General Music Director Vladimir Jurowski and Bayerische Staatsoper have won two major awards at the prestigious 2023 International Opera Awards: Opera Company of the Year and Best New Production Award for Dmitri Tcherniakov’s powerful production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace. The production featured Andrei Zhilikhovsky as Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, Olga Kulchynska as Natasha Rostova and Alexandra Yangel as Sonja.

Bayerische Staatsoper writes War and Peace: “A colossal work beyond all previous boundaries, Sergei S. Prokofiev’s monumental setting of Leo N. Tolstoy’s epic novel, War and Peace. The composer and his wife Mira have compressed the plot, set during Napoleon’s Russian campaign, into a powerful sequence of scenes in which the love story between Natasha Rostova and Andrei Bolkonsky and the description of the Russian army’s fight against the French invasion alternate in rich contrast, and at the same time are closely interwoven. How the arrogance of the old, ossified nobility stands in the way of the happiness of two young people, how a seduction succeeds and a kidnapping fails, how some renounce their love and others fall as heroes – and in all the pomp and circumstance each searches for a companion. All is related by the music in its fullness of splendid themes and touchingly quiet moments. Prokofiev’s musical-dramatic masterpiece combines social drama and historical chronicle in its 13 scenes to form an exuberant panorama. The opera will now be performed in Munich for the first time ever.”

One of today’s most sought-after conductors, acclaimed worldwide for his incisive musicianship and adventurous artistic commitment, Vladimir Jurowski was born in Moscow in 1972, and completed the first part of his musical studies at the Music College of the Moscow Conservatory. In 1990 he relocated with his family to Germany, continuing his studies at the Musikhochschule of Dresden and Berlin, studying conducting with Rolf Reuter and vocal coaching with Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the Wexford Festival conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night, and the same year saw his debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Nabucco.

Jurowski is General Music Director of Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper since 2021, and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. In 2021 he stepped down from his highly-acclaimed fifteen year tenure as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, to become their Conductor Emeritus. In addition, he is Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and has held the positions of Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013), Artistic Director of the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra (2010-2020), Principal Guest Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra (2005-2009) and Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival, Bucharest (2017-2021). He also previously held the positions of First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997-2000), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (2000-2003).

In the 23/24 season, Jurowski brings his critically acclaimed London Philharmonic Orchestra Ring Cycle to its conclusion with Götterdämmerung, conducts the Munich premiere of Weinberg’s Die Passagierin, as well as a new production of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and revivals of Wozzeck and Elektra at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and showcases a wealth of concert repertoire with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and Bayerisches Staatsorchester.

Photo: Simon Pauly