Conductor Andreas Delfs


Conductor Laureate: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Andreas Delfs enjoys great success in both the operatic and symphonic fields regularly collaborating with leading opera houses and orchestras throughout the world. He currently holds the position of Conductor Laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra where, during twelve seasons as Music Director, he was instrumental in the orchestra’s rise to national prominence through acclaimed recording projects, commissions of new works, world premieres and innovative music education programmes.

Andreas Delfs has held chief artistic posts with several distinguished institutions both in North America and Europe. He led the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Music Director (2001-2004) and artistic consultant (2004 -2006). In Europe, Mr. Delfs served as General Music Director of Hannover, Germany (1995-2000), conducting the symphony orchestra and opera company. Prior to his time in Hannover, Andreas Delfs was Music Director of the Bern Opera, resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony (during the tenure of Lorin Maazel) and Music Director, at an early age, of the celebrated Orchestre Suisse des Jeunes.

Andreas Delfs keeps an active guest conducting schedule. Highlights during the current and 10/11 season include appearances with the Tonkünster-Orchester Vienna, Calgary Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He will conduct the Britten Sinfonia in a performance of Elijah at London’s Barbican Hall. He also conducted two new operatic productions, namely Turandot at Opera Lyra Ottawa and Carmen at Opera North.

A distinguishing point in Andreas Delfs’ career is his continuing commitment to contemporary music. He has established a deep connection with living composers and counts among his profound musical inspirations musicians such as John Corigliano, Philip Glass, Roberto Sierra and Hans Werner Henze. Similarly, Andreas Delfs is in high demand as an esteemed collaborative conductor and is the frequent partner to many of the world’s most renowned solo artists, including Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo Yo Ma and Renée Fleming.

Andreas Delfs continues to make recordings, most recently Robert Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on the Naxos label and Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist John O’Conor on the Telarc label. Other recording projects have included a collection of sacred songs with Renée Fleming and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Decca, a production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Avie, as well as a recording of Mozart’s Requiem, with the St. Olaf Choir and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

As a well-established conductor, Andreas Delfs has led numerous distinguished ensembles over the years. He has conducted orchestras such as the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.

Among Andreas Delfs’ most notable operatic achievements has been his highly praised debut with the New York City Opera conducting performances of Carmen and a production of the uncut version of Hans Werner Henze’s monumental König Hirsch for the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart. He led four productions at the Aspen Music Festival and gave the Swiss premiere of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, which received special praise from the composer.

Born in Flensburg, Germany, Andreas Delfs began studying piano and music theory at age 5. He studied with Christoph von Dohnányi and Aldo Ceccato at the Hamburg Conservatory. At 20 Andreas Delfs became the youngest ever Music Director of the Hamburg University Orchestra and Musical Assistant at the Hamburg State Opera. Enrolling at The Juilliard School, Andreas Delfs studied with Jorge Mester and Sixten Ehrling and won the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. He lives with his wife Amy and their four children in Ithaca, New York, and also keeps a base in Germany.