Manfred Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Several years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra as well as in his capacity as conductor of Vienna's Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. Manfred Honeck commenced his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. From 1991 to 1996 Manfred Honeck was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor's Award in 1993. In 1997, he took over the post of Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo for a year.