Newly appointed as Music Director Designate of Prague State Opera, German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both the operatic and symphonic worlds. As well as his guest engagements with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic and the Filharmonica Teatro Regio Torino, Steffens takes particular pleasure in undertaking substantial surveys of repertoire, for example a Brahms cycle with the Philharmonia in London. Elsewhere at the opera house, he is regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Teatro alla Scala.
Newly appointed Music Director of Prague State Opera, Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of distinction in both the operatic and symphonic worlds. He assumes the post in August 2019 before the re-opening of the Opera House in January 2020 following its reconstruction.
In great demand as a guest conductor, recent seasons have seen him work with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Lyon National, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras and frequently with the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart. This season he returns to Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Filharmonica Teatro Regio Torino and continues his appearances in Scandinavia with the Helsinki Philharmonic and a Brahms symphony cycle with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. He also makes his North American debut with the Toronto Symphony.
In the UK, Steffens returns to the Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras and makes his debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra opening the Lammermuir festival with Bruckner’s SymphonyNo. 7. Last season he concluded his cycle of Brahms works with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducting the Requiem and appearing as soloist in the composer’s Clarinet Quintet.
During his time as Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the orchestra was honoured with many accolades; they received the ECHO award for Best Orchestra in 2015 for their recording of works by B.A. Zimmermann and in 2016/17 were nominated prizewinners of the Best Concert Programme of the Season by the Deutsche Musikverlegerverband, the German Music Publishers’ Association. Most recently their recording of works by George Antheil, an addition to the Modern Times series, was designated Concert Recording of the Year by the new Opus Klassik awards.
Previously in the opera house, Steffens gave the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas and Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera where he has also conducted productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio and Calixto Bieito’s Tosca. He has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung, and recently made his Zürich Opera debut with Cosi fan tutte. He is regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where this season he conducts performances of Fidelio.
Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist who also held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts of Principal Clarinet with the Bavarian Radio and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.
Karl-Heinz Steffens’ latest recording with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz covers orchestral works by Karol Szymanowski, including his Concert Overture, Slopiewnie Op. 46 and Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 60.
Robert Fuchs: Symphonies 1 & 2
Steffens conducts the WDR Symphonieorchester Köln in Robert Fuchs’ first two symphonies.
Steffens and the Bamberger Symphoniker in Overtures by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Cherubini, Gluck, Mozart & Maria von Weber.
Henri Dutilleux: Symphony No. 1 – Deux sonnets de Jean Cassou – Métaboles
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz directed by Karl-Heinz Steffens with Paul Armin Edelmann (baritone).