Alexander Liebreich

Alexander Liebreich


• Born 1968


Alexander Liebreich is best known as the conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. He has drawn attention to both himself and his orchestra in repertory of great variety, from standards to contemporary, from J.S. Bach, Haydn, and Rossini to works by Korean-born Isang Yun, Japanese Toshio Hosokawa, and Israeli Betty Olivero. But it is not just his wide-ranging and multiethnic repertory that point up Liebreich's versatility and eclecticism, it is the breadth of variety in his whole multifaceted career, from guest-conducting both major and second-tier orchestras across Europe, Japan, and New Zealand to conducting opera at such venues as the Frankfurt Opera. In addition, Liebreich has served as guest professor at North Korea's Pyongyang University of Music and Dance and taken on artistic directorship of the South Korean-based Tongyeong International Music Festival. As for his extensive training, he has worked closely with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Michael Gielen, and Colin Davis. Liebreich has recorded for ECM, Chandos, DG, and other labels.

Alexander Liebreich was born in Regensburg, Germany, on May 25, 1968. Liebreich showed musical talent early on and at 17 founded the Regensburg Chamber Choir. He studied musicology and Romance languages at Regensburg University. Liebreich later enrolled at the Hochschule für Müsik in Munich, where he studied conducting and voice. He had further study at the Salzburg Mozarteum, where his teachers included Michael Gielen.

In 1996, the year he completed his studies, Liebreich won the International Kirill Kondrashin Conducting Competition in Amsterdam. In the aftermath of that victory he served as assistant to several important conductors, including Colin Davis, Robert Abbado, and, at the Hilversum-based Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Edo de Waart.

Liebreich was also engaged in further educational activity, taking master classes with Myung-Whun Chung and, on invitation from Claudio Abbado, working on operatic endeavors at the Salzburg Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also busily engaged as guest-conductor with various orchestras throughout Europe.

In 2000 he led a notable concert at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw featuring music by Leonard Bernstein, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of the famed composer and conductor. Two years later Liebreich toured both North and South Korea with the German Youth Orchestra. Liebreich served the first of several stints as guest professor at Pyongyang University in the fall of 2003. In 2004 Liebreich toured the Netherlands with the Munich Chamber Orchestra and violin soloist Janine Jansen. Liebreich became the artistic director and chief conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra in 2006, and still holds the post. In 2012, he was named principal conductor of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra.

Liebreich's first recording with his orchestra was issued by ECM in 2008, a highly acclaimed CD of symphonies by Haydn and Isang Yun. In September 2011 Liebreich debuted at the Frankfurt Opera leading a performance of Othmar Schoeck's Penthesilea. That same year he was appointed artistic director of the Tongyeong International Music Festival in Tongyeong City, South Korea. Among Liebriech's more acclaimed as well as unusual recordings is his 2011 ECM disc of Landscape No. 5 and other works by Toshio Hosokawa. In the autumn of 2012, Liebreich became chief conductor and artistic director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom he recorded works by Szymanowski and Lutoslawski in 2015.