General Music Director of the City of Bonn from 2008-2016, Stefan Blunier served as Chief Conductor of both the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Bonn Opera. Under his charismatic direction a new musical awareness infused the orchestra which became increasingly in demand abroad with notable tours including a highly successful visit to China in 2011 and an 11-concert tour of the USA. The orchestra’s recordings under his direction were recognized with two ECHO Klassik “Opera Recording of the Year” awards for Eugen d’Albert’s Der Golem (2011) and Schreker’s Irrelohe (2012) which also received a Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Symphonic recordings including works by Respighi, Schoenberg, Franz Schmidt Symphony No 4, Bruckner Symphony No 8 and a Beethoven cycle which have similarly received a host of awards and nominations.
Blunier’s guest-conducting engagements have taken him to nearly all the German radio symphony orchestras as well as the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Staatsphilharmonie Ludwigshafen, Duisburg Symphony Orchestra and many orchestras in Denmark, Belgium, the Far East, Switzerland and France. Recent highlights include the NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, South Netherlands Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio and the Century Symphony Orchestra of Osaka. Alongside his appointment in Bonn, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Belgique (2010-2013) which involved several recordings and tours including invitations to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw as well as Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
In the field of opera, he has conducted productions in Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper), Montpellier, Oslo, Bern, Geneva and London (ENO). His interpretation of Massenet’s Thais at Opera Bonn was acclaimed as one of Germany’s “best opera productions of 2014” (Opernglass), and a highly successful production of Daphne at Frankfurt Opera resulted in an immediate re-invitation to conduct Tristan und Isolde. Other recent performances include Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers at English National Opera, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites and The Love for three Oranges at Komische Oper Berlin, Elektra and Tannhäuser in Bonn, Rigoletto at Zurich Opera and Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Norwegian Opera. Last season’s performance of Wozzeck at the Grand Théâtre de Geneva led to an immediate re-invitation for 2017/18 (Le Baron Tzigane). He is renowned for his keen interest in late 19th century and early 20th century repertoire as well as contemporary music including productions such as Irrelohe and Das Spielwerk by Schreker, Szymanowski’s Krol Roger, Cerha’s Der Rattenfänger and the German premiere of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin.
Stefan Blunier was born in Bern, Switzerland and studied piano, horn, composition and conducting in Bern and at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and he is a founder of the Ensemble für Neue Musik Essen. Early success in the Besancon and Malko Competitions were followed by appointments in Mannheim (Associate Chief Conductor) and Darmstadt (Music Director and Chief Conductor 2001-2008) prior to his tenure in Bonn.
This week, Stefan Blunier steps in to make his debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall.
This week sees Stefan Blunier return to Japan to undertake a tour with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
This week, the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música will perform Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder under the direction of Stefan Blunier
STEFAN BLUNIER will be conducting works by Schoenberg, Glass and Bernstein with the Orchestra National de Belgique, joined by soloists Lorenzo Gatto and Jan Michiels (27 Jan).
STEFAN BLUNIER will be conducting works by Liadov and Prokofiev with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica, and will be joined by soloist Raul Peixoto da Costa for a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 4 (9 Dec)
STEFAN BLUNIER conducts Berlioz, Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakov with the orchestra of Opera North in two concerts, one in Huddersfield (24 Nov) and another in Bridlington (27 Nov).