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Titus Engel’s debut at the 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 inside out 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 great 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 Deutscher Musikrat’s Dirigentenforum (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 many renowned orchestras such as the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden/Freiburg, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Basel, Zurich, Stuttgart and Munich. 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, Remix Ensemble 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 early 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 and modern instruments. The results have been presented in projects such as Affektheischerei (Konzerthaus Berlin in 2010) and Im Sog der Klänge, a project in which 17th century choir music is combined with world premieres and which was performed 2009 at the NDR in Hamburg and in 2010 at the Klangspuren Schwaz, as well as at the Festwochen Herrenhausen in Hanover.
He made his opera debut with the premiere of Schweitzer’s Jakob von Gunten in Dresden in 2000. Since then he has conducted Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Radialsystem Berlin, Theater an der Wien), Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Weber’s Der Freischütz (Kampnagel Hamburg), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Berg’s Wozzeck (Stuttgart Opera), Krenek’s Dunkle Wasser (Konzerthaus Berlin), Offenbach’s Les Brigands (Bremen Theatre) and Fantasio (Komische Oper Berlin), Telemann’s Orpheus (Frankfurt Opera), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Hamburg State Opera), Glass‘s Akhnaten (Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp/Ghent) and Stockhausen‘s Donnerstag (Theater Basel). Furthermore he has led numerous world premieres (Sergej Newski, Leo Dick, Elena Mendoza, Olga Neuwirth, Michael Wertmüller) at the Ruhrtriennale, Berliner Festspiele, MaerzMusik Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Hamburg State Opera and Opera d’hoy Madrid. Summer 2014 saw Titus Engel’s third successive invitation to the Salzburg Festival.
In the 2016/17 season he is invited to the Staatsoper Berlin (Emmanuel Nunez's La Douce), Vlaanderen Opera/Nationaltheater Mannheim/Philharmonie de Paris (Chaya Czernowin’s Infinite Now WP) and to the Frankfurt Opera (Mozart’s La Betulia Liberata). He will also conduct the Klangforum in world premieres by Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander and Michael Wertmüller at the Donaueschinger Musiktage and the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Titus Engel has produced various works for radio, TV and CD. In co-operation with ZDF-ARTE television he published a number of debut recordings of historical and contemporary silent film music. He is founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute and the Ligerzer Opernwerkstatt, and the editor of several books on contemporary opera.
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