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In demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world, CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH began his tenure in September 2010 as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra as well as Music Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Since his appointment to these positions in 2008, he has played a key role in planning future seasons, international festivals and special projects for these two prestigious institutions. In addition to conducting the National Symphony in its home at the Kennedy Center, Mr. Eschenbach led the orchestra on tour of South America (2012) and to Europe and Oman (2013).
Highlights of his 2013-14 season as a conductor includes engagements in the United States with the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the season, Mr. Eschenbach will appear as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, conducting a variety of programs in the Kennedy Center, including a special performance of Die Rosenkavalier with Rene Fleming in Spring 2014. He will also return to the Houston Symphony for a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand."
In Europe he will perform with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Dresden Staatskapelle at the occasion of the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin.
The Orchestre de Paris he led as Music Director between 2000 and 2010, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, where he was also Music Director from 1998 to 2004, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and the National Spanish Orchestra will also welcome Maestro Eschenbach this season.
In the Opera repertoire Mr. Eschenbach will conduct the Mozart Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera and, with Don Giovanni, he will continue the Mozart Da Ponte cycle he initiated the previous season at the Salzburg Summer Festival.
He will tour this season in Europe with the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester and take part, as every season since 1999, to the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival.
As special events Mr. Eschenbach will have the pleasure to conduct the Wiener Philharmonker for the famous Schönbrunn Summer Night concert, and in Asia the New Year’s concert in Shanghai with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
As a pianist, he continues his fruitful collaboration with baritone Matthias Goerne. The duo has recorded Schubert's three song cycles—“Die Schöne Müllerin,” “Die Winterreise,” and “Schwanengesang”—for the Harmonia Mundi label, the first installment of which was released in May 2009 to critical acclaim. In the summer of 2010, they performed the complete cycle in three recitals (and Mr. Eschenbach played Schubert monumental Sonata in B-flat major D. 960) at the Salzburg Music Festival, where Mr. Eschenbach also conducted two concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic. In the 2011-12 season, the duo has also performed the complete cycle in three recitals in Paris at the Salle Pleyel and did perform the cycle in 2012-13 at the Musikverein in Vienna. In 2013-14, the duo will appear in recital at Symphony Center in Chicago, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall, also in Germany at Baden Baden and Hamburg.
A prolific recording artist over five decades, Christoph Eschenbach has an impressive discography as both a conductor and a pianist on a number of prominent labels. His recordings include works ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time and reflect his commitment to not just canonical works but the music of the late-20th and early-21st-century as well. Mr. Eschenbach's discography includes recordings with the Orchestre de Paris, on the Ondine and Deutsche Gramophone labels and with the London Symphony (Sony/BMG), the Vienna Philharmonic (Decca), the Hamburg NDR Symphony (BMG/Sony & Warner) and the Houston Symphony (Koch), among many others. Over the past five years, Ondine has released sixteen critically acclaimed recordings featuring Mr. Eschenbach with the Orchestre de Paris and the Philadelphia Orchestra, a number of which have received prestigious honors including BBC Magazine “Disc of the Month,” Gramophone “Editors Choice,” and the German Record Critics’ Award, among others. His recent Ondine recording of the music of Kaija Saariaho with the Orchestre de Paris and soprano Karita Mattila won the 2009 MIDEM Classical Award in Contemporary Music.
Mentored by George Szell and Herbert von Karajan, Mr. Eschenbach held the posts of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra from 1982 to 1986; Music Director of the Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999; Music Director of the Ravinia Festival from 1994 to 2003; and Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival from 1999 to 2002. His many honors include the Légion d’Honneur; Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; the Officer's Cross with Star and Ribbon of the German Order of Merit; and the Commander's Cross of the German Order of Merit for outstanding achievements as pianist and conductor. He also received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Pacific Music Festival, where he was co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.