Having received his training with Volker Wangenheim at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood, Markus Stenz quickly established a reputation for himself with special projects and numerous operatic and symphonic premieres. For several years, the German conductor successively held the posts of artistic director of the Montepulciano Festival, principal conductor of the London Sinfonietta, artistic director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of both the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and the Cologne Opera.
Stenz was appointed chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in 2012, and will simultaneously serve as principal guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra starting in the 2015–16 season.
In addition to his permanent appointments, he has made guest appearances with numerous orchestras and opera companies, and at music festivals throughout the world. He has also built up an extensive discography, and his recordings have regularly won awards. Stenz is seen as a leading advocate of the music of Hans Werner Henze, having premiered a number of his operas. His performances of works by Mahler and Wagner are also highly regarded.