017, Karel was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. His previous positions include Chief Conductor & Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (2009-2012) and Chief Conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra (2006-2009). Chichon conducts at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerisches Staatsoper Munich, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Wiener Symphoniker, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de Belgique, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Russian National Orchestra.
He performs at venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Munich Philharmonie, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Alter Oper Frankfurt, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid and Seoul Arts Center South Korea. In early 2016, he made a highly acclaimed debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York with Madama Butterfly, which included one broadcast live on HD in 2,000 cinemas in 66 countries throughout the world. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera in 2019. From 2006 to 2010 he was Music Director of the “Christmas in Vienna” concerts held yearly at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and broadcast on Television to millions of viewers all over the world. He is also a regular Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, having recently recorded two CDs for the renowned record label. In recognition to his services to music, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England made Chichon an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2012. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his achievements within the profession.
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