Christian Thielemann, an assistant to Herbert von Karajan and violist at the Orchestra Academy, came in contact early with the Berliner Philharmoniker, one of whose close artistic partners he has been since his debut as guest conductor in 1996. Since then, Thielemann has worked with the Philharmoniker to perform works from the German-Austrian, French, Italian and Russian repertoires. His Bruckner interpretations in particular, in which an orchestral sound of dark fervour combines with a sure sense for the architecture of these giant works, always cause a sensation.
The conductor was appointed the then youngest music director in Germany in Nuremberg in 1988, and he took on other leadership positions at Deutsche Oper in Berlin and at the Munich Philharmonic, and since 2012 he has been chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Of particular importance to Christian Thielemann are the musical dramas of Wagner and Richard Strauss, which he has conducted at major opera houses such as the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 2000, Christian Thielemann appeared for the first time at the Bayreuth Festival. One of the numerous productions he has been in charge of since then included the Ring des Nibelungen in 2006. He was appointed Bayreuth music director of Bayreuth, a position especially created for him, by the festival management in 2015.