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"The conductor Titus Engel made La Traviata the event of Basel. [...] Musically, this production owes its success to the man at the podium of the Basel Symphony Orchestra."Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26.10.2017
An openness to innovative concert formats, combined with unparalleled technical precision, distinguish Titus Engel as one of the leading creative minds among the conductors of his generation. In addition to his fascination for symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, he has a deep passion for baroque music. Born in Zurich and now based in Berlin, Engel is a frequent guest of major European orchestras and leading ensembles for contemporary music.
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, 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, Ensemble Recherche, 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), Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Weber’s Der Freischütz (Kampnagel Hamburg), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Berg’s Wozzeck (Stuttgart Opera), Offenbach’s Les Brigands (Bremen Theatre) and 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 with the premiere of Pilar Jurado’s La página en blanco in February 2011 was highly praised by the press. He then conducted the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s opera Brokeback Mountain (2014) and Elena Mendoza’s La ciudad de las mentiras (2017). Together with Lydia Steier in 2016 he staged the Swiss premiere Stockhausen's Donnerstag at Theater Basel; the production was named the performance of the year by the Opernwelt magazine's critics' survey. 2017 saw the premiere of Chaya Czernowin's opera Infinite Now, which he conducted at the Opera Vlaanderen, the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Philharmonie de Paris.
Titus Engel kicks off the 2018/19 season with Christoph Marthaler's new staging with music by Charles Ives, to be performed at the Ruhrtriennale under the title Universe, incomplete. Additional engagements include concerts with the Klangforum Wien and with composer and singer Agata Zubel at the Bolzano Transart Festival, and as guest conductor at the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. At the Stuttgart Opera House, he performs Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle in a new production by the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, and in Basel he conducts the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller's opera Diodati, Undendlich. At the Collegium Novum Zurich, he conducts Cornelius Cardew's 1971 work The Great Learning, which combines collective music-making with the individual musicianship of those involved.
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 produced various works for radio, TV and CD, and is founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute and the editor of several books on contemporary opera.
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