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Konrad Junghänel

Konrad Junghänel

Konrad Junghänel is one of the leading conductors in the field of Early Music. He began his career as internationally renowned lutenist. Since the period of his studies in Cologne he has regularly collaborated as an instrumentalist with René Jacobs – for recitals and opera productions – and other well-known ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, La Petite Bande or Musica Antiqua Köln, being praised for his extraordinary virtuosity. Both as a soloist and a member of chamber music ensembles, Konrad Junghänel has appeared throughout Europe, in the USA, Japan, South America and Africa. For his recordings of the complete lute works by J.S. Bach as well as the works for lute solo by S.L.Weiss he was internationally awarded. Since 1994 Konrad Junghänel has a professorship at the state conservatory of music in Cologne. In 1987, his continuous work in the field of the baroque vocal music brought Konrad Junghänel to found the soloistic vocal ensemble Cantus Cölln, that nowadays is one of the most esteemed ensembles of its kind worldwide. (www.cantuscoelln.com)

For more than a decade, Konrad Junghänel is appearing as much requested guest conductor in Germany and abroad, for concerts and mainly for scenic productions of the baroque and early classical period. The result of his intense rehearsal work with specialized baroque ensemble as well as with modern orchestras is unanimously recognized. Critics outline the vibrating tempi, dramatic expressiveness of his interpretation and the sounds, both slim and rich of colour, of the ensembles he conducts. In a poll of the renowned German newspaper »Welt am Sonntag« Konrad Junghänel was nominated by the critics as best conductor of the opera season 2010/2011 in the region of Northrhine-Westfalia.

The production Combattimenti, with madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi (direction Geoffrey Layton), ran at the Internationale Reisopera of the Netherlands and Belgium for three years. This production was followed by Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto (direction Igor Folwill) in Cologne and Domenico Mazzocchis La Catena d’Adone (direction Jakob Peters-Messer) in Innsbruck and Antwerp. At the theater of Basel Konrad Junghänel conducted Wie liegt die Stadt so wüste with music by Heinrich Schütz just as the Händel-Oratory Israel in Egypt, both directed by Herbert Wernicke, at the Staatsoper Hamburg Ein geistliches Bankett, a scenic production of Bach cantatas (direction Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski) and at the Staatsoper Hannover Purcell’s Hail! Bright Cecilia. At the Theater Basel followed Händels Semele (direction Karin Beier), Monteverdis L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Rameaus Les Paladins (direction Nigel Lowery). At the Handelfestspiele Göttingen 2006 he made his debut with Handel’s opera Poro (direction Igor Folwill). In autumne 2006 Konrad Junghänel conducted Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Potsdam (direction Uwe Eric Laufenberg), followed by the Florentiner Intermedien (direction Nigel Lowery) at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken in April 2007 as well as Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the Staatsoper Stuttgart (direction Olga Motta) in November. In April 2008 he will be directing Händel’s Agrippina (direction: Peter Lund), again in Saarbrücken. After a further Mozart-Premiere in Potsdam in September 2008: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (direction Uwe Eric Laufenberg) he was much celebrated as musical director of the new production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Armida (direction: Calixto Bieito) at the Komische Oper Berlin in April 2009. In the same year there followed Händel’s Teseo (direction: Igor Bauersima) at the Staatsoper Stuttgart as well as his debut at the Cologne Opera with a further Gluck-Premiere: Orfeo ed Euridice (direction: Johannes Erath). 2010 started by Rameau’s Les Paladins (direction: Arila Siegert) at Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg, followed by Purcell’s Dido und Aeneas at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken. In autumn, the premieres of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (october, direction: Dietrich Hilsdorf) and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (november, direction: Uwe Eric Laufenberg), initialized a Monteverdi-cycle as well as aMozart-cycle under his musical direction at the Cologne Opera.

In January 2011, he directed Rameau’s Platée (direction: Karoline Gruber) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg (January 2011) as well as La Clemenza di Tito (October 2011, direction: Uwe Eric Laufenberg) and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (February 2012, direction: Bernd Mottl) at the Cologne Opera. With the successful production of G.F. Händel’s Xerxes at the Komische Oper Berlin (May 2012, direction: Stefan Herheim) Konrad Junghänel also gave guest performances in Bergen, Norway. His last celebrated productions were Händel’s Jephta in Potsdam (November 2013, direction: Lydia Steier) and Hasse’s Leucippo at the Schwetzinger Festspiele (May 2014, direction: Tatjana Gürbaca). Further works amongst others in Berlin, Graz andWiesbaden are being prepared.