“She is an inquisitive artist who knows how to motivate an orchestra while simultaneously demanding the highest quality. She can immerse herself in the intricacies of orchestral colors but also knows when to let go” said the jury from Opernwelt magazine in the autumn of 2019 when they named then 33-year-old conductor Joana Mallwitz “Conductor of the Year”. Mallwitz, who has been the General Music Director of the Nuremberg State Theater since 2018, is celebrated by critics as an “exceptionally talented conductor”, able from her position in the orchestra pit to shape and animate the musical action like a “stage designer in sound” (Reinhard J. Brembeck, Süddeutsche Zeitung).
At least since her frenetically acclaimed debut with Così fan tutte in Salzburg in 2020, Mallwitz is rated among the most outstanding conductors of her generation. In the 100-year-old history of the Salzburg Festival, she was the first female conductor to be entrusted with an entire production. In summer 2022 she returned to Salzburg to oversee a revival of The Magic Flute. With the season 2023/24, Joana Mallwitz will become artistic director and chief conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
In the 2022/23 season Mallwitz will conduct new productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and Le nozze di Figaro in Nuremberg, as well as a new production of Rusalka at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam, and a revival Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. On the concert podium she will debut this season with the Orchestre de Paris and the Bern Symphony Orchestra, alongside her numerous concerts with Staatsphilharmonie in Nuremberg.
In spring 2022 she conducted the RSO Vienna within her engagement as portrait artist of the Wiener Musikverein. Some of her recent debuts include the Bavarian Radio Symphony in Munich, Orchestre National de France and at the Semperoper Dresden, where she led a new production of Rusalka. Previously she has conducted at the Bavarian State Opera (Eugene Onegin and L’elisir d’amore), at the Frankfurt Opera (Salome and The Merry Widow), the Royal Danish Opera (The Flying Dutchman and Madame Butterfly), the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo (Der Rosenkavalier), and the Opera Zurich (Macbeth). Concert engagements have taken her to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the HR- and SWR- Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonia in London, Munich Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra.
After a long-standing engagement as Kapellmeister in Heidelberg, Mallwitz became General Music Director of Theater Erfurt in 2014, then the youngest person in Europe to hold such a position. There she founded the Orchestra Academy of the Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra and established a composer-in-residence program, “Erfurts Neue Noten”. Her popular Expedition Concerts, developed in Erfurt, enjoy resounding success at her principal place of work in Nuremberg as well as in an online adaption. Her first season as General Music Director in Nuremberg included new productions of Prokofiev’s War and Peace and Wagner’s Lohengrin, which were enthusiastically received by critics throughout Germany, and have since been followed by productions of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.
Hailing from the German city of Hildesheim, Mallwitz received her musical training at the University of Theater and Media in Hanover, where she studied conducting with Martin Brauß and Eiji Oue as well as piano with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Bernd Goetzke.