Markus Stenz has held several high-profile positions including Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and most recently Conductor-In-Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. He was General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister for 11 years, conducting Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Wagner’s Ring cycle, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as Janáček’s Jenůfa and Katya Kábanová and Eötvös’s Love and Other Demons. His widely recognized ability to communicate a score with both enthusiasm and profound musicality produces memorable performances for musicians and audiences alike.
Stenz made his opera debut in 1988 at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, where he has returned for numerous successful concert weeks with the Orchestra. Last season he conducted a new production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and will return in subsequent seasons for Ariadne auf Naxos and Lohengrin.
In 2018, Stenz conducted Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and led the world premiere of Kurtág’s Fin de partie at Teatro alla Scala Milan, where he also conducted Strauss’s Elektra that same season. This was followed by performances of the Kurtág work for Dutch National Opera, and its French premiere at Opéra National de Paris.
This season he returns to Dutch National Opera to conduct Weill’s Mahagonny, travels to Hangzhou, China, for Die Walküre and conducts a special performance of Fin de partie in Kurtág’s hometown of Budapest before touring to Hamburg and Cologne. Elsewhere in Germany he conducts the MDR Leipzig, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and Staatskapelle Halle.
The 2023-2024 season also sees Stenz’s return to Orchestre National de Lyon and, following a very successful debut with the CBSO in Mahler Symphony No. 2 in 2022, he returns this season for Bruckner Symphony No 7. He conducts both Orchestra della Toscana and Fondazione Haydn di Bolzano in Italy, returns to the New Jersey Symphony on a program featuring Anna Clyne’s Atlas, and makes his debut with Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Florida.
Recent symphonic engagements in North America include appearances with the Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Colorado, and Oregon Symphonies. A regular guest at the Aspen Music Festival, Markus returned in July 2023 to conduct Donnacha Dennehy's Violin Concerto with Augustin Hadelich. Overseas highlights have included his debut with the Orchestra dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, multiple appearances with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and regular visits to three orchestras where he previously held positions: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln.
While with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Stenz received the prize for ‘The Best Concert Programme of the 2003-2004 Season’ as well as initiating a number of youth and educational projects such as ‘Experiment Klassik’, ‘3. Akt’ and the concert live-recording project ‘GO live.’
His extensive discography includes many prize-winning recordings including the Gürzenich Orchestra’s complete cycle of Mahler symphonies, for which Symphony No. 5 received the German Record Critics’ Award; Strauss’s Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel alsoboth received unanimous critical acclaim, followed by an equally celebrated release of Schönberg’s Gurrelieder which received the Choral Award at the 2016 Gramophone Awards.
Markus Stenz studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne under Volker Wangenheim and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and the ‘Silberne Stimmgabel’ (Silver Tuning Fork) of the state of North Rhein/Westphalia.
AUGUST 2023 - AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTIST, PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THIS BIOGRAPHY WITHOUT APPROVAL