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Born in 1958 in Wilhelmshaven, Thomas Hengelbrock studied violin with Conrad von der Goltz and Rainer Kussmaul in Würzburg and Freiburg. In 1980 he became concertmaster of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie; he also concertized with such ensembles as Concentus Musicus Wien. Hengelbrock become one of the co-founders of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in 1985; he established the Balthasar Neumann Choir in 1991 and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble in 1995. From 1995 to 1998 he served as Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, from 2000 to 2003 he was Music Director of the Vienna Volksoper, and in 2001 he founded the Feldkirch Festival, which he led until 2006. In 2011 Hengelbrock took over leadership of the NDR Symphony Orchestra, now known as the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, which he conducted in January 2017 in the prestigious opening of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season he has additionally been “Chef associé” with the Orchestre de Paris. As an opera conductor, Hengelbrock has appeared at the Bayreuth and Schwetzingen Festivals, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Royal Opera House in London. He has also served as a stage director: he staged and conducted Purcell’s King Arthur at the Ruhrtriennale and Mozart’s Il re pastore and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Salzburg Festival. In the concert arena he has conducted such ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Munich Philharmonic; in the 2015-16 season he made his debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Vienna Philharmonic. Along with the historic repertoire he deals with contemporary music, which he studied intensively early on as an assistant to Witold Lutosławski and Mauricio Kagel. He was awarded the Karajan Music Prize in 2016.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on March 19, 1997, with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Balthasar Neumann Choir in works by Emmanuele Rincon d’Astorga and Antonio Lotti.