Markus Stenz

Markus Stenz (born 28 February 1965, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Rhineland-Palatinate) is a German conductor. He studied at the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Volker Wangenhein and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.

Stenz has served as Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989–1995), and Principal Conductor of the London Sinfonietta (1994–1998). In Australia, from 1998 to 2004, he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), which he took on their first European tour in 2000. Stenz is known for his championing of contemporary composers, which included the appointment of Brett Dean as the MSO's composer-in-residence in 2001.[1]

Stenz was Principal Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra (Gürzenich-Kapellmeister) from 2003 to 2014.[2] During his tenure, beginning in October 2005, concerts of the Gürzenich Orchestra have been recorded live on their own label "GO live!" and made available within 5 minutes of the end of the concert the same night for purchase by audience members.[3] Stenz conducted the Gürzenich Orchestra's first concert appearance at The Proms in August 2008.[4]

In February 2008, Stenz was named principal guest conductor of the Hallé Orchestra,[5] the second principal guest conductor in the orchestra's history. He held this post from 2009 to 2014. In August 2010, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (RFO) announced the appointment of Stenz as its eighth chief conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.[6] Stenz concluded his RFO chief conductorship as of the close of the 2018-2019 season.[7] In July 2014, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Stenz as its next principal guest conductor, as of the 2015-2016 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.[8] In September 2016, Stenz was appointed as conductor-in-residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, effective January 2017, with a contract of 3 years.[9]

Stenz is noted as a conductor of the operas of Hans Werner Henze. His conducting debut at the La Fenice theatre in Venice was with a production of Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers. Stenz has also led the premieres of other Henze operas, including Das verratene Meer (Deutsche Oper, Berlin),[1] Venus und Adonis (Bavarian State Opera, Munich) and L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (2003 Salzburg Festival).[10]

Stenz is a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music.


In addition to his recordings with the Gürzenich Orchestra, Stenz made his first recording with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in premieres of works by Moritz Eggert, Colin Matthews, Theo Verbey and Detlev Glanert.[11] Further recordings include Helmut Lachenmann's Ausklang and Strauss' An Alpine Symphony with the Ensemble Modern Orchestra, Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Simplicius Simplicissimus,[12] and Henze's Symphony No. 8 and other pieces with the Gürzenich Orchestra. Stenz and the Gürzenich Orchestra have recorded a series of the music of Gustav Mahler for Oehms Classics,[13][14] and recordings of Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg for Hyperion Records.[15][16]


  1. Robin Usher (2004-11-22). "Stenz, on the road again". The Age. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  2. Hartmut Wilmes (2012-06-22). "Markus Stenz geht 2014 (Interview mit Generalmusikdirector)". Kölnischer Rundschau. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  3. Richard Morrison (2008-08-16). "Taking the baton for Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  4. Geoff Brown (2008-08-25). "Proms 48 and 49: Gürzenich-Orchester/Stenz and NYOGB/Pappano at the Albert Hall/Radio 3". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  5. Stephen Bates (2008-02-21). "People". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  6. "Markus Stenz chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra" (Press release). Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. 17 August 2010. Archived from the original on 19 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  7. "Karina Canellakis new Chief Conductor Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra" (Press release). Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  8. "Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces Several New Conducting Appointments" (Press release). Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  9. "Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra appoints Thierry Fischer as Principal Guest Conductor and Markus Stenz as Conductor-in-Residence Initial Three-Year Agreement to Commence in January 2017" (Press release). Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  10. Hugh Canning (2003-08-31). "Up and away". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  11. Geoff Brown (2008-08-22). "Concertgebouw: Horizon 1". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  12. Andrew Clements (2014-09-14). "Hartmann: Simplicius Simplicissimus CD review – Stenz captures opera's raw intensity". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  13. Andrew Clements (2009-10-22). "Mahler: Symphony No 5: Gürzenich O Köln/Stenz". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  14. Andrew Clements (2014-05-15). "Mahler: Symphony No 6 review – impressively plotted and controlled". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  15. Tim Ashley (2013-04-11). "Strauss: Don Quixote; Till Eulenspiegel – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  16. Andrew Clements (2015-06-25). "Schoenberg: Gurrelieder CD review – lacks the last bit of finesse". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Paul Crossley
Music Director, London Sinfonietta
Succeeded by
Oliver Knussen
Preceded by
Hiroyuki Iwaki
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Oleg Caetani
Preceded by
James Conlon
Chief Conductor, Gürzenich Orchester
Succeeded by
François-Xavier Roth
Preceded by
Jaap van Zweden
Chief Conductor, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
Succeeded by
Karina Canellakis
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