© Barbara Pálffy
Gerrit Prießnitz
Since September 2020 Head of Music, Kapellmeister & Advisor in Artistic Matters at Volksoper Vienna
Full Biography
Gerrit Prießnitz was born in Bonn. He is currently "Head of music, Kapellmeister and Advisor on artistic matters" at the Volksoper Wien and is also closely associated with various European opera houses and orchestras. In 2018/19 he served as "First Permanent Guest Conductor" of the Theatre Chemnitz. Recent debuts have included the Beethovenfest Bonn, Orquesta de Córdoba, Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal as well as the Brandenburg State Orchestra and the MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, engagements with the Seoul Philharmonic, the Belgrade Philharmonic and the Filharmonie Brno are scheduled for 2022/23.

At the Vienna State Opera he conducted the premiere of Hans Werner Henze's "Pollicino" in 2013, which was followed by re-invitations for "The Nutcracker" and Richard Strauss' "Josephslegende". At the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in 2014 he conducted „Fidelio“ and the premiere of "La Belle Hélène" at the Hamburg State Opera. This was immediately followed by an invitation to jump in for "Carmen". Gerrit Prießnitz works with some of the most distinguished singers of our time such as Piotr Beczala, Linda Watson, Klaus Florian Vogt, Vesselina Kasarova, Jennifer Larmore, Kurt Rydl or Rainer Trost.

His extensive guest engagements have also taken him to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Opera Cologne, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Aalto Musiktheater Essen, Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Konzerthaus, Brucknerhaus Linz (Bruckner Orchestra), Bunka Kaikan Theatre Tokyo, Aichi Arts Center Nagoya, Ulsan Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Halle, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Schlossfestspiele Schwerin, Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra Herford, Württemberg Philharmonic Reutlingen, Jena Philharmonic, Lucerne Theatre, Slovenian National National Theatre Maribor, Seefestspiele Mörbisch, Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra and to the Landestheater Linz – Hindemith's late opera "Die Harmonie der Welt" won the "Rediscovery of the Year" award of the German magazine "Opernwelt" in its annual survey.

From 2006 to 2013 he was a permanent member and from 2014 to 2020 a regular guest conductor of the Vienna Volksoper, where he performed an extraordinarily broad repertoire ranging from Mozart and Puccini to Krenek and Strauss, the classics of operetta and numerous World/ European/ Austrian premieres (Lange, Henze, Glanert, Machover...). Under his musical direction, Hector Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette" received the Austrian Music Theatre Prize for the "Best Ballet Production".

As Artistic Director of the Vienna Academic Philharmonic Orchestra, he was a regular guest with predominantly Romantic programmes in the 2009-2011 seasons at the Konzerthaus and the Musikverein. Before that, he was Kapellmeister and Head of Music at the Erfurt Theatre from 2001 to 2006. There, too, he conducted significant parts of the house repertoire, including performances of the world premiere production of Philip Glass' "Waiting for the Barbarians".

Gerrit Prießnitz completed his studies at Salzburg's Mozarteum University in 2001 "with distinction" in the orchestral conducting class of Prof. Dennis Russell Davies and the choral conducting class of Prof. Karl Kamper. He also received the prize for extraordinary artistic achievements of the Austrian Ministry of Education and Culture, the Bernhard Paumgartner Medal of the International Mozarteum Foundation, scholarships of the Ministry of Education and the ERASMUS programme of the EU.

In 2023, Gerrit Prießnitz will take up a university professorship for music drama (musical interpretation and ensemble teaching) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG); he has held a lectureship in the conducting department of the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität (MUK) Vienna since 2017.


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