Reflections on Repertoire
Thoughts on Jenufa
Thoughts on Mahler's Symphony No. 5
Thoughts on Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5
Thoughts on Steven Stucky's Silent Spring
Thoughts on Dvorak's Symphony No. 9
Thoughts on Mahler's Symphony No. 2
Thoughts on Mozart's Requiem
Manfred Honeck has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. After two extensions, his contract now runs until the end of the 2019-2020 season. To great acclaim, Honeck and his orchestra perform regularly for European audiences. Since 2010, annual tour performances have led them to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, among them Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms. The 2012 tour focused on a week-long residency at the Vienna Musikverein. In August and September 2013, concerts took place in Grafenegg, Berlin, Bucharest, Paris, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Lucerne and Bonn.
Several recordings, among them Mahler's Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are available on Japanese label Exton. Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings. The first SACD — of Strauss tone poems — was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews. Several additional recordings are completed and it is expected that two releases will be issued per year.
From 2007 to 2011, 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, as well as numerous symphonic concerts. 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.
Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp.
He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of music director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and, following a highly successful tour of Europe, was engaged as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006, he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with leading international orchestras such at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In February 2013, he gave his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the direct result of which was a CD recording together with Anne-Sophie Mutter (works of Dvořák ) for DG. His debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra followed in November 2013. Moreover, the current season sees him return to Bamberg, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Rome, among others.
Honeck received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. in 2010 and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2014. Moreover, he has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 15 years.