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Music Director of the National Symphony as well as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH is in demand as a guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world. Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival from 1999 to 2002, he has continued a close relationship with the Festival, regularly conducting the orchestra at home and on tour as well as playing piano concerti and recitals.
Highlights of Eschenbach’s recent seasons included appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, where he was music director through August, 2010; performances with the National Symphony; tours with the London Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle Dresden; and engagements with the Vienna State Opera, the Opera National de Paris, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China, and the NDR Symphony, where he served as music director from 1998 to 2004. As a pianist, Eschenbach continued his collaboration with baritone Matthias Goerne, with whom he is recording Schubert’s three song cycles for the Harmonia Mundi label.
A prolific recording artist over five decades, Eschenbach has recorded as both a conductor and a pianist on labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Sony/BMG, Decca, Ondine, Warner, and Koch. His 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, Eschenbach’s other past posts include chief conductor and artistic director of the Tonhalle-Orchestra from 1982 to 1986; and music director of the Houston Symphony from 1988 to 1999, the Ravinia Festival from 1994 to 2003, and the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2003 to 2008. 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. He also received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Pacific Music Festival, where he was co-artistic director from 1992 to 1998.