Hartmut Haenchen's high intellect and musical integrity have assured him a place in the forefront of musical life. Brought up in the former GDR, he has seen his career reborn in the new Europe, where his breadth of experience and depth of understanding have won respect, while audiences have warmed to the humanity of his interpretations. He is particularly renowned and respected for his interpretations of Richard Strauss, Wagner and Mahler.
Despite the severe restrictions of the former East German regime, Hartmut Haenchen was given special permission to work with the West’s finest ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Concertgebouw Orchestra. He subsequently made his home in The Netherlands, where a new public recognised his genius, and where eventually he became Music Director of both the Netherlands Philharmonic and The Netherlands Opera. In October 2008 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of the Republic of Germany, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and the arts.
Hartmut Haenchen enjoys ongoing relationships with a number of orchestras throughout the world. Appearances include Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Japan Philharmonic, Kioi Sinfonietta, Netherlands Philharmonic, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, WDR Köln, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre de Paris. Projects include a Mahler cycle with the Orchestre du Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and this season he conducts a Strauss series with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Other guest conducting plans include Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Hartmut Haenchen has close relationships with many important opera houses. He was Music Director of The Netherlands Opera for thirteen years. During his directorship he embraced a wide-ranging repertoire, including the operas of Berg, Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Puccini, Reimann, Shostakovich, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner. He continues to appear there regularly and enjoyed outstanding critical success conducting Wagner’s Ring in a cycle directed by Pierre Audi. This well received Ring Cycle is available on CD/DVD and will enjoy a further revival (2012-2014) in celebration of the 2013 Wagner anniversary. Other recent productions in Amsterdam include Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Strauss’s Capriccio and a new production of Der fliegende Holländer – recently released on DVD to critical acclaim.
Plans include Der fliegende Holländer at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Tannhäuser and Daphne in Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse and regular appearances at Teatro Real, Madrid including new productions of Boris Godunov and Lohengrin, as well as a new Parsifal directed by Keith Warner at the Royal Opera, Copenhagen. Other recent work includes appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he conducted Strauss’s Salome to critical acclaim in 2010, and at Opéra National de Paris where engagements have included well-received productions of Strauss’s Salome (2006), Capriccio (2007), a new production of Parsifal (2008), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2009) for which we has awarded the French Grand Prix de la Critique and Wozzeck (opening the 2009/2010 season), as well as Wozzeck in Tokyo, Elektra in Toulouse and a new production of Parsifal at la Monnaie, Brussels, winner of the 2010 Prix de l’Europe Francophone (also a French Grand Prix de la Critique).
Hartmut Haenchen has made more than one hundred and thirty recordings with different orchestras for Berlin Classics, Capriccio, Naxos, Pentatone, Philips, Sony Classical, Vanguard and ICA Classics. These include a substantial discography with his Kammerorchester Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, including several prize-winning discs. His most recent release - the ICA Classics DVD of Mahler Symphony No.6 - has been awarded a Diapason d’Or. Hartmut Haenchen is also the author of many books on music, including important studies of Wagner and Mahler.