Over the last quarter century, Manfred Honeck has firmly established himself as one of the world’s leading conductors, renowned for his distinctive interpretations. For more than a decade, he has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Consistently recognized for their performances, he and the orchestra are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad, performing regularly in major European music capitals, at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and at leading festivals such as the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn and Grafenegg Festival. They also enjoy a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna which will be continued in the course of the next major tour of European cities in autumn 2019.
Manfred Honeck’s successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been extensively documented on recordings with the Reference and Exton labels. All SACDs released by Reference Recordings, amongst them works by Strauss, Bruckner, Dvořák, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, have received a multitude of rave reviews and honours, including a number of Grammy nominations. The recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Barber’s Adagio for Strings won the highly coveted Grammy award for “Best Orchestral Performance” in 2018. The most recent recording, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, was released in August 2019.
Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the viola section in the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp, and his art of interpretation is based on his determination to delve deep beneath the surface of the music. He began his conducting career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and as artistic leader of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. He has also served as one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra, as Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm.
From 2007 to 2011, Manfred Honeck was Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he conducted premieres including Berlioz’s Les Troyens, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Verdi’s Aida, Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. In Beethoven’s anniversary year of 2020, Manfred Honeck will conduct a new staging of Fidelio (1806 version) at Theater an der Wien. Beyond the podium, Manfred Honeck has conceptualized a number of staged works into symphonic suites, including Janáček’s Jenůfa, Strauss’s Elektra and Dvořák’s Rusalka, all of which he has recorded with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and he frequently performs these arrangements with orchestras around the globe.
As a guest conductor, Manfred Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, TonhalleOrchester Zürich, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. He is a regular guest with all major US orchestras, including New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. Moreover, he has been Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for twenty-five years.
Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President. The expert jury of the International Classical Music Awards selected him as “Artist of the Year” 2018.