JONAS ALBER has been called an unparalleled magician of sound, and has been praised for a maturity that seems unimaginable for such a young conductor. When he was appointed General Music Director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig in 1998, he became the youngest conductor in Germany to hold such a post. Today he is much in demand as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras and opera companies in every part of the globe.
As a symphonic conductor, JONAS ALBER has led many renowned orchestras. In Germany, these have included the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Cologne WDR Symphony, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, the Leipzig MDR Symphony, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Hamburg Symphony and the Bochum Symphony. He has also conducted the Tonkünstler Orchestra of Lower Austria in Vienna, the Symphony Orchestra of St. Gallen, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Residentie Orkest of The Hague, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Iceland Symphony, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Armenian Philharmonic, the Cape Philharmonic, and the Auckland Philharmonia.
Recent engagements (2010-2013) have included guest appearances with the BBC Symphony, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, the Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra; he also returned to the Brussels Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of St. Gallen, and the Armenian Philharmonic.
In 2009, he appeared as a guest conductor at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, made his debut in China with the Guangzhou Symphony, and his debut in Japan with the Osaka Philharmonic. In 2010, he performed in Hanoi with the Vietnam National Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic Choir at the opening of the Year of Germany, marked by performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He also returned to the Flanders Festival to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, to Norway to conduct the Kristiansand Symphony, and to China to make his debut with the Wuhan Symphony. Recently he returned to South Africa to conduct the KZN Philharmonic Durban in several concerts. In winter 2011 he conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in a production of Handel's Messiah in the cathedral of Oviedo, Spain. His 2013/14 engagements include repeat invitations from the Orchestre National de Lille, the Flanders Symphony, and the the Vietnam National Symphony, as well as debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Regensburg Philharmonic, the Estonian National Symphony, the Czech National Symphony, the Bucharest Enescu Philharmonic and Ploiesti Filarmonica Paul Constantinescu, the Madrid Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia, and the rising star of the Chinese orchestra scene, the Hangzhou Philharmonic. He will return to South Africa to work with the Johannesburg Philharmonic for the first time. He conducts during important festivals, such as the Festival de Laon, the Festival de Violoncelle de Beauvais and the Festival des Forêts.
JONAS ALBER has collaborated with such renowned soloists as Sol Gabetta, Natalia Gutman, Isabelle Faust, Shlomo Mintz, Maxim Rysanov, Martin Fröst, Radek Baborak, Håkan Hardenberger, Andrei Gavrilov, Steven Osborne, Igor Oistrach and many others. Singers he has worked with include such artists as Joyce DiDonato, Genia Kühmeier, Anne Schwanewilms, Iris Vermillion, Robert Dean Smith, Simon O'Neill, Kwangchul Youn, Franz Hawlata, and Hans-Peter König, among many others.
As an operatic conductor, 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. He earned international acclaim for his world premiere of Siegfried Matthus’ Cosima at the Staatstheater Braunschweig.
Additional opera performances have included a production of Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber at the Frankfurt Opera and a revival of Peter Grimes. Maestro ALBER began his relationship with the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg with Iphigenia in Aulis. This collaboration was followed by productions of Norma, Nabucco, and Der Freischütz. He made his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Carmina Burana and at the Vienna Volksoper with Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame. In 2007 he conducted the world premiere of Benoît Mernier’s opera Frühlings Erwachen at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, in 2008 the world premiere of Mats Larsson Gothe’s Poet & Prophetess at NorrlandsOperan in Sweden, which was followed by a second production of that work at the Cape Town Opera. He led a new production of The Abduction from the Seraglio at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 2009 and returned to the Staatstheater Braunschweig for a new production of Fidelio. In 2010, he conducted performances at the Dresden Semperoper of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and of Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Real, Madrid. In early summer 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 11/12, and Cosí fan tutte in 12/13.
JONAS ALBER’s numerous recordings have included the complete symphonic works of Schumann and selected symphonic works by Mendelssohn, Franck, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss. He has released recordings of Mahler’s second and third symphonies and of Richard Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony. He has recently made broadcast recordings with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other recent releases have included recordings of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and Tod und Verklärung, as well as a DVD of Mernier’s Frühlings Erwachen. This DVD earned ALBER the prestigious French recording prize, the Diapason d’Or, in December 2008.
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 F oundation.