Gerd Albrecht was born in 1935 in Essen into a famous family of musicians. During his studies he won first prize in international competitions in Besancon and Hilversum. In 1962, at the age of 27, he was engaged in Lübeck as the youngest-ever German General Music Director. Leading positions in Kassel, at the German Opera in Berlin and at the Zürich Concert Hall followed. Since his youth he has been a devotee of contemporary music. Wolfgang Fortner, György Ligeti, Hans Werner Henze and Aribert Reimann are among those who have entrusted him with the first performance of their works.
As a guest conductor, Gerd Albrecht has for many years worked with the world’s foremost orchestras and operas. He has regularly conducted at renowned international festivals, mainly in Salzburg, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Munich and Vienna.
Between 1988 and 1997 Gerd Albrecht was General Music Director of the State Opera Hamburg and General Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra in the same city. From 1993 to 1996 he was chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the first non-Czech to hold this position in its one-hundred–year history. Between 1998 and 2007 Albrecht was Principal Conductor of the Yomiury Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
For his numerous gramophone recordings, Gerd Albrecht has won a host of international prizes. Recently appraised were his recordings of Schrecker’s operas Der Ferne Klang and Der Schatzgräber, as well as his recordings of Reger’s orchestral songs and Allan Peterson’s 7th Symphony, produced with the Philharmonic State Orchestra in Hamburg. Other awards include the German Music Review Prize in 1984 connected with the selection of “Musician of the Year“, the German TV Grimme Prize in 1974, the Officier dans l´Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Republique Francaise nomination in 1994, election as a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in 1995, and the Wilhelm Hausenstein Prize for services rendered to promotion of culture, 1999 Cross of the 1st class for merit conferred by Senator for Culture Dr Christina Weiss in the name of the Federal President, 2002 Accordance of the Honorary Golden Badge for merits to Viennam, 2002 Conferment of the Great Silver Honorary Badge for merits to the Republic of Austria.
Gerd Albrecht, who is also known to the public as a writer of children’s book, set up a foundation for children “Living Museum of Instruments“.Update: 2005