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Acclaimed for his interpretations of Wagner and Strauss, as well as for his commitment to contemporary music, Marc Albrecht holds the position of Chief Conductor of both the Netherlands Opera and Netherlands Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, and is.a regular guest at Europe’s most prestigious opera houses and orchestras. In the early years of his conducting career, Albrecht spent several seasons at the opera houses of Hamburg and Dresden, and also was appointed personal assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 1995 he embarked on a highly successful 6 year tenure as Music Director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt, and from 2006-2011, he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

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A dynamic and accomplished presence both on the orchestra podium and in the opera pit, and a regular guest at Europe’s most prestigious opera houses and orchestras, Marc Albrecht is particularly acclaimed for his interpretations of Wagner and Strauss, as well as for his commitment to contemporary music. He holds the position of Chief Conductor of both the Netherlands Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. In the early years of his conducting career, Albrecht spent several seasons at the opera houses of Hamburg and Dresden, and also was appointed personal assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 1995 he embarked on a highly successful 6 year tenure as Music Director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt, and from 2006-2011, he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Marc Albrecht has appeared with many key orchestras in Europe including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Staatskapelle Dresden, Munich Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. He has appeared at the BBC Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and worked in the US with the Saint Louis and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. Recent successes have included his debuts with the Danish National Symphony and the Oslo, Bergen and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras, the Residentie Orkest (The Hague), Orchestre National de France, and Orchestra Nazionale Sinfonica della RAI Torino. Future highlights include debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and return visits to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Gothenburg Symphony, and the Orchestre National de France.

In the opera house, Marc Albrecht’s highly acclaimed work during the past seasons has included a new production of Der fliegende Holländer at the Bayreuth Festival (2003–2006), Die Bacchantinnen by Wellesz at the Salzburg Festival (2003) as well as Janacek’s From the House of the Dead at the Opéra National de Paris (2005). From 2001-2004 he was Principal Guest Conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, leading successful productions such as Messiaen’s Saint Francois d’Assise, and he also maintains a close relationship with the Semperoper Dresden, where amongst others he has conducted La Damnation de Faust, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra. Recent highlights include Tannhaüser at Zurich Opera, Henze’s Die Bassariden at the Bavarian State Opera, his debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Der fliegende Holländer, Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, Lulu at the Geneva Opera and at the Salzburg Festival (with the Vienna Philharmonic), and a notable success standing in at short notice in 2012 to make his debut at Teatro alla Scala with Die Frau ohne Schatten.

At the Netherlands Opera he has conducted productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten, Fidelio, Carmen, and since his appointment as Music Director, Elektra, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Der Schatzgräber, Die Zauberflöte, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s Orest, and in their 2013/14 season he will conduct new productions of Prokofiev’s The Gambler, and Strauss’ Arabella. Forthcoming productions elsewhere include Die Soldaten at Zurich Opera.

Marc Albrecht has made a sequence of acclaimed recordings for PentaTone records with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, including discs of Strauss tone poems, the piano concertos of Dvorak and Schumann with Martin Helmchen, Korngold’s Symphony in F sharp and the orchestral music of Berg, Dukas, Koechlin and Ravel. He has continued his association with PentaTone with the Netherlands Philharmonic, and their first recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde was released in 2013. The Netherlands Opera has also released live CD recordings of his performances of Elektra and Der Schatzgräber on the Challenge Classics label.

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Reviews

"[Herlitzius' Elektra] is helped by the extraordinary transparency of sound that Albrecht teases out of the Netherlands Philharmonic - Strauss enjoined conductors to play this notoriously noisy score like Mendelssohn's fairy music - though they pull out all the stops when voices don't need to be heard. A must for Straussians."

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times 'CD of the week'

"Marc Albrecht in Amsterdam gives us the new benchmark for the work [Schreker’s Der Schatzgraeber]. […] The most masterful work here comes from the orchestra. Marc Albrecht, a past master in this repertoire, unleashes and yet controls the waves of sound, balances the textures, plays with the colours and maintains great rhythmic subtlety."

Didier Van Moere, Diapason

"The orchestral playing simply leaves its rivals lying in the dust. […] The strings, full and romantic in tone, play the glorious melodies with ecstasy; and Marc Albrecht paces the score with understanding and passion, making one realise how advanced the supposedly ‘conservative’ Rimsky-Korsakov - at the end of his career - could be when he had something to get his teeth into. Sections of Fevronia’s final vision even pre-echo the final scenes of Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. In short, this is quite simply the best recording of the music of this opera to be had in any medium."

Paul Corfield Godfrey, Music Web International

"Well, well! After three decades, we finally have another great recording of Das Lied. […] Marc Albrecht’s conducting is both exciting when called for and sensitive in turn. He never lets the music slacken to the point where it appears to be falling apart, yet he achieves a tenderness and transparency in certain sections that beggar the imagination. There are passages in [the] long final movement where Albrecht creates moments of not only profound beauty but a quiet sound that can only be described as interminable depths […] there is just something about this performance that grabs you and will not let go. […] This is a performance for the ages. Make room for it next to whatever other Das Lieds you already own."

Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine

"Abundant ‘live’ Elektras grace the current CD catalogue, but one can always find room for another when the conducting proves as splendid as that of Marc Albrecht in this 2011 Amsterdam performance. It is Albrecht’s contribution above all that holds one’s interest throughout the opera. One can tell from the start that the lyrical element will be emphasized more obviously than usual in this piece, and that Albrecht will impart a chamber-music orientation to the proceedings whenever possible. [...] That isn’t to say that Albrecht doesn’t build tension admirably; the orchestral interlude preceding the arrival of Orest is riveting in that respect. On every page the beauty and tonal clarity heard from the marvellous Netherlands Philharmonic prove a huge asset (listen to the ravishing accompaniment for Klytämnestra, shortly after her entrance). In passages demanding a quintessentially Straussian lushness of sound, it’s never overdone, and the bombast to which this score has been so frequently subjected is nowhere in evidence."

Roger Pines, International Record Review, March 2013

"On the podium, Marc Albrecht turns all into gold. Only a combination of good taste, absolute clarity, solid structure and joy in sensuality can transform Schreker's music from too much of everything to balanced bliss. Albrecht has all of this. [...] This is how Schreker ought to sound: a kind of aural ecstasy that leaves you sated but wanting more. "

Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times

"Albrecht [unleashed] a surging and ebbing journey of well-defined musical moments that melded perfectly into one mighty, arching whole. Bravo, Mr. Albrecht."

James Sohre, Opera Today, February 2012

"Albrecht provides unparalleled transparency, detail, dramatic silences and delicate contrast between the lyrical, the angry and the euphoric sides of Beethoven's score."

Kasper Jansen, NRC Handelsblad

"Two hours of magnificent excess. Under the calm, precise and incisive conducting of Marc Albrecht, the greatly-expanded orchestra gave their all to this gigantic all-enveloping score.The Strasbourg Philharmonic brought epic instrumental weight, but also refined their sound right down to the solo desks. […] Marc Albrecht infused the epic drama with a transparency that gave life to the theatrical dimension in all the story’s variety: almost a true opera in concert."

Claude Helleu, Altamusica

"This is, hands down, the best-engineered performance of Korngold's masterful symphony yet released [...] Happily, the performances also stand among the finest available. [...] Albrecht has a real feel for the structure of the music. The first movement and finale seldom have sounded so cogently paced, as well as expressively powerful. What matters is the internal relationship between formal sections, and it is here that Albrecht really excels. "

David Hurwitz, www.classicstoday.com

"The Vienna Philharmonic was outstanding. The sickness, the decadence, the beauty and the bite: all of these were there. This is of course the orchestra for which Lulu has always cried out. [...] Not only were there colour and depth; there was, crucially, iron-clad structure, on the micro- and macro-levels. Berg’s intricate writing needs to be projected in a way that relishes, is even seduced by, his formal games and turns them to dramatic ends. Orchestra and conductor were here the brightest stars of all."

Mark Berry, www.musicweb-international.com

"The conductor Marc Albrecht makes a great success in his Covent Garden debut, sustaining a long (two and a half hours, without an interval) but deeply rewarding evening. Refusing to rush things or whip up excitement with empty fortissimo, he establishes a firm underpinning dramatic pulse and relishes the passages where Wagner lets his hair down and pays tribute to Weber's folksy charm with a catchy, lilting tune. […] A performance of the grandest Wagnerian stature. The orchestra plays quite gloriously throughout. "

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

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Discography