Heiko Mathias Förster
Guest of the Opera
Native of Mecklenburg, Heiko Mathias Förster took up piano at the age of four, as a six-year-old was admitted to conservatory in Schwerin, and in 1976 became laureate of a national piano competition. Fascination by the atmosphere of theatre resulted in a shift of focus of his studies, and H.M. Förster started to devote himself to conducting. Still as a student, he became first conductor, and at the age of 23, principal conductor of the theatre company in Brandenburg. In the course of his nine seasons there, Heiko Mathias Förster conducted something like 500 concert performances and 32 premieres of opera and operetta productions, as well as touring widely, both at home and internationally, with the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, including visits to the United States, Japan, and South Africa. In 1999 he accepted an invitation from Munich to become principal conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, a post which he held through the end of the 2005/2006 season. Along with his work as the Munich orchestra´s chief conductor, Heiko Mathias Förster established himself as opera conductor with the International Music Festival at Chiemgau. Förster´s profound knowledge of the Wagnerian repertoire was instrumental in his involvement, in 2000, in the project of Der Ring an einem Abend (The Ring on a Single Night), originated by the German filmmaker, actor and author, Vicco von Bülow (a.k.a. Loriot), and mounted in Munich, Salzburg and Vienna, and in 2003, in the production of his own project, an hour-long orchestral version of Der Ring ohne Worte (The Ring without Words). He topped off his seven years at Munich by the presentation of the complete series of Beethoven symphonies at the city´s Prinzregententheater. Since the 2007/2008 season, he has been general music director of the Neuen Philharmonie Westfalen.
Heiko Mathias Förster has guest appeared with orchestras around the globe (Orquestra Simfónica del Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Orchester des Nationaltheaters Mannheim, Staatsorchester Bremen, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Berliner Symphoniker, Bayerische Staatsorchester, Staatskapelle Halle, NDR Radio-Philharmonie Hannover, Orchestre de Colonne Paris, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Taipei City Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, China National Orchestra Beijing, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and others). At the State Opera Prague he prepared new productions of Verdi’s Otello (2009), Massenet‘s Don Quichotte (2010) and Die drei Pintos by Carl Maria von Weber and Gustav Mahler (2012). Conducting opera recitals, he has worked with such internationally renowned artists as José Cura, Angela Gheorghiu, Rolando Villazón, Joseph Calleja and Elīna Garanča.
Update: September 2012