Marc Albrecht
Marc Albrecht © Marco BorggreveArtist

"... a surging and ebbing journey of well-defined musical moments that melded perfectly into one mighty, arching whole."

Opera Today
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Biography

Since 2011 Marc Albrecht is Music Director of the Dutch National Opera, the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. In May 2016 the National Opera Amsterdam was awarded with the International Opera Award as “opera house of the year”. Marc Albrecht’s Music Director contract has been extended until summer 2020.

In the opera house, Marc Albrecht is a highly requested guest. In March 2013 he gave his debut at Teatro alla Scala Milan with “Die Frau ohne Schatten” (direction Claud Guth); in August 2017 he was reinvited for “Hänsel and Gretel”. He gave guest performances at the Bayreuther Festspiele (2003-2006) with “Der fliegende Holländer” as well as Janáček’s “From the House of the Dead” at Teatro Real in Madrid. Marc Albrecht also maintains a close relationship with the Semperoper Dresden, where amongst others he has conducted “Wozzeck”, “La Damnation de Faust” and most recently in 2009 “Elektra”. At the Bayerische Staatsoper he celebrated a notable success of Henzen’s “Die Bassariden” (direction Christoph Loy) in 2008 and in the subsequent year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with “Der fliegende Holländer”. Vienna’s Theater an der Wien regularly invites him to conduct, lastly Henze’s “Der Prinz von Homburg” in 2011 and “Elegie für Junge Liebende” in 2017.


 

Already in 2003 Marc Albrecht debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele and again led Berg’s “Lulu” with the Wiener Philharmoniker in 2010. After spectacular productions of Messiaens “Saint François d’Assise” and Janáček’s “Die Sache Makropulos”, his long-standing relationship with the Deutsche Oper Berlin will open a new chapter in March 2018 with “Das Wunder der Heliane” from Korngold. He also conducts regularly at the Opernhaus Zürich, leading “Tannhäuser” and “Die Soldaten” (direction Calixto Bieito) in 2013 and “Der Freischütz” in September 2016.

Marc Albrecht has appeared with many key orchestras in Europe including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Münchner Philharmoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Toyko. Wonderful annual co-operations connect him with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai di Torino as well as with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He gave guest performances in the USA at Saint Louis and Dallas Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra and in May 2017 at Houston Symphony.

In his symphonic programs Marc Albrecht’s central concern is the integration of modern and contemporary works together with the classics. A unique transparency of sound and definition is a quality not only limited to the great symphonies of Strauss, Bruckner and Mahler. This approach is based on a profound understanding of chamber music, paired with Albrecht’s fine sense of hearing in contemporary music, and combined with unlimited devotion to a passionate performance experience.

In the early years of his conducting career, Albrecht spent several seasons at the opera houses of Hamburg and Dresden, and also was appointed personal assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Vienna. In 1995 he embarked on a highly successful 6 year tenure as Music Director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt, and for four further year, he was First Guest Conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin and went as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Marc Albrecht has made a sequence of acclaimed recordings for PentaTone records initially with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, with works from Berg, Korngold and Richard Strauss, the piano concertos of Schumann and Dvořák with Martin Helmchen, as well as with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, including Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” in 2013 and Brahms/Schoenberg’s Piano quartet op. 25. In addition, the Dutch National Opera has also released live CD recordings of his performances of “Elektra”, “Der Rosenkavalier”, and “Der Schatzgräber” and Manfred Trojahn’s “Orest” on the Challenge Classics label.

SEASON 2017/2018

Quotes

“The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra excels in this revealing, constantly smouldering score, which culminates in one of the most magnificent orchestral epilogues ever written, as Albrecht and his musicians make time stand still. Pure class.”

Trouw, Peter van der Lint, 21.03.2017

“The highest praise goes to Marc Albrecht and his Netherlands Philharmonic, who managed to bring even the minutest details of this vivacious orchestral score to life. (...) Albrecht meticulously built up the tension, creating an overwhelming emotional impact.”

NRC Handelsblad, Joep Stapel, 20.03.2017

“The audience finally sprang to its feet for conductor Marc Albrecht and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, who succeeded in infusing the expressive sounds of Berg with poetry.”

Noordhollands Dagblad / Gooi- en Eemlander / Leidsch Dagblad - Hans Visser, 20.03.2017

“The orchestral quality of the première performance was superb. A huge compliment to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Marc Albrecht.”

Place de l'Opera, Peter Franken, 20.03.2017

“The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra led by Marc Albrecht, who veritably befriends the soloists, provides the superior quality we have come to expect from this orchestra. The life that this orchestra and conductor breathe into the score is pure magic.”

Operagazet, Olivier Keegel, 19.03.2017

“(…) the glorious sounds emanating from the pit. (…) Such an exalted level, this was a Parsifal for ages; gloriously sung, played and conducted. (…) Music director Marc Albrecht conducted a propulsive and perfectly-judged account of the work, aided and abetted by faultless playing by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. (…) Act III attained musical Nirvana, taking us to another plain that felt unworldly due to its transcendental beauty, whilst the choral singing was superb. Magnificent, sublime and extremely moving, this is a Parsifal that demands to be heard and seen.”

musicOMH.com, Keith McDonnell, 06.12.2016

“Don’t miss Mahler with Marc Albrecht: visionary Almost imperceptibly Marc Albrecht, chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic, is working on a Mahler cycle about which one would want to write in capital letters. Earlier Albrecht conducted the symphonies 1 to 4 and 6, the Ninth follows next season and this week sees the Fifth. Planning of the remaining works is in progress: Albrecht’s contract runs until at least 2020. What makes Albrecht’s Mahler so unique? His approach has integrity, is intelligent and sensitive – and never schwärmerisch, despite the dynamic extremes between roaring fff and the almost inaudible ppp (Adagietto) he achieves. It resulted Saturday in a performance of the Fifth that was moving but also striking because of the significance he gave to certain accents. The erratic was highlighted, the Stürmisch bewegt sounded energetic and potent but impressed especially by the way Albrecht made the vitality swell from the lower strings by one sweep of his arm. Just as clever and tasteful: how in the Scherzo he let the strings hang back (with a deeply melancholy effect) Albrecht conducts a Mahler that makes you love Mahler! Raw emotions never change into hysteria and the visionary of the score is underlined throughout.”

NRC Handelsblad, Mischa Spel, 04.2016

“Strauss, Richard – Arabella Those key moments register with the necessary emotional power, but conductor Marc Albrecht never feels indulgent (…) Albrecht’s orchestra (…) revealing a great deal of the score’s bustling inner detail and melismatic counterpoint.”

Gramophone, Hugo Shirley, 02.2016

“Mahler, Gustav – Symphony No. 4 Conductor Marc Albrecht makes his points without exaggeration, revealing personal touches in his care for proper observance of Mahler’s dynamics and his concern for textural clarity.”

classictoday.com, David Hurwitz, 01.2016

“Der Rosenkavalier – Amsterdam It is rare to hear a terzetto so excellently balanced and emotional. And it was greatly due to Marc Albrecht and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra […] Albrecht pushed the music to an unbelievable peak.”

Trouw, Peter van der Lint, 08.09.2015

“It couldn’t have been so overwhelming if it weren’t be supported by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor Marc Albrecht, an ideal couple […]”

De Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa, 07.09.2015

“The achievements of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra were phenomenal. […] Marc Albrecht knew like no other how to give space to the music by leading the orchestra tightly and to make the underlying tensions of Strauss’s music tangible.”

Theaterkrant, Oswin Schneeweisz, 07.09.2015

“[…] in a virtuously adaptive way, Marc Albrecht led the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at their best […] Albrecht gives the music space and velvet grandeur where it needs it.”

NRC Handelsblad, Mischa Spel, 07.09.2015

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Discography

Mahler Song CyclesMarc Albrecht with Alice Coote and the Netherlands Philharmonic OrchestraJul. 2017, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Korngold: Symphony Op. 40Marc Albrecht conducts Symphony Op. 40 and other works by KorngoldOct. 2010, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Tone Poems by Dukas, Ravel & KoechlinMarc Albrecht conducts tone poems of Rdukas, Ravel and KoechlinJul. 2010, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Alban Berg: Orchestral SongsMarc Albrecht conducts Orchestral Songs and Orchestral Works from Alban BergNov. 2009, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Piano concertos by Dvorak & SchumannMartin Helmchen and Marc Albrecht in Dvorak's and Schumann's piano concertosOct. 2009, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Richard Strauss: Tone PoemsMarc Albrecht conducts tone poems of Richard StraussAug. 2008, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon