Music Director of the State Opera
Karl-Heinz Steffens previously served as the Music Director of the Opernhaus Halle, Den Norske Opera (Norwegian National Opera) and Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. An erudite artist with keen interest in opera, he has gained ample experience in working with numerous orchestras and appearing at prestigious theatre festivals.
Karl-Heinz Steffens is an internationally renowned conductor of opera and symphony music alike. Over the past few years, he has collaborated with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, and other orchestras. He has regularly cooperated with the radio symphony orchestras in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart.
Under his guidance, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz received many accolades, including the ECHO prize as the best orchestra of 2015 for their recording of B. A. Zimmermann’s works. In the 2016/17 season, it was nominated for the Deutscher Musikverleger-Verband Preis for the best concert programme.
Karl-Heinz Steffens has worked for opera houses too. He conducted the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera, where he also explored and performed music for the productions Così fan tutte, Fidelio and Tosca, directed by Calixto Bieito. At the Teatro alla Scala, he has conducted adaptations of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Götterdämmerung. He recently made his debut at the Opernhaus Zürich. He has regularly collaborated with the Staatsoper Berlin, with the most recent production he conducted there being that of Fidelio.
In the current season, he performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino. He continued to appear with the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Steffens is scheduled to make his debut in North America with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and he has returned to the UK to conduct the symphony orchestras in Birmingham and Bournemouth. He and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will open the Lammermuir Festival.
Prior to being a conductor, Steffens was an acclaimed clarinettist, whose professional career culminated in his holding the post of first clarinettist of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Berliner Philharmoniker.