Gerd Albrecht

Gerd Albrecht was born on 19th July 1935 in Essen, Germany as the son of the prominent musicologist, Hans Albrecht. He studied conducting at the Hamburg Music Academy from 1955-58, and further pursued studies in musicology, philosophy and the science of art at both Hamburg and Kiel Universities. He was a prizewinner at the Concours International de Jeunes Chefes d'orchestre Besancon (1957) and at the conductors competition held in Hilvershum, Netherlands (1958). Albrecht started working as a Korrepetitor at the Stuttgart State Opera from 1958-61 and quickly moved up to become Principal Conductor of the Mainz City Opera from 1961-63. In 1962, he became the youngest-ever German conductor to be appointed Music Director of the Buhnen Lubeck and later lead the Kassel Staatsoper as its Music Director from 1966-72. Albrecht succeeded Maazel's position as Principal Conductor of the Berlin Deutsche Oper from 1972-77, furthermore, Kempe's post as Principal Conductor of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich from autumn 1975-80. He made his Japanese debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 1982. In 1984, he was chosen "Artist of the Year" at the German Music Critics' Awards. He served as Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg from 1988-97. Albrecht held the title of Principal Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from September 1993 through to January 96. Winning a strong majority of votes, he was elected to become the orchestra's first non-Czech conductor in its centennial history. His resignation became an international topic - his efforts to overcome the unfortunate history between the two nations were politically terminated. He has toured Japan with the Czech Philharmonic in June 1994 and later with the Hamburg State Opera in May-June 1996. Albrecht has been created "Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Republique Francaise" (1994), has been appointed a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts and the Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg and has been presented the Wilhelm-Haisenstein Award for his contribution to cultural exchange (1997). Since 1st April 1998, Gerd Albrecht holds the post as the 7th Principal Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. Renowned for his interpretation of a vast repertoire centered on German romantics, Albrecht is regarded as the foremost communicator of contemporary music. He has conducted premieres of works by Fortner, Ligeti, Henze, Riemann, Penderecki and Schnittke that include Henze's "Telemanniana"(1967) and Fortner's "Elisabeth Tudor" (1972). He has enjoyed a distinguished career as guest conductor with major orchestras, opera houses and broadcasting stations throughout the world, as well as appearances in major music festivals in Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Edinburgh and Luzern. Also a writer of fairy tales, Albrecht is known for his devotion towards music education for children. In 1974, he was awarded the German Television Grimme Prize for his contribution to the "children and young people's concerts", in addition to the establishment of a number of "Instrument Museums for children". In recognition of his services, he has been awarded the Kestenberg Medal in Lubeck (5th September 1988), created Honorary Professor from the city of Hamburg (29th September 1988), awarded the "ECSO-European Conference of Symphony Orchestras" Prize in Zurich (June 1991) and presented with the Ferenc Fricsay Medal in Berlin (1997). In November 1999, Albrecht was appointed the "Verdienstkreuz I. Klassse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" from the Federal President Johannes Rau. From September 2000, Albrecht takes upon the title as Chief Conductor at the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Albrecht will enter his second term as Principal Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo in April 2001. As of 1 February 2001