• Born 1943
Often appears with
Once the head conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, and as the principal guest conductor with the Deutschen Staatsoper (German State Opera) in Berlin since 1995, Hartmut Haenchen (originally spelled Hänchen) is noted for the clear, precise phrasing and sumptuously sonorous tones he evokes from his musicians. In his youth, Haenchen was a member of the Kreuzchor in Dresden. As a 15-year-old cantor, he was conducting performances and led a revival of J.A. Hasse's Requiem when he was 17. That year, he entered the Dresden Hochschule für Musik, and later attended rehearsals for the Bayreuth Festival and of Herbert von Karajan's concerts. In 1966, Haenchen was engaged as the director of the choral society known as the Robert Franz Singakademie in Halle and also conducted the Hallé Orchestra. From 1972-1973, he was Kapellmeister of the Zwickau Theatre. He soon became a regular guest conductor at the Deutschen Staatsoper in Berlin and the Dresden Staatsoper, as well as conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic from 1973 through 1976. From 1976-1979, he was music director of the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle and Staatstheater in Schwerin, and conducted performances at the Komische Oper (Comic Opera) in Berlin. Since 1980, Haenchen has acted as the artistic director of the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in Berlin and has presented revivals of C.P.E. Bach's music from re-discovered manuscripts. The ensemble has appeared in many television productions, has received awards for several recordings, and regularly tours. Haenchen has led over 50 premieres with the Netherlands Opera -- which he directed between 1986 and 1999 -- including Handel's Giustino, Verdi's Don Carlos, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila, Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa and Eugene Onegin, Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten and Capriccio, Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Szymanowski's Król Roger, and Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtensk and The Nose. Haenchen simultaneously lead the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra until 2002, raising its reputation greatly. Haenchen also serves as the designated director of the Dresdener Musikfestspiele and continues to make guest appearances with orchestras throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Canada. He has conducted operas in Bologna, Geneva, Jerusalem, London, Munich, New York, Stuttgart, Warsaw, Vienna, and Wiesbaden, and written books on Wagner and Mahler.