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All around, from the pit under the direction of Titus Engel, it sounded convincing and very differentiated: always transparent, never too loud, never too coarse but always finely and sharply cut, and, in the chamber music accompanying figures in ‘Secondhand-Zeit’, as colourful as also precise. Die Deutsche Bühne, on BORIS in Stuttgart
An openness to innovative concert formats, combined with unparalleled technical precision, distinguish Titus Engel as one of the leading creative minds among conductors of his generation. Born in Zurich and now based in Berlin, Engel is a frequent guest of major European orchestras and leading contemporary music ensembles. In addition to his fascination for symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, he has a deep passion for baroque music and historically informed performance. Ever ready to tread new paths when handling scenic concepts from the podium, he sees musical theatre in particular as an experimental field in which societal utopias can also flourish.
The Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Basel, Zurich, Stuttgart, and Munich count among the many renowned orchestras Titus Engel has conducted. As a guest conductor he also regularly works with ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble musikFabrik, the Collegium Novum Zürich, Remix Ensemble and the Klangforum Wien, among others.
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), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Berg’s Wozzeck and Béla Bartóks Herzog Blaubarts Burg (Stuttgart Opera), Offenbach’s Fantasio (Komische Oper Berlin), Telemann’s Orpheus and Mozart’s Betulia Liberata (Frankfurt Opera), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Hamburg State Opera), Glass‘s Akhnaten (Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp/Ghent), Nunez’s La Douce (Staatsoper Berlin) and Verdi´s La Traviata (Theater Basel). He has also led numerous world premieres (Sergej Newski, Leo Dick, Olga Neuwirth, Michael Wertmüller, Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander) at the Salzburg Festival, Ruhrtriennale, Berliner Festspiele, Lucerne Festival, Hamburg State Opera, and the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Titus Engel’s debut at the Teatro Real Madrid conducting the world premiere of Pilar Jurado’s La página en blanco in February 2011 was widely praised by the press and audiences alike. He followed this with triumphant world premieres of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain (2014) and Elena Mendoza’s La ciudad de las mentiras (2017). In 2016 together with Lydia Steier he brought the Swiss premiere of Stockhausen's Donnerstag to the stage at Theater Basel; Opernwelt magazine named the production “Performance of the Year”. The premiere of Chaya Czernowin's opera Infinite Now took place in 2017, which he conducted at the Opera Vlaanderen, the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Philharmonie de Paris. In 2018 as a guest at the Ruhrtriennale he conducted music by Charles Ives for Chriszoph Marthaler’s staging of Universe, incomplete, and in 2019 he conducted the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller’s opera Diodati. Unendlich in Basel to critical acclaim. Titus Engel kicked off the 2019/20 season with the Swiss premiere of Philip Glass's opera Einstein on the Beach at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He then travelled to Oman and Lyon with Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges for his debut with the Opéra de Lyon, before conducting Mussorgski's Boris Godunov in Stuttgart in Paul-Georg Dittrich’s new staging, which dovetails with the world premiere of Sergei Newski's Secondhand-Zeit.
In the 2020/21 season he is invited to the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Bernstein's Candide), to the Opéra de Lyon (Bartók’s Herzog Blaubarts Burg) and with the SWR Symphonieorchester to the Donaueschinger Musiktage. He will also conduct the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra with works by Ramovš, Bach and Zimmermann.
After studying musicology and philosophy in Zurich and Berlin he learned his conducting trade in Dresden with Christian Kluttig. This training was supplemented by support from the Conductors Forum of the German Music Council and David Zinman's American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, as well as assistantships with Sylvain Cambreling, Marc Albrecht and Peter Rundel. Titus Engel has recorded numerous works for radio and CD and is the founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute, in addition to having edited several books on contemporary opera.
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