The Bayerische Staatsoper would like to thank its main sponsors, BMW Group and Siemens AG.
The Bayerisches Staatsorchester is one of the world’s oldest orchestras and remains steeped in tradition. Emerging from Munich’s court orchestra, its origins can be traced back to 1523. The ensemble’s first famous director was Orlando di Lasso, beginning in 1563. While church music initially took center stage, more and more secular concerts and opera performances were added throughout the 17th century. Regular opera performances began in the mid-18th century and today remain the orchestra’s primary function.
In 1811, the musicians of the court opera orchestra founded the Musikalischen Akademie (Musical Academy), which gave rise to the first public concert series in Munich. The Musical Academy—with its focus on symphonic music, chamber music, and music education—has since been a formative part of musical life in Munich and Bavaria.
Richard Wagner stands out among the many great composers with whom the orchestra has been associated. Hans von Bülow conducted the debut performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in 1865. Wagner’s operas Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Das Rheingold, and Die Walküre were also premiered in Munich.
Many of the most esteemed conductors of their day—including Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter, Hans Knappertsbusch, Sir Georg Solti, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Zubin Mehta—have led the orchestra. It also enjoyed a close relationship with Carlos Kleiber. Kirill Petrenko followed Kent Nagano as music director, when he assumed the position at the beginning of the 2013–2014 season. In September 2016, the orchestra toured to Europe with Mr. Petrenko, giving concerts in Milan, Lucerne, Berlin, and Vienna. In the fall of 2017, the Bayerische Staatsoper’s entire company gave a series of performances in Japan, followed by an Asia tour with concerts in Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo. A performance in London’s Barbican Centre is planned for this season.
Kirill Petrenko first studied piano in his hometown of Omsk, Russia. After moving to Austria, he studied conducting in Feldkirch and Vienna. Following an engagement at the Vienna Volksoper from 1999 to 2002, he became chief musical director at the Meininger Theater. He first won international acclaim for conducting Wagner’s Ring cycle. Mr. Petrenko was subsequently appointed music director at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he gave numerous defining productions from 2002 to 2007. He has also performed at the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, The Metropolitan Opera, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Mr. Petrenko has led such renowned orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also conducted concerts at the Bregenz and Salzburg festivals. In the summers of 2013 to 2015, Mr. Petrenko conducted Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festival. He has been music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper since the 2013–2014 season, with which he has premiered productions of Jenůfa, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La clemenza di Tito, Die Soldaten, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lulu, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Tannhäuser, and Il trittico, as well as the world premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s South Pole. Opening the Munich Opera Festival 2018, Mr. Petrenko also develops a new production of Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role.
Julia Fischer is one of the leading violin soloists of our time. A Munich-born daughter of German-Slovakian parents, she had her first violin lesson at just three years old (at four, she added piano). At nine, she studied violin with Ana Chumachenco at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. She succeeded Ms. Chumachenco as professor in 2011.
Ms. Fischer plays around the world in the most renowned concert halls and makes guest appearances at the most notable music festivals. Her engagements include performances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony. She has worked with such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph Eschenbach, Paavo Järvi, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Simon Rattle, and David Zinman. She performed Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Kirill Petrenko and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester during the 2015–2016 season.
Recent high points in her career include the opening of the Kulturpalast in Dresden with the Dresdner Philharmonie, and concerts with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2011, she founded a string quartet with Alexander Sitkovetsky, Nils Mönkemeyer, and Benjamin Nyffenegger, with whom she also toured this spring. With Igor Levit, she has played the complete duo sonatas of Beethoven, and more recently, she performed sonata recitals with Yulianna Avdeeva.
Ms. Fischer has enjoyed a musical relationship and friendship with Daniel Müller-Schott since she was a student. She has released numerous CDs and DVDs during the course of her career, which have received many awards, including the German Record Critics’ Award and a Gramophone Classical Music Award. She has also been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her work as a cultural ambassador. She plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin (1742) and a Philipp Augustin violin (2011).
Daniel Müller-Schott is one of the most esteemed cellists of our time. He studied with Walter Nothas, Heinrich Schiff, and Steven Isserlis. Thanks to personal support from Anne-Sophie Mutter, he received a year of lessons with Mstislav Rostropovich. At the age of 15, he earned first prize at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians.
Mr. Müller-Schott has given guest performances with North American orchestras in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, as well as with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Iván Fischer, Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Gimeno, Bernard Haitink, Neeme Järvi, Andris Nelsons, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Krzysztof Urbański, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Yakov Kreizberg, among others.
Mr. Müller-Schott is a regular guest at major music festivals, including the BBC Proms, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Heidelberger Frühling, and Ravinia, as well as festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Schwetzingen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Vancouver. Sir André Previn and Peter Ruzicka have composed cello concertos for him, and he has presented chamber music programs with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Renaud Capuçon, Xavier de Maistre, Julia Fischer, Igor Levit, and Francesco Piemontesi, as well as Lauma and Baiba Skride.
Mr. Müller-Schott is devoted to the German music education program Rhapsody in School and regularly gives lessons and master classes. His recordings have twice won German Record Critics’ Awards and other international prizes. Mr. Müller-Schott and Julia Fischer have enjoyed a musical relationship and friendship since she was a student. Their 2016 CD Duo Sessions won an International Classical Music Award. Mr. Müller-Schott plays the Matteo Goffriller “Ex Shapiro” cello (1727).