Christoph Poppen, Leader

From the outset of his conducting career, the name of Christoph Poppen has been internationally recognised and synonymous for innovative and original programming and commitment across all genres of classical music. A frequent guest conductor, he has worked with orchestras such as Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Wiener Symphoniker, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, New Japan Philharmonic, and also enjoys longstanding artistic relationships with important orchestras such as Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, KBS Symphony Orchestra, to name just a few.

In the field of opera, he very successfully led a production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Aalto Theatre in Essen and performances of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 2016 he returned to the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa for a production of Don Giovanni. He conducted performances of Les pêcheurs de perles at Oper Frankfurt – which led to an immediate re-invitation for Die Zauberflöte – and created the new production of Sing For Me, Death by composer Claude Vivier with the RuhrTriennale company in Gelsenkirchen. In 2017 he conducted Weber’s Oberon in concert version at Opera Köln.

Over the years, Christoph Poppen has held a number of significant Directorships in Germany. From 1995 to 2006, he was Artistic Director of the Münchener Kammerorchester, establishing the ensemble’s new profile in a short period of time. His distinctive programmes, based on a contrast of classical and contemporary music with many commissioned works, met with huge success. In August 2006, he was appointed Music Director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken, and from 2007 until 2011 he was the Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern.

Under his artistic leadership the Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão (Portugal) has grown to become a highly successful and award-winning musical happening featuring soloists such as Jörg Widmann, Augustin Hadelich, Javier Perianes and Clara-Jumi Kang. Between 2020 and 2022 he was also Artistic Director of the Classic Revolution Festival in Seoul, South Korea, for which he curated highly inventive programmes and united many of the best international artists from Korea and the West, for performances exclusively at the Lotte Concert Hall.

Christoph Poppen has been Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, and later at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was President from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 through to 2005, Christoph Poppen was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, he has held a post as professor for Violin and Chamber Music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2019, he founded the International Academy for Music, Arts and Science in Marvão/​Portugal, and since the 2021/22 academic year, Chair Professor of Violin at the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.

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