© Florence Grandidier
Thomas Hengelbrock was born in Germany and studied the violin. He has worked with high-profile figures in the music world including Witold Lutoslawski, Mauricio Kagel and Antal Dorati. He is the founder and director of the Balthasar Neumann Chor and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. He has also been invited to lead a number of prestigious ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre national de France, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich.
Thomas Hengelbrock has reintroduced works which had disappeared from the repertoire to a wider audience, such as Cavalli’s Didone. He has also given new interpretations to more familiar works like Wagner’s Parsifal which he conducted using instruments dating from the time of the work’s creation. Contemporary music also occupies an important place in his activities.
He has made numerous guest appearances at some of the great international opera venues (the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Royal Opera House in London, the Berlin Staatsoper, and the Baden-Baden and Salzburg Festivals). At the Paris Opera, he has conducted Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, Iphigénie en Tauride, a production of Orphée et Eurydice choreographed by Pina Bausch and Alcina.
More recently, he has collaborated with actors like Klaus Maria Brandauer, Johanna Wokalek and Graham Valentine for a series of original performances combining music and literature (Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Schumann’s Scenes from Faust). He has also assumed the role of director for several productions with his two ensembles, including Dido and Aeneas at the Salzburg Festival and Don Giovanni at the Feldkirch Festival.
He conducted the Simon Stone production of Médée at the Salzburg Festival in 2019, Iphigénie en Tauride at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and Le nozze di Figaro at the Aix Festival in 2021.
Thomas Hengelbrock is also committed to training young musicians through the educational programmes of the Balthasar Neumann Academy and the Cuban-European Youth Academy which he, himself, founded in 2014. In 2016 he received the Herbert von Karajan Prize for his contribution musical education.
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