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Omer Meir Wellber was born in Be’er Sheva in 1981, and is regarded today as one of Israel’s most talented young conductors. He is not only a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, but has also been, since 2009, the Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, founded in 1991 to help aid the integration of Jewish immigrants in Israel. Since 2011 he has been General Music Director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia in succession to Lorin Maazel, where his contract runs until 2014. Wellber also appears regularly at the opera houses in Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Venice, Milan and Verona. In the 2013-14 season, Wellber conducts in Valencia a series of five symphonic concerts and will appear as a guest conductor with the RAI Torino and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Semperoper Dresden, where he has more engagements in the future, he conducts Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Guntram and opens a Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy with Così fan tutte, staged by Andreas Kriegenburg. In May 2014, he will make his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival conducting Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Wellber began his musical training at the age of five on the

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Omer Meir Wellber was born in Be’er Sheva in 1981, and is regarded today as one of Israel’s most talented young conductors. He is not only a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, but has also been, since 2009, the Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, founded in 1991 to help aid the integration of Jewish immigrants in Israel. Since 2011 he has been General Music Director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia in succession to Lorin Maazel, where his contract runs until 2014. Wellber also appears regularly at the opera houses in Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Venice, Milan and Verona.

In the 2013-14 season, Wellber conducts in Valencia a series of five symphonic concerts and will appear as a guest conductor with the RAI Torino and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Semperoper Dresden, where he has more engagements in the future, he conducts Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Guntram and opens a Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy with Così fan tutte, staged by Andreas Kriegenburg. In May 2014, he will make his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival conducting Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Wellber began his musical training at the age of five on the accordion and piano. As he was also interested in composition, he took lessons from Tania Taler from the age of nine. After that he was taught by Michael Wolpe until 2004. He graduated from the Be’er Sheva conservatoire as early as 1999. Since then his works have been performed both in Israel and abroad, and broadcast on the radio. After graduating, Wellber took advantage of a scholarship from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation to continue his studies from 2000 to 2008 under Eugene Zirlin at the Jerusalem Music Academy and in the Mendi Rodan Programme.

Already during this period he appeared with the Israeli Sinfonietta, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le’Zion, conducting some ten first performances of Israeli and other contemporary music. His Suite for String Orchestra, Bassoon and Clarinet no. 1 and his Mandolin Concerto were themselves given their premieres in this way. Chamber music works by him have been premiered by the Kaprisma Ensemble (Music for Ten Instruments), the Musica Nuova Ensemble (Oboe Quintet The Last Leaf) and the Vienna Amber Trio (Piano Trio and Accordion). In December 2004 Wellber conducted the Israel Chamber Orchestra in the first performance of his Viola Concerto, which he had written for Amichai Grosz of the Jerusalem Quartet.

Since 2005 Wellber has regularly appeared at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, where he has conducted, among other works, Verdi’s La Traviata, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto and Un Ballo in Maschera, Puccini’s Turandot and Madama Butterfly, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and The Magic Flute, Boito’s Mefistofele, Gounod’s Faust and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. In February 2007, Wellber conducted a gala concert in Beijing with the city’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Shortly after that he made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This was followed in October 2008 by Verdi’s Aida at the Teatro Verdi in Padua, for which he was voted one of the new discoveries of the year by the Italian magazine Classic Voice.

Between 2008 and 2010 he assisted Daniel Barenboim at the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden and at La Scala in Milan. To great public and critical acclaim he conducted Aida when La Scala performed at the Israeli Opera. This was followed by Bizet’s Carmen at the Staatsoper Berlin, his first concert at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, a concert at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Strauss’s Salome as stand-in for Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, a new production of Strauss’ Daphne received with great applause at the Semperoper in Dresden, Puccini’s Tosca at the Berliner Staatsoper, and symphony concerts in Verona and at La Fenice in Venice.

At the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Wellber conducted Aida, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Tosca, two works by de Falla, La vida breve and El amor brujo, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and I due Foscari with Plácido Domingo. By the Vienna Festival he was entrusted with the direction of Verdi’s trilogia popolare in a three-year project, conducting Rigoletto (2011), La Traviata (2012) and Il Trovatore (2013). Furthermore, he conducted Tosca and Aida at La Scala, Tosca at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, La Traviata at the Berliner Staatsoper, Carmen and L’Elisir d’Amore in Venice, La Traviata at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Verdi’s Macbeth in Verona, Otello in Tel Aviv and various symphony concerts with the Orchestre de Paris, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover, and the hr-Sinfonieorchester in Frankfurt. In May 2013, he conducted the jubilee performance of Aida with La Fura dels Baus in the Arena di Verona to great acclaim.

Omer Meir Wellber can be heard on CD and DVD in the aria programme Gioia! with Aleksandra Kurzak (Decca) and in Mariusz Trelinski’s production of Eugene Onegin in Valencia (C Major).

Omer Meir Wellber commits himself to educational work with young musicians and has become a Good Will Ambassador for the non profit organization Save a child’s heart in 2013. The Israeli-based international organization provides lifesaving cardiac surgery and treatment for children from developing countries and a training program for doctors and nurses from these countries.

2013/14 season
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Reviews

"It’s fascinating to observe what Omer Meir Wellber interprets and takes from the score and subsequently transforms into sound. The musicians follow him, they accept this young maestro and together they have drawn fantastic results from this difficult oeuvre. Omer Meir Wellber lead the musicians carefully through all obstacles in the score and created a sound so colourful and nuanced that one sometimes forgets to breathe due to the excitement […].” "

Semperoper Dresden, Strauss "Guntram", Andreas H. Hölscher, Opernnetz.de, 25 February 2014

"The Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden […] was lead with passionate enthusiasm by young Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber"

Semperoper Dresden, Strauss "Guntram", Udo Pacolt, Der Neue Merker, 2 March 2014

"Omer Meir Wellber’s conducting is vivid and encouraging, the musicians reacted immediately to his every movement, so that the sound seemed to reverberate around the opera house with the power of an explosion. But the opposite was also achieved. The start of the prelude displayed a very sensitive, subtle, and delicate texture. Omer Meir Wellber’s interpretation complemented the whole character of the piece"

Semperoper Dresden, Strauss "Guntram", Boris Gruhl, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 25 February 2014

"With Omer Meir Wellber at the podium, the Staatskapelle achieved a dynamic high with brilliant highlights"

Semperoper Dresden, Strauss "Guntram", Jörg Schneider, Dresdner Morgenpost, 25 February 2014

"The young Israeli conductor fulfilled the highest expectations. It is a rare treat to hear and watch a conductor who, at only 29 years, shows the maturity and security Mr. Wellber shows. His direction was a model of power, authority, and Verdian feeling."

José Mª Irurzun, Seen and Heard

"[…] the orchestra and its conductor Omer Meir Wellber deserve to be heartily congratulated. It was classic Haydn (Symphony No. 103) with the supple, pleasant sound of strings, simple yet full of substance, and when the brass joined, the result was perfect enjoyment. Sensory delight and amazement were combined. Wellber’s pledge to coax wonders from the symphony’s third movement – which occasionally seems a little mundane after the second movement that amazes due to its simplicity – was also wholly fulfilled. "

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Haaretz, February 4, 2014

"Omer Meir Wellber is an impressive talent: serious, highly musical, self-confident on the rostrum. Even though caution is called for when making predictions, we can venture to say that we shall be hearing a lot more of this conductor. "

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Andreas Göbel, RBB Kulturradio, 11 October 2012

"After the interval the ambitious Wellber conducted Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony in penetrating fashion, working his orchestra up, time and again, into veritable ecstasies of expression. "

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Klaus Geitel, Berliner Morgenpost, 12 October 2012

"On the evening of July 27, we were treated to an extremely impressive performance. Omer Meir Wellber's feverish, unsentimental, and nervous (in the very best sense) conducting style stressed fast tempos and rhythmic tension. Forced dynamics were fortunately rare, as Wellber clearly understood how to skillfully blend the various orchestral parts[...]the orchestra rose to the occasion, providing a precise, clear musical performance in a dignified manner that befitted the festival atmosphere."

La Traviata, Opera Festival Munich, Dr. Daniel Krause, Klassik.com, 28 July, 2012

"Everyone could sense that 30-year-old Israeli Omer Wellber, who until 2010 was Barenboim's assistant at the Berlin State Opera and Milan Scala, was full of confidence as he stood at the podium of the hr-Sinfonieorchester in the Frankfurter Sendesaal, demonstrating his technical assurance, artistic knowledge, and solid expertise."

hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Harald Budweg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May, 2012