Titus Engel’s debut at Teatro Real Madrid with the premiere of Pilar Jurado’s La página en blanco in February 2011 was highly praised by the press. The Süddeutsche Zeitung proclaimed it “superb” and La Razón wrote: “The Swiss conductor Titus Engel led the orchestra amazingly. He knew the work back and forth and achieved an excellent reaction from the orchestra.” In 2014 he then conducted the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s opera Brokeback Mountain in Madrid to critical acclaim, and will give the world premiere of Elena Mendoza’s opera La ciudad de las mentiras in 2017.
Born in Zurich in 1975, Titus Engel currently resides in Berlin. After studying musicology and philosophy he began studies in conducting with Christian Kluttig at the Hochschule für Musik Dresden. Sponsorships from the Dirigentenforum of the Deutscher Musikrat (2002 to 2005) and a fellowship with David Zinman’s American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Summer Music Festival in 2003 supported his musical career. As assistant to Sylvain Cambreling, Marc Albrecht and Peter Rundel, he acquired a broad orchestral repertoire.
Titus Engel has since conducted numerous renowned orchestras such as the Orchestre de l`Opéra de Paris, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, WDR-Rundfunkorchester, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the Basel Chamber Orchestra. As a guest conductor he regularly works with leading ensembles for contemporary music, such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble musikFabrik, Ensemble Recherche, the Collegium Novum Zürich and the Klangforum Wien among others. He was musical director of courage-Dresdner Ensemble for Contemporary Music from 2000 to 2012.
The search for new concert forms and the dramaturgically meaningful fusion of old and new music are central to his career. Besides symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, Titus Engel has a deep passion for baroque music performances on historical as well as modern instruments. The results have been presented in projects such as Affektheischerei (Konzerthaus Berlin in 2010) and Im Sog der Klänge, in which choir music of the 17th century is combined with world premieres. The project was performed at the NDR in Hamburg and at Klangspuren Schwaz in 2009 and at the Herrenhäuser Festwochen in Hanover in 2010 among other venues. He conducted the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller’s music theatre piece Anschlag at the Lucerne Festival in 2013.
He made his opera debut with the premiere of Benjamin Schweitzer’s Jakob von Gunten at the Dresdner Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik in 2000. Since then, he has conducted Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Weber’s Freischütz, Wagner’s Fliegender Holländer, Krenek’s Dunkle Wasser and numerous world premieres (Sergej Newski, Leo Dick, Elena Mendoza, Olga Neuwirth) at the Stuttgart State Opera, Theater an der Wien, Ruhrtriennale, Radialsystem Berlin and the Berliner Festspiele. In 2014, he led the highly successful new production of Telemann’s Orpheus at the Frankfurt Opera.
Summer 2014 will see Titus Engel’s third successive invitation to the Salzburg Festival where he will once again conduct the OENM in the Kollegienkirche. The 2014/15 season will include his debuts at the Hamburg State Opera with Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and at the Vlaamse Opera Antwerp/Ghent with Glass’ Akhnaten. He will also lead the Remix Ensemble, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra for the first time and can be seen at the Alte Oper Frankfurt with Cornelius Cardew’s project The great learning.
Titus Engel has produced various works for radio, TV and on CD. In cooperation with ZDF-ARTE television he published a number of debut recordings of historical and contemporary silent movie music. He is founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute and the Ligerzer Opernwerkstatt as well as editor of several books on today’s opera.