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Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season.  Together with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Honeck’s widely celebrated performances and distinctive interpretations continue to receive international recognition.  To great acclaim, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. Following a week-long residency in 2012, they returned once again for three performances in the course of an extensive tour of Europe in spring 2016. Manfred Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been extensively documented on recordings with the Reference and Exton labels.  The first SACD released by Reference Records of Strauss tone poems, drew rave reviews. The second recording, of Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janacek's opera Jenufa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, was nominated for a Grammy Award.  The following CDs of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven 5 and 7 and, most recently, Tchaikovsky 6, were released to

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Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season.  Together with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Honeck’s widely celebrated performances and distinctive interpretations continue to receive international recognition.  To great acclaim, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. Following a week-long residency in 2012, they returned once again for three performances in the course of an extensive tour of Europe in spring 2016.

Manfred Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been extensively documented on recordings with the Reference and Exton labels.  The first SACD released by Reference Records of Strauss tone poems, drew rave reviews. The second recording, of Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janacek's opera Jenufa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, was nominated for a Grammy Award.  The following CDs of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven 5 and 7 and, most recently, Tchaikovsky 6, were released to similar critical acclaim. Several recordings, among them Mahler's Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are also available on the Japanese label Exton.

As a guest conductor Manfred Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In 2013 he gave his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, resulting in a CD recording of Dvoraks works together with Anne-Sophie Mutter for DG which received an Echo Klassik award in 2014. In the 2015/2016 season he returned to Bamberg, Stuttgart, Rome, Stockholm and New York and conducted  the Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, amongst others.

Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and was engaged as Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006 he was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season.

From 2007 to 2011, Manfred Honeck was Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he conducted premieres including Berlioz's Les Troyens, Mozart's Idomeneo, Verdi's Aida, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and Wagner's Lohengrin and Parsifal, as well as numerous symphonic concerts. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. Moreover, he has been Artistic Director of the "International Concerts Wolfegg" in Germany for more than twenty years.

Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor by the Austrian Federal President. 

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Reviews

"With restrained passion Honeck resists the temptation to wallow and there is a gloriously temperamental power that one feels might explode at any moment... The way Honeck builds up the orchestral weight and volume is compellingly dramatic. Honeck and his Pittsburgh players obtain a maelstrom of emotions that can leave the listener crushed. "

Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International

"The Pittsburgh/Honeck Beethoven album reaches the shortlist of this century’s great Beethoven symphony recordings. You don’t often find yourself learning new things, and hearing new angles, in music as well-worn as Beethoven’s Fifth. That is what makes this such a special experience."

Brian Reinhart, Presto Classical

"Honeck’s conducting treats tempo and dynamics flexibly, naturally, and seamlessly […] a stylish, splendidly played interpretation of a kind all too rare today. In the cluttered mess that is the world of classical recordings today, Honeck and Pittsburgh stand virtually alone as a partnership truly worthy of your time and attention."

Review by: David Hurwitz, Classics Today

"Let's be very clear here; this is what Strauss should sound like. […] It's not all virtuoso bombast, either […] Honeck infuses the music with a real sense of purpose throughout the programme. […] Thus the climaxes are genuinely exciting; the transfiguration is beyond gorgeous and there is every feeling that this is something very special. […] It';s like Karajan's classic readings, only in better sound and a more natural orchestral picture. Fantastic. "

Brian Wigman, www.classical.net

"[Mozart's Jupiter symphony] received a performance close to ideal. Drama told through maintenance of line and understanding of harmonic rhythm, not via any applied ‘effects’. The LSO’s playing from all sections was beyond reproach, dark not sugary, counterpoint unerringly projected. Honeck and the orchestra combined the intimacy of chamber music with the dramatic urgency of the opera house [...] the LSO clearly loved playing with Honeck, and rightly so, for this was quite a debut, with Mozart surely the cruellest test of all. "

Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International

"[Manfred Honeck's] interpretations hark back to a time when the rules were fewer and the colours brighter. His Mahler Five steered clear of the sleep-inducing modern fixations with orchestral homogeneity and tastefulness and instead jumped right off the deep end."

Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The ArtsDesk

"Going through a musical score with Mr. Honeck is like visiting a tourist attraction with an expert local guide. He constantly points out things that have been long forgotten or interprets them in a way that seems utterly appropriate."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The new recording of Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 by Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is exceptionally compelling, featuring true individuality, committed playing and demonstration-quality sound."

Mark Kanny, TribLive

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Discography