The Kennedy Center

Christoph von Dohnányi


Christoph von Dohnányi is recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent orchestral and opera conductors. In addition to guest engagements with the major opera houses and orchestras of Europe and North America, his appointments have included opera directorships in Frankfurt and Hamburg, principal orchestral conducting posts in Germany, London and Paris, and his legendary 20-year tenure as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra.


Maestro von Dohnányi began 2012/13 with the July 6 opening concert of the Boston Symphony's 75th anniversary season at Tanglewood, where he returned for three additional concerts in August. 


In the fall, he led the opening concerts at the Teatro alla Scala and for l'Orchestre de Paris; he also led the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he is Honorary Conductor for Life, in Bruckner's Symphony No. 8.  In the spring of 2013, he returns to the Philharmonia for Beethoven's Eroica Symphony.


In North America this season, Maestro von Dohnányi leads subscription weeks with the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony in Washington D.C., and the Cleveland Orchestra, and leads two weeks of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Symphony.  


Maestro von Dohnányi's longstanding partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, where he served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser for ten years, began when he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 1994. In addition to subscription concerts at the South Bank Centre and in venues around England, Dohnányi and the Philharmonia have played in residence in Vienna's Musikverein, toured throughout Germany and made a substantial West Coast tour of the U.S., with dates at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. In collaboration with the Théâtre du Châtelet, he led the Philharmonia in productions of Strauss's Arabella, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Die schweigsame Frau, Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel in Paris.


Highlights of Dohnányi's recent seasons include concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Israel Philharmonic, and a series of dates with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he led the four Brahms symphonies over a two-week period. In addition to rapturously received appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, he frequently appears with the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.  Maestro von Dohnányi served as music director for the Tanglewood Music Center's 2010 production of Ariadne auf Naxos. He frequently leads the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, where he conducted two acclaimed all-Brahms programs in the summer of 2011.


During his years as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Maestro von Dohnányi led the orchestra in a thousand concerts, fifteen international tours, twenty-four premieres, and the recording of over one hundred works. Immediately upon the completion of his tenure there in 2002, he made a sweep of triumphant guest appearances with orchestras in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York.


Maestro von Dohnányi conducts frequently at the world's great opera houses, including Covent Garden, La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, Berlin, and Paris. He has been a frequent guest conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, leading the world premieres of Henze's Die Bassariden and Cerha's Baal. He also regularly appears with the Zurich Opera, where in recent years he conducted Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, a double bill of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, and new productions of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Berg's Wozzeck, and last season, Schoenberg's Moses und Aron.


Christoph von Dohnányi has made many critically acclaimed recordings for London/Decca with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. With Vienna, he recorded a variety of symphonic works and a number of operas, including Beethoven's Fidelio, Berg's Wozzeck and Lulu, Schoenberg's Erwartung, Strauss' Salome, and Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. With the Cleveland Orchestra, his large and varied discography includes concert performances and recordings of Wagner's Die Walküre and Das Rheingold, the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, symphonies by Bruckner, Dvorak, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovsky, and among many others, works by Bartók, Berlioz, Ives, Varèse and Webern.

(Current as of February 2013)
Christoph von Dohnanyi