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INGO METZMACHER has become one of today's most sought-after conductors. His vivid interpretations and innovative programming have established him as a regular guest with many of the world's most prestigious orchestras. His award-winning eight-year tenure (1997-2005) at the head of the Hamburg State Opera, the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and Hamburg Festival was one of the most groundbreaking and successful of its kind in recent times. He created a breathtaking range of imaginative and thought-provoking productions, concerts and festivals in repertoire from Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Verdi, and Wagner to Debussy, Stravinsky, Berg, Henze, and Nono, as well as performing many contemporary works. At the same time, he took the Hamburg Philharmonic on a number of prestigious European tours, including a residency at the Lucerne Festival and the Orchestra's debut at the BBC Proms in London. In September 2005, he began a new role as Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, where he continues his mission to bring fresh and dynamic interpretations to as wide a repertoire as possible, conducting at least three productions each season. Metzmacher has also been nominated to succeed Kent Nagano at the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin starting with the 2007/2008 season.
In the 2005/6 season, he returns to the London Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Munich Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and in the United States the San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Metzmacher has recorded extensively for EMI Classics since 1992 when his first CD, A Portrait of Charles Ives with the Ensemble Modern, was nominated for a Grammy award and earned the Grand Prix from the Académie Charles Cros. During his first season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Metzmacher began a recording project of symphonies by Karl Amadeus Hartmann; the full eight symphonies were re-released in a box set when they were awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. His landmark live recording of Wozzeck at the Hamburg State Opera was nominated for a Grammy award and received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. His release of Henze's Symphony No. 9 with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Radio Choir also received much critical acclaim. More recently, a series of live recordings have been released of his New Year's Eve Concerts in Hamburg under the title Who is afraid of 20th century music. Over 75 short works by the widest possible range of 20th century composers make up this ground-breaking 5-CD collection.
In January 2005, Metzmacher's book Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen. Eine Reise in die Welt der Musik was published in Germany. Such was its success that it was already in its fourth printing six months later and published in Dutch and Chinese shortly after. The book was awarded "Book of the Year 2005" by the opera magazine Opernwelt. Metzmacher is represented by Intermusica.