Thomas Hengelbrock is the founder and director of the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble and chef associé of the Orchestre de Paris. Between 2011 and 2018 he was principal conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.
Thomas Hengelbrock’s artistic development was influenced by the period that he spent as musical assistant to Antal Doráti, Witold Lutosławski and Mauricio Kagel. In addition to his commitment to contemporary music and the music of the 19th and 20th centuries, he also takes a keen interest in historically informed performance practice, in which regard important stimuli came from his work with Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus in Vienna. Hengelbrock has played a significant role in ensuring that the use of period instruments is now an established part of concert life in Germany. It was in this context that he founded the Balthasar Neumann Choir in 1991 and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble in 1995.
In his time as artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from 1995 to 1998, director of the Feldkirch Festival from 2000 to 2006 and musical director of the Vienna Volksoper from 2000 to 2003, Thomas Hengelbrock was already implementing programmes that questioned established interpretative norms.
In 2016 Thomas Hengelbrock received the Herbert von Karajan Music Award. In January 2017 he opened the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Thomas Hengelbrock is a welcome guest conductor with orchestras and opera houses all over the world. He made his Bayreuth Festival debut in 2011 conducting Wagner’s Tannhäuser.
Thomas Hengelbrock’s first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was in 2014, conducting works by Haydn and Schumann. He opened the orchestra’s 2017/2018 season, conducting works by Mozart and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 during RCO Opening Night on 14 September 2017.