View biography in full page >
Christoph von Dohnányi is recognized as one of the world's most
distinguished conductors. He started his career as assistant to Sir
George Solti in Frankfurt and after four years became the youngest
General Music Director in Germany, in Lübeck in 1957. He was opera
director and GMD at the Frankfurt Opera and Intendant and Chief
Conductor at Hamburg State Opera. He was chief conductor at the WDR
Sinfonie Orchestra in Cologne and the NDR Sinfonie Orchestra in
Hamburg, as well as Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the
Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and Principal Guest Conductor and
Musical Adviser of L'Orchestre de Paris.
Maestro von Dohnanyi served as sixth Music Director of the
Cleveland Orchestra from 1984 to 2002 having been appointed Music
Director Designate in 1982. He conducted the orchestra in
subscription concerts, in semi-staged concert version opera
performances at Severance Hall, and on domestic and international
tours to Asia and Europe. He initiated a project conducting world
premieres of composers from the Cleveland area. The renovation and
the extension of Severance Hall, the founding of the Cleveland
Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorus were significant
achievements during his era as Music Director.
He recorded numerous works with the Cleveland Orchestra: CD
releases by Decca feature wide ranging repertoire with works by
Mozart, Mahler, Bruckner, Dvorak, Strauss, Ives, Varese, Bartok,
Adams, Ruggles, Webern, Ran, Shostakovich and all Schumann
symphonies. A compilation of all Beethoven symphonies was recorded
by Telarc, and a collection of all Brahms symphonies by Teldec.
Live radio broadcast recordings were released by the Cleveland
Orchestra, one set in celebration of the orchestra's 75th
anniversary and one commemorative box upon finishing his tenure in
Cleveland representing his 20 years as Music Director. In 2002 he
was named the first Music Director Laureate of the Cleveland
Since ending his tenure in Cleveland Christoph von Dohnányi has
been a regular guest conductor with the Boston Symphony, New York
Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Chicago
Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Cleveland
Maestro von Dohnányi is Honorary Conductor for Life of the
Philharmonia Orchestra. This longstanding partnership began in 1994
when he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor and subsequently
became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser. In addition to
concerts at the South Bank Centre and in venues around England,
Dohnányi and the Philharmonia have performed in Europe's musical
centers like the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival,
Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Lucerne Festival and in Paris at the
Théâtre des Champs Elyseés. For several seasons they were in
residence at the Théâtre du Châtelet presenting new 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. His final tour as Principal
Conductor of the Philharmonia led them to the U.S., with concerts
in Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, at the
Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Davies Symphony Hall in
San Francisco and at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
In summer seasons, Maestro von Dohnányi is a frequently seen
guest at the Tanglewood Music Festival leading concerts with the
Boston Symphony Orchestra including, among many others, the opening
concert of the 75th anniversary season of Tanglewood. He conducted
the Tanglewood Music Center's 2010 production of Ariadne auf
Naxos and in 2013 a performance with the Tanglewood Music
Center Orchestra of Mahler's Symphony no.1. At the Ravinia Festival
he led the Chicago Symphony in two all Brahms programs in 2011 and
a pair of all Beethoven concerts in 2013.
Last season, Mo. von Dohnányi toured with the Philharmonia
Orchestra in Europe and conducted the gala concert in London
celebrating the orchestra's 70th anniversary. Dohnányi conducts the
Orchestre de Paris this season, and leads subscription weeks with
the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and the Boston,
Chicago, and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. On May 8, 2016, he led a
special concert marking the end of World War II in Europe, leading
the Vienna Smphony Orchetra in works by Schoenberg and
His conducting schedule permitting, Maestro von Dohnányi also
works with student orchestras of institutions like the New England
Conservatory in Boston, Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the
Juilliard School in New York, the Cleveland Institute of Music and,
during the summer, at the Tanglewood Music Center.
In November 2013 exceptional events marked his collaboration
with the Philharmonia. By invitation of HRH Prince Charles they
performed a birthday concert in Buckingham Palace with an all
Wagner program, honoring the composer's 200th birthday. The
University of London held a ceremony bestowing on Dohnanyi the
degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, by the Royal Academy of
He has been a frequent guest conductor in concert with the
Vienna Philharmonic and at the Vienna State Opera. Herbert von
Karajan and his successor Gerard Mortier invited him to the
Salzburg Festival. There he led the Vienna Philharmonic in
productions of Der Rosenkavalier, Salome, Cosi fan Tutte,
Erwartung, Bluebeard's Castle, Die Zauberflöte, and in the world
premieres of Henze's Die Bassariden and Cerha's Baal. He also led
the Cleveland Orchestra in concerts at the Große Festspielhaus and
Felsenreitschule in Salzburg.
For London/Decca he recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic a
variety of symphonic works by Schubert, Strauss, Dvorak,
Tchaikovsky, all Mendelssohn symphonies 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. During
opera director Alexander Pereira's tenure Dohnanyi regularly
appeared at the Opernhaus Zurich conducting new productions of
Strauss's Die Schweigsame Frau, Ariadne auf
Naxos, Salome, Elektra, Die Frau ohne
Schatten, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Bartók's
Bluebeard's Castle, Mozart's Idomeneo, Verdi's
Un ballo in maschera, Berg's Wozzeck,
Schoenberg's Moses und Aron and Wagner's The Flying
Maestro von Dohnányi has conducted at the world's great opera
houses, including Covent Garden, La Scala, the Vienna State Opera,
Berlin, Paris and in the US at the Metropolitan Opera, San
Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera in Chicago. At the Vienna State
Opera he conducted the new production of the Ring des Nibelungen in
1992/93. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin he led the first performance
of Henzes Der junge Lord. Herbert von Karajan invited him regularly
to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
He was invited by Wieland Wagner to conduct Tannhäuser und Die
Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festival, however, after
Wieland Wagner's death these contracts were not realized.
Christoph von Dohnányi was born in Berlin in 1929 and studied
music in Munich, finishing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik
with the award of the Richard Strauss prize of the City of Munich;
and at Florida State University with his grandfather, pianist and
composer Ernst von Dohnányi. He completed his studies in the US by
attending a conducting class at Tanglewood in 1952.
Among his many honors Christoph von Dohnányi has received
honorary doctorates of Music from the Eastman School of Music in
Rochester, Oberlin College of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music,
Kent State University and Case Western Reserve University, London's
Royal Academy of Music, and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters
from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, and
the Anti-Defamation League's Torch of Freedom Award. He is the
recipient of the Goethe plaque of the city of Frankfurt, the prize
of Wissenschaft and Forschung of the city of Hamburg and the Bartok
medal in Hungary. He is a member of the Order of Arts and Letters
of France, and received the Verdienstkreuz of the Republic of
Austria and the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Bundesrepublik
Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor
View biography in full page >
Francesco Piemontesi is a pianist of exceptional refinement of expression, which is allied to a consummate technical skill. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Piemontesi’s pianism and sensibility has a close affinity too with the later 19th century and 20th century repertoire of Brahms, Liszt, Dvořák, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók and beyond. Of one of his great teachers and mentors, Alfred Brendel, Piemontesi says that Brendel taught him “to love the detail of things”.
Francesco Piemontesi appears with major ensembles worldwide: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, DSO and Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, London Symphony Orcherstra, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, The Hallé, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Iven Fischer, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Ton Koopman, Andrew Manze, Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo and Yuri Temirkanov.
Piemontesi is also a natural and keen chamber musician and plays with a variety of partners – Leif Ove Andsnes, Yuri Bashmet, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Emmanuel Pahud, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and the Emerson Quartet.
In solo recital, he has appeared in many prestigious venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doelen, Berlin Philharmonie, Zürich Tonhalle, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Suntory Hall Tokyo. In January 2016, Piemontesi launched his complete Mozart Odyssey at the Wigmore Hall, performing the sonatas in a series of recitals over the course of three seasons:
“[The D-major Fantasia] was a good introduction to Piemontesi’s balance between musical intelligence, judgement and intuition, which poured into his reading of the K284 Sonata… The detail of decoration and dynamics Piemontesi released in the penultimate section – a full-scale Adagio vocalise of great intensity – made Mozart’s supernatural eloquence soar”
Piemontesi has performed at the Verbier Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, Chopin International Music Festival in Warsaw, Lucerne Festival, Schubertiade, Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival, Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein festivals and New York Mostly Mozart Festival.
Francesco Piemontesi has released a number of fine recordings, including three recordings for Naïve Classique: the Debussy Préludes, released in autumn 2015, Mozart Piano Works, and Schumann and Dvořák‘s Piano Concerti with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek. His recording of Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 25 & 26 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Andrew Manze were released on Linn Records in August 2017.
Born in Locarno, Francesco Piemontesi studied with Arie Vardi before working with Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Cécile Ousset and Alexis Weissenberg. He rose to international prominence with prizes at several major competitions, including the 2007 Queen Elisabeth Competition, and between 2009-11 he was chosen as a BBC New Generation Artist.
Since 2012, Piemontesi has been the Artistic Director of the Settimane Musicali di Ascona.