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Friday, May 24, 2024

Berlin State Opera: Christian Thielemann to be new General Music Director

Editors’ Choice

The Board of Trustees of the Berlin Opera Foundation approved the contract with Mr Christian Thielemann as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from 1 September 2024. Thielemann thus succeeds Daniel Barenboim, who is an honorary citizen of Berlin.

Fig. above: Staatsoper Unter den Linden, exterior view, Credits: Marcus Ebener

Mr. Thielemann is currently chief conductor at the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Previous positions include artistic director of the Salzburg Easter Festival from 2013 to 2022 and music director of the Bayreuth Festival from 2015 to 2020.

The Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion, Joe Chialo: “With Christian Thielemann, we are not only gaining a world-class conductor, but also the logical successor to the great maestro and honorary citizen of Berlin, Daniel Barenboim. I am very pleased that we can follow the proposal of the designated artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka and appoint Mr Thielemann as the future general music director of our State Opera. Mr. Thielemann has already worked with the Staatskapelle Berlin with great success. With him, we are securing the highest musical excellence for our city.”

The artistic director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from 2024/25, Elisabeth Sobotka: “With Christian Thielemann, one of the most outstanding conductors of our time is taking over from Daniel Barenboim. It is an organic and inspiring transition. For the State Opera, the tasks and challenges are great in these times of social change and crisis. The great tradition and the great quality of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Staatskapelle Berlin are the basis on which this further development can build. Christian Thielemann is a guarantor of this. I am very much looking forward to our collaboration.”

The principal conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden and designated general music director, Christian Thielemann: “The Staatsoper Unter den Linden can look back on a long and glorious tradition. The same goes for the Staatskapelle Berlin, with whom I share an extraordinary musical affinity. I am therefore delighted to return to my home city and, together with Elisabeth Sobotka, to lead the house into the future. I am deeply indebted to Daniel Barenboim, whom I have known and admired for over 40 years, for his wonderful work and constant support.”

The previous General Music Director Daniel Barenboim: “I have known Christian Thielemann since he was my assistant at the Deutsche Oper as a 19-year-old boy. Even then his extraordinary musical talent was obvious and he has since developed into one of the outstanding conductors of our time. I am delighted that he will now take over the musical direction of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Staatskapelle Berlin as General Music Director. I have been at the helm of these very special musical institutions for over thirty years and I am certain that under Christian Thielemann’s leadership they will continue to maintain and expand their exceptional position in Berlin and international musical life. I wish Christian Thielemann and the future artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka an ever fruitful and committed exchange and the necessary luck and skill in managing the house. I am full of anticipation for what is to come!”


Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden 7
10117 Berlin

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