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Christopher Ward

Language available : english
Conductor Christopher Ward has spent much of his career in Germany, conducting both opera and instrumental music. He became Generalmusikdirektor of Theater Aachen and the Sinfonieorchester Aachen in 2018. Ward was born in London on March 18, 1980. He attended Oxford University, studying musicology, and also at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he took conducting and piano courses. He was able to serve an extensive conducting apprenticeship leading such groups as the Oxford University Philharmonia, the Oxford Bach Choir, and the Arcadian Singers during his student years. In 2003, Ward served as a Répétiteur Fellow at the Scottish Opera and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He began his career with a stint at the Internationales Opernstudio of the Zürich Oper in Switzerland in 2004, and his first major position came the following year, as Kapellmeister at the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany. His career since then has been centered on the latter country. Remaining in Kassel for five years, he conducted productions of operas and musicals ranging from Handel's Hercules, HWV 60, to Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti. In Kassel, he also conducted the Staatsorchester Kassel and led the orchestra's youth ensemble. In 2006, he served as an assistant to Simon Rattle for a production of Wagner's Das Rheingold at the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival. Ward moved to the Bavarian State Opera in 2009 as Kapellmeister and assistant to conductor Kent Nagano. Remaining in Munich until 2013, he conducted new productions of operas by Rossini, Haydn, and Janáček, and expanded his range into contemporary music, leading the world premieres of operas by Péter Eötvös and Miroslav Srnka. Ward also found himself in demand as a guest conductor, leading a large variety of opera productions at top European houses, including the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Komische Oper in Berlin, and the Opera Studio of La Scala in Milan. He also conducted the Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Cottbus Philharmonic, and Neue Lausitz Philharmonic as a guest. Ward continued to land Kapellmeister positions that, for a century or more, had entailed both operatic and symphonic conducting. He became First Kapellmeister at the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken in 2014, again leading new productions of works by Ravel, Weber, and Verdi, among others, as well as leading symphonic concerts and ballet performances. In 2018, he moved to Aachen for a post as Generalmusikdirektor of Theater Aachen and the Sinfonieorchester Aachen. The following year, he substituted for an ailing Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, in the world premiere of Jörg Widmann's Babylon. During this period, Ward began a recording career, leading the Deutschland Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in a recording of works by Franz Schreker on the Capriccio label and issuing a pair of recordings on the same label with the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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