Biography

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German conductor Will Humburg, music director of the Darmstadt State Theatre and first guest conductor at the Theater Bonn studied in his native Hamburg under Horst Stein and Christoph von Dohnanyi, amongst others. In the mid-eighties, parallel to engagements with the opera houses of Bremen and Hagen and the Symphonic Orchestra of Bochum he received increasing opportunities to guest, and had, within a few years, made a name for himself in innumerable operas and concerts.

Between 1988 and 1991 Humburg was artistic director of the „Laboratorio Lirico“- festival for contemporary musical theatre in Alessandria/ Piemont, where he conducted a series of World- or/and Italian premieres of Wolfgang Rihm, Siegfried Matthus and Peter Maxwell Davies, Franco Donatoni, Azio Corghi and others.

As chief conductor of the Münster Opera Theatre, and the Münster Symphony Orchestra, Will Humburg was in a position to create, between 1992 and 2004, a long series of superb, nationally acclaimed productions. Highlights of his work in Muenster include Wagner’s Ring cycle (1999/2001), as well as critically-acclaimed productions of “Le Grand Macabre” (Ligeti), “Don Carlo”, “Tristan und Isolde” and “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”.

His broad-ranging repertoire of over 120 musical works, and his dynamic interpretations, renowned for their stylistic authenticity, have made Will Humburg one of the most sought-after conductors for both concert and opera. Guest venues include among other:p the Teatro alla Scala, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Opera Houses of Dresden, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Weimar, Erfurt, Saarbrücken and Wiesbaden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest State Opera (with whome he did with „Carmen“ also a tour in Japan), the Teatro Sao Carlos Lisbon, the Teatro dell´Opera Rome, the Teatro Reggio Turin, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Bellini Catania, the Teatro Lirico Cagliari, the Teatro Verdi Triest, the Teatro Massimo Palermo, the Opera festivals of Menorca and Savonlinna (Finnland), the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), the Academy of St. Cecilia Rome, the Verdi Festival in Busseto, the Crotian National Theatre, the Teatro della Maestranza Sevilla, the St Petersburg Philharmonie, the Orchestra Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Opera House, as well as several symphonic concerts with other german and italian orchestras.

Since 2008 Will Humburg conducted several very successful premieres at the Opera House in Bonn ( “Un ballo in maschera”,“Kat’a Kabanova“ and „Der ferne Klang“, „Aida“ and the highly acclaimed new production of Walter Braunfels` „Der Traum ein Leben“).

Since 2009 he is also a regular guest conductor at the Cologne Opera (“L’Italiana in Algeri”, „Aida“, „La Forza del Destino“, „Il Trittico“, „Otello“, „Falstaff“, „Magic Flute“ and „Parsifal“).

From October 2009 to December 2011 Will Humburg was Artistic and Music Director of the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania where he conducted several symphonic concerts, „Elektra“, „Il Barbiere di Siviglia“, „Carmen“, „Viva la Mamma“ and two semi-staged performances of Honegger’s „Jean d’Arc au bûcher“.

In 2014/15 Will Humburg became music director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt and first guest conducter at the Opernhaus Bonn.

In Darmstadt – among others – he started a Janacek cycle with „The Cunning Little Vixen“ and „Jenufa“.

In Bonn he has initiated a series of early Verdi operas with – until now – „Giovanna D’Arco“ ,“Jerusalem“ and „Attila“ (to be continued)

Of particular interest is Will Humburg’s reputation as a leading interpreter of contemporary music. In an artistic collaboration spanning more than 3 decades, he and the Italian composer Azio Corghi have produced together a total of 5 operas, including “Divara” and “Senja”, with world premieres in Münster and “Tat’jana”, with world premiere at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan in 2000. Will Humburg’s repertoire also includes the central works of Ligeti, Penderecki, Zimmermann, Nono, Henze, Matthus and Rihm, amongst others.

Since 1990, Will Humburg has had several successful collaborations with the Naxos recording company, including the complete recordings of La Bohème, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Il Trovatore. His recording of Verdi’s “Falstaff” was chosen by the magazine Gramophone as Editor’s Choice of the Month.

Especially for his Verdi interpretations in the last years he received regulary several nominations as „conductor of the year“ in the most important german Magazine „Opernwelt“.

November 2017

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