Thomas Hengelbrock was appointed principal conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg in 2011. In 2016 Hengelbrock took up his new appointment as ‘chef associé’ of the Orchestre de Paris.
The German conductor started out as a violinist. He first served as assistant to Witold Lutosławski and Antal Dorati. Hengelbrock worked with the Amsterdam Bach Soloists from 1988 to 1991.
He has founded and co-founded several music ensembles, notably the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor and Ensemble, with which he performs music from all periods according to the principles of historical performance practice, which has indeed become his trademark. In 2004 and 2007, for example, he conducted performances of Verdi’s operas Rigoletto and Falstaff on period instruments.
Hengelbrock has led productions of various operas and has worked with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer staging works by Beethoven and Grieg. He is also interested in contemporary music and music theatre. In 2011 Hengelbrock made his Bayreuth debut conducting Wagner’s Tannhäuser. He is a welcome guest conductor with orchestras and opera houses all over the world. His first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was in the fall of 2014, conducting works by Haydn and Schumann. On 14 september 2017, RCO Opening Night, he led the orchestra in several works by Mozart with soprano Diana Damrau and in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8.