Biography

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Will Humburg, Principal Guest-Conductor at the Theater Bonn and regular Guest-Conductor at the Oper Köln studied in his home town Hamburg with Horst Stein and Christoph von Dohnányi and others.

His first engagements were with the opera houses of Bremen and Hagen and the Symphony Orchestra of Bochum in the eighties. During that time he also started working as a guest conductor and quickly became well-established in Germany and abroad.

From 1988 to 1991 Will Humburg was artistic director of the „Laboratorio Lirico“- Festival for contemporary musical theatre in Alessandria/Italy, where he conducted a series of world- and/or Italian premieres of Wolfgang Rihm, Siegfried Matthus, Peter Maxwell Davies, Franco Donatoni, Azio Corghi and Michéle Reverdy.

From 1992 to 2004 he was General Music Director and chief conductor of the opera house and the symphony orchestra of Muenster, Germany, where he developed an impressive series of highly acclaimed productions, including Richard Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen“ cycle (1999-2001). He also cultivated widely acclaimed productions of “Le Grand Macabre” (Ligeti), “Don Carlo”, “Tristan und Isolde”, “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” and a series of semi-staged performances with unique combinations of different compositions, including mixing opera and concert pieces.

Will Humburg has been Principal Guest Conductor at the Opera House in Bonn since 2008. Amongst his many achievements in this role, he initiated a very successful series where productions of lesser-known operas by Giuseppe Verdi were staged.

Since 2009 he has also been a regular guest conductor at the Cologne Opera where amongst his many successes, he conducted a highly acclaimed series of the last operas by Verdi as well as Wagner’s “Parsifal” and Mozart’s “Magic Flute”, to name but a few.

From 2009 to 2012 Will Humburg was the artistic director and chief conductor of the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Italy.

From 2014 to 2018 he was General Music Director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt where he conceptualized and implemented several successful concerts and opera productions such as a Janacek cycle with „The Cunning Little Vixen“, „Jenufa“ and “The Makropulos Case”.

His wide-ranging repertoire includes over 120 pieces of opera and other music-theatre works. Moreover his dynamic interpretations, acclaimed also for their stylistic authenticity, have made Will Humburg one of today’s most sought-after conductors for both concert and opera.

Guest engagements brought him to opera houses in eighteen countries on four continents including – amongst others – the opera houses of Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, Bonn, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Wiesbaden, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Munich, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Teatro dell´Opera and the orchestra of the Academy of St. Cecilia in 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 Sao Carlos Opera House Lisbon, the Budapest State Opera, with whom he also went on tour through Japan, the National Opera House Zagreb, the Athens concert hall (Megaron), the Teatro della Maestranza Sevilla and the Opera de Oviedo, the St Petersburg Philharmonie, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Philharmonie de Luxembourg, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Opera House and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, the opera festivals of Menorca and Savonlinna, the Verdi festival in Busseto.

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”, “Il Trovatore” and “Falstaff”, the latter being chosen by the magazine Gramophone as Editor’s Choice of the Month.

In recent years, Will Humburg has received several nominations in the world-renowned German publication “Opernwelt” for “Conductor of the Year”, most especially for his Verdi interpretations.

Finally Will Humburg has gained a reputation for being a leading interpreter of contemporary music. Through an artistic collaboration with Italian composer Azio Corghi, spanning more than three decades, he has conducted a total of five of his operas, including four world premieres (at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the opera houses of Muenster and Catania). Will Humburg’s repertoire also includes important operas and concert works of Ligeti, Penderecki, Zimmermann, Nono, Henze, Matthus, Rihm amongst many others.

April 2020

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