This season marks the fourth season of Jun Märkl's music directorship of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), and his second as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony. Last season's highlights in Lyon included highly acclaimed tours of Japan and to major German cities; a live recording of Mahler 3, released on Altus; and a major Stravinsky dance project. His Leipzig tenure was inaugurated last September with a Haydn/Schoenberg concert in the Dresdner Frauenkirche and the release of his first Leipzig recording (Brahms/Schoenberg on Querstand). Recording and touring plans with both ONL and MDR stretch well into the future; in addition to their existing relationships with Querstand, Pentatone and Altus, both orchestras have embarked upon ambitious recording projects with Naxos, for whom Märkl will record Mendelssohn in Leipzig and Ravel, Debussy and Messiaen in Lyon.
Märkl has long been a regular guest with leading German orchestras, and in 2008 returned to the Munich Philharmonic and the Radio Sinfonie Orchester Berlin. Before assuming the musical directorship in Lyon, he was a regular guest with the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has also conducted orchestras in Scandinavia (Helsinki Philharmonic, Danish Radio), the UK (English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National), and the Netherlands (Rotterdam and Netherlands Philharmonic and the Dutch Radio Philharmonic in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw).
Every season he conducts the NHK Symphony, with whom in 2006 he recorded the complete Schumann symphonies as part of an ongoing commitment to EXTON Records. He also appears regularly at the Pacific Music Festival and with the Mito Chamber Orchestra. Between 2001 and 2004 he conducted Japan's first-ever complete Ring Cycle with the NHK and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras.
Märkl was, until 2006, Permanent Conductor of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He conducted a complete Ring Cycle at the Deutsche Oper, has also been a regular guest at the Berlin State Opera and the Semper Oper Dresden with whom he toured to Japan in November 2007, conducting Tannhäuser. He made his Royal Opera House debut with Götterdämmerung in 1996 and at the Metropolitan Opera with Il Trovatore in 1998. This March Märkl conducted Bohème at the Vienna State Opera, where he has been a regular guest ever since his debut in 1993.
In the Summer of 2007 Märkl conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time (to critical acclaim). He has conducted many more of North America's top orchestras including those of Boston, Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Baltimore, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta and Dallas, and maintains continuing relationships with several of them. Born in Munich, his (German) father was a distinguished Concertmaster and his (Japanese) mother a solo pianist. Märkl studied violin, piano and conducting at the Musikhochschule in Hanover, going on to study with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich and with Gustav Meier in Michigan. In 1986 he won the conducting competition of the Deutsche Musikrat and a year later won a scholarship from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to study at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Soon afterwards he had a string of appointments in European opera houses followed by his first music directorships at the Staatstheater in Saarbrücken (1991-94) and at the Mannheim Nationaltheater (1994-2000).