“The fact that an orchestra such as the WDR Symphony Orchestra, used to the crème de la crème, should feel so inspired and motivated to follow the intentions of this conductor is further proof of his qualities.” – Aachener Zeitung.
“Jonas Alber shows his skill in allowing Schreker’s orchestral opulence to sound transparent and elastic, without sacrificing its musical colouring. A great triumphfor the Frankfurt Opera.” - Berliner Tagesspiegel
JONAS ALBER has established himself as a sought-after conductor both on the concert podium and at leading international opera houses. His name is particularly associated with benchmark performances of fin-de-siecle works, and his repertoire extends from the baroque to contemporary music. Today he is much in demand as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras and opera companies in Europe, Asia, South America, New Zealand and South Africa.
As a symphonic conductor, JONAS ALBER has led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic, the Guangzhou Symphony, the Hamburg Symphony, the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, the Orchestre National de Belgigue, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Residentie Orkest of den Hague, the Osaka Philharmonic, the Tonkünstler Orchestra of Lower Austria in Vienna, the Vietnam National Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic Choir, the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, among others.
His 2013/14 engagements include repeat invitations from the Orchestre National de Lille, the Flanders Symphony, and the Vietnam National Symphony, as well as debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, the Regensburg Philharmonic, the Estonian National Symphony, the Czech National Symphony, the Bucharest Enescu Philharmonic, the Madrid Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia, and the Hangzhou Philharmonic. He will return to South Africa to work with the Johannesburg Philharmonic for the first time and will also appear at various international music festivals.
As an operatic conductor, JONAS ALBER has conducted roughly 500 performances of more than 50 operas. His repertoire ranges from traditional operas by Mozart, Puccini, and Richard Strauss to numerous new productions and premieres. He has led celebrated performances of such central works as Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as new productions of operas that have included Britten’s Peter Grimes, Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, von Schillings’ Mona Lisa, d’Albert’s Tiefland, and Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. Alber’s German premieres of Philippe Boesmans’ operas Reigen, Wintermärchen, and Julie, and of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, with newly composed recitative texts by Manfred Trojahn, in 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, received international notice, as did his world premiere of Siegfried Matthus’ Cosima at the Staatstheater Braunschweig.
His new production of Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber and his revival of Peter Grimes at the Frankfurt Opera both won him critical acclaim.
JONAS ALBER was General Music Director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig from 1998 – 2007. He has conducted at major opera houses all over the world, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Carmina Burana), the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels (world premiere of Benoit Mernier’s Frühling Erwachen) the Semperoper Dresden (Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung), the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Teatro Real Madrid (Der Rosenkavalier), the Vienna Volksoper (Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame). In 2011 he led the world premiere of Winnie, by Bongani Ndodana-Breen, an opera about the life of Winnie Mandela, at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria. He conducted The Magic Flute at the Hamburgische Staatsoper in 2011/12, and Cosí fan tutte in 2012/13.
He will make his opera debut at the Opéra de Rouen Haute Normandie in autumn 2014, conducting a new production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann with additional performances in Versailles.
JONAS ALBER collaborates with singers and soloists such as Joyce DiDonato, Isabelle Faust, Martin Fröst, Sol Gabetta, Håkan Hardenberger, Franz Hawlata, Schlomo Mintz, Steven Osborne, René Pape, Anne Schwanewilms and Iris Vermillion, among others.
His numerous recordings include the complete symphonic works of Schumann and selected symphonic works by Mendelssohn, Franck, Mahler, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss. He has recently made broadcast recordings with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His DVD recording Mernier’s Frühlings Erwachen earned ALBER the prestigious French recording prize, the Diapason d’Or.
JONAS ALBER was born in Offenburg, Germany. He studied violin and conducting in Freiburg, and qualified as a conductor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna. There he was awarded a scholarship by the Herbert von Karajan Foundation.