Marc Albrecht was presented with the award for Conductor of the Year 2019 during the festive International Opera Award Ceremony at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London on Monday evening, 29 April.
Having held a unique dual role as chief conductor of both Dutch National Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra since 2011, Albrecht received the coveted prize for his presentations over the whole of 2018. Other nominees were Michele Mariotti, Myung-Whun Chung, Diego Fasolis, René Jacobs and Mark Wigglesworth. Marc Albrecht responded:
'I feel extremely honoured to be the recipient of this highest distinction in today's opera world. In addition, I'm delighted and proud to attain this recognition for the long, shared artistic journey with the marvellous people at Dutch National Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. It is a privilege to engage in the pursuit of beauty and truth in music as well as to achieve it with them through mutual challenges and growth.'
More awards for DNO: Fin de partie (World Première) and Katie Mitchell (Director)
Alongside this accolade for Marc Albrecht, Dutch National Opera also secured an International Opera Award for György Kurtág's Fin de partie as directed by Pierre Audi (co-production with La Scala), which won World Première of the Year.
The award for Director of the Year went to Katie Mitchell, who directed Dutch National Opera's productions of Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence (nominated in the World Première category) and Janáček’s Jenufa (nominated in the New Production category) in 2018. Mitchell will return to Dutch National Opera in April 2020 to direct Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten, with Marc Albrecht leading the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
International Opera Awards
The International Opera Awards are the premier distinction in the opera world. Founded in 2012 by philanthropist and opera lover Harry Hyman, these 'Oscars of Opera' are conferred annually to recognise the most outstanding achievements of the past year. Judging is carried out by an international jury of industry professionals.
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra was established in 1985 as the orchestra of Dutch National Opera, with Hartmut Haenchen as its first chief conductor in what is a unique dual role.
The 2019-2020 season marks Marc Albrecht's last as chief conductor of Dutch National Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, where he is conducting Wagner's Tannhäuser at present, Wagner's Die Walküre in November and Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten in April 2020. This year also sees him conducting the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at The Concertgebouw in Bruckner's Symphony No 7 (June), Mahler's Symphony No 7 (October) and Brahms' Symphony No 4 (December).
At the end of the 2019-2020 season, Marc Albrecht will conclude his ten-year tenure as chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera with a concert of Beethoven's Ninth symphony, performed with the Dutch National Opera Chorus. Succeeding Albrecht will be Lorenzo Viotti.
Marc Albrecht – biography
Marc Albrecht has been Principal Conductor of NedPhO|NKO and the Dutch National Opera since 2011, and will continue in the post throughout the 2019/2020 season. Albrecht is well known for his interpretations of the great late-Romantics – Wagner, Mahler and Richard Strauss – but has also done much to champion the work of lesser-known composers such as Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker. During his international career he has conducted the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Amsterdam Concertgebouworkest. In 2006, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique of Strasbourg, a post he held until taking up his current role in Amsterdam.
Marc Albrecht has conducted numerous productions of the Dutch National Opera, including Die Frau ohne Schatten and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss, Enescu’s Œdipe, The Magic Flute by Mozart, Gurre-Lieder by Schoenberg, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal, and Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck. Albrecht is in great international demand as an opera conductor. He made a very successful debut at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, and in 2010 led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in an impressive production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, which is available on DVD. He was invited to conduct Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Bayreuth Festival in four consecutive years, and in 2009 he conducted the same opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Marc Albrecht has enjoyed a particularly long and fruitful relationship with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he was guest conductor from 2001 until 2004. To this day, he regularly returns to Berlin to conduct the company’s new productions.
Marc Albrecht has received numerous accolades for his recorded work. In 2014, the Dutch National Opera production of Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber received an Edison Award, and Manfred Trojahn’s Orest was also among the nominees. In 2015, his 2-DVD set of Rimsky Korsakov’s epic The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia received the International Classical Music Award. In the same year, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder was nominated for the International Opera Award for best new production. In 2016, Dutch National Opera under the musical direction of Marc Albrecht received the International Opera Award for ‘Opera House of the Year’.
Marc Albrecht, credits Melle Meivogel