Heiko Mathias Förster
Guest of the Opera
Heiko Mathias Förster ranks among the most remarkable German conductors of the middle generation. He took up piano at the age of four, as a six-year-old was admitted to conservatory in Schwerin, and at ten (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. At the age of 23, he became principal conductor of the theatre company in Brandenburg. In the course of his nine seasons there, he 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 USA, Japan, and South Africa. In 1999–2006 he was principal conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, with which he also regularly participated at the International Music Festival Gut Immling 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). In 2007–2014 he was general music director of the Neuen Philharmonie Westfalen, since September 2014 he has been the chief conductor of Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava.
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). In the Czech Republic he has collaborated with the Prague Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. At the Prague State Opera 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 (2011). Conducting opera recitals, he has worked with such internationally renowned artists as José Cura, Angela Gheorghiu, Rolando Villazón, Joseph Calleja and Elīna Garanča.
Update: August 2014