Titus Engel

Born in Zurich in 1975. After studying musicology and philosophy, he began to study conducting with Christian Kluttig at the High School of Music in Dresden. He received support for his musical career from the German Music Council’s Conductors’ Forum (2002–2005) and David Zinman’s American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Summer Music Festival (2003). In addition, he got to know the orchestral repertoire as assistant to Sylvain Cambreling, Marc Albrecht, and Peter Rundel.

He made his debut in February 2011 at Madrid’s Teatro Real, performing Pilar Jurado’s La página en blanco and winning high praise in the press. Also in Madrid, in 2014 he conducted the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s opera Brokeback Mountain and in 2017, the world premiere of Elena Mendoza’s opera La ciudad de las mentiras.

Titus Engel has conducted many renowned orchestras, including the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, WDR Köln, SWR Baden-Baden/Freiburg, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Bern Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra as well as chamber orchestras in Basel, Zurich, Stuttgart and Munich. He regularly works with leading contemporary music ensembles, including the Ensemble Modern, musikFabrik, ensemble recherche, Zurich’s Collegium Novum, the Remix Ensemble, and The Klangforum Wien. In 2000–2012, he was the musical director of Courage – Dresden Ensemble for Contemporary Music.

His interests focus on a search for new concert forms and dramaturgically meaningful fusion of early and new music. Apart from the symphonic repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries, Titus Engel has a deep passion for baroque music performed on both period and modern instruments. The results have included projects such as Affektheischerei, presented at Konzerthaus Berlin in 2010, and Im Sog der Klänge, a project in which seventeenth-century choral music was combined with world premieres of new works. The project was presented in 2009 at the NDR in Hamburg and in 2010 at the Klangspuren Schwaz, as well as at the Herrenhausen Festival in Hannover. 

Titus Engel made his opera debut in the premiere of Benjamin Schweitzer’s Jakob von Gunten in Dresden in 2000. Since then, he has conducted Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Radialsystem Berlin, Theater an der Wien), Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Weber’s Der Freischütz (Kampnagel Hamburg), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Berg’s Wozzeck (Stuttgart Opera), Offenbach’s Les Brigands (Bremen Theatre) and Fantasio (Comic Opera Berlin), Telemann’s Orpheus, Mozart’s La Betulia liberata (Frankfurt Opera), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Staatsoper Hamburg), Glass’s Akhnaten (Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp/Ghent), Nunez’ La Douce (Staatsoper Berlin) and Stockhausen’s Donnerstag (Basel Theatre). He has also conducted numerous world premieres of works by composers like Sergei Nevsky, Leo Dick, Elena Mendoza, Olga Neuwirth, Michael Wertmüller, and Chaya Czernowin at the Ruhrtriennale, the Berliner Festspiele, MaerzMusik Berlin, the Lucerne Festival, the State Opera in Hamburg, the Vlaanderen Opera, the National Theatre in Mannheim, and the Paris Philharmonic. He has performed several times at the Salzburg Festival.

Titus Engel has made various recordings for radio, TV and CD. He is the founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute and the Ligerzer Opernwerkstatt, as well as the editor of several books on contemporary opera.

Phot. Kaupo Kikkas
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