Sibelius: Symphony No. 7, Finale
"The performance was at times gut-wrenchingly beautiful, particularly during moments that featured the principal strings, and at other points earth-shaking, such as during the feisty 'Convalescent,' when the floor literally vibrated from the full orchestra's sound [Strauss 'Also Sprach Zarathustra']. Mr. König led the ensemble with physicality that urged on bold playing rather than stifled it, and he flexed his interpretive muscles with a nuanced shaping of tempos.”
A conductor of deep intelligence and musicality, Christoph König has been exciting and inspiring audiences in North America since his first appearance here with the New Jersey Symphony in May, 2010. His performances are marked by an energetic and serious approach to musical collaboration, as well as a commitment to thoughtful and stimulating programming. He currently holds positions as Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Solistes Européens, Luxembourg, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Real Filharmonia de Galicia.
In addition to multiple re-engagements with symphonies such as Baltimore, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rochester, and Calgary/Alberta, Mr. König’s current season includes debuts at the Aspen Festival and with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh. He has also conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphonies of Colorado, Milwaukee, Pacific/Costa Mesa, and Vancouver. During the 2015/2016 season, he will debut with the Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais/Brazil, and at the festivals of Grant Park/Chicago and Brevard/North Carolina.
Among Mr. König’s worldwide highlights are debuts with the Adelaide Symphony, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saabrücken, Dresden Philharmonic, Euskadi Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic, and the St. Gallen Symphony, as well as re-invitations to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orquesta de la Communidad de Madrid, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, and the Stuttgart Philharmonic. He has also appeared with the Barcelona Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony (including a highly successful tour of China in 2008), Beethoven Orchestra/Bonn, Danish National Symphony, the Dresdner Staatskapelle, Mozarteum Orchestra/Salzburg, Orchestre de Paris, Netherlands Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Oslo, RTVE/Madrid, Tampere Philharmonic, and the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna.
Christoph König has recently concluded a highly successful, eight-year tenure as Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto at the Casa da Música. Other positions have included Principal Conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria. With all three orchestras, he has conducted a wide spectrum of repertoire reaching from Haydn and Mozart to Ligeti, Henze, and Turnage.
Equally at home in the theater, Mr. König’s reputation as an opera conductor rose swiftly after stepping in on short notice to successfully direct the Zürich Opera’s 2003 production of Jonathan Miller’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He has also led the Zurich Opera in productions of Die Zauberflöte and Il Turco in Italia with Cecilia Bartoli and Ruggero Raimondi. Other operatic productions include Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Teatro Real/Madrid; Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper/Stuttgart; and Die Zauberflöte and Rigoletto at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. With the Malmö Symphony, he conducted concert performances of Madama Butterfly and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
For the Ao Vivo label, Christoph König has recorded works by Schoenberg, Prokofiev, Saariaho, and Sibelius with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto. For Hyperion, he has recorded a highly acclaimed CD of music by Henryk Melcer, with pianist Jonathan Plowright and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His recording of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the same orchestra was featured on the front cover of BBC Music Magazine in September 2009. Other noteworthy recordings include Beethoven symphonies with the Malmö Symphony (DB Productions), and Prokofiev and Mozart with the Solistes Européens, Luxembourg (SEL Classics).
Christoph König was born in Dresden, where he sang as a boy soprano in the famous Dresdner Kreuzchor. He later studied conducting, as well as piano and voice, at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden. Mr. König also participated in the masterclasses of such renowned conductors as Sergiu Celibidache and Sir Colin Davis, who subsequently invited him to be his assistant for both concerts and opera productions with the Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden.