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NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT

Born in Berlin, the Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt spent his childhood and youth in Graz, where he grew up in the Meran Palace. His father was a scion of the de la Fontaine-d’Harnoncourt-Unverzagt family, Counts of Luxembourg and Lorraine, his mother the great-granddaughter of Archduke Johann of Styria.

Heeding his early artistic ambition, he ultimately preferred to study cello at the Vienna Academy of Music. He joined the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as a cellist in 1952.

A year later he founded the Concentus Musicus Wien ensemble together with his wife Alice, to provide a forum for his increasingly intensive work with period instruments and Renaissance and baroque musical performance tradition. Nikolaus Harnoncourt collected historical instruments and, in addition to his performing and conducting activities, devoted his time to his philosophical analyses of “Musik als Klangrede” (music as speech), which have to date remained the seminal works on the performance of early music, the key to an entire universe of forgotten works and musical experiences buried under the sands of time.

From 1972 Nikolaus Harnoncourt taught performance practice and the study of historical instruments at the Mozarteum University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Salzburg, while at the same time enjoying growing success as an opera conductor. His début at the Theater an der Wien with Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria” in 1971 was followed by the now legendary cycle of Monteverdi operas, which he developed in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, director at the Zurich Opera House, and which was universally acclaimed as a sensational breakthrough. This cycle was followed by an equally exemplary and ground-breaking cycle of Mozart operas, again at the Zurich Opera House and again in partnership with Ponnelle.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s career as a conductor of both orchestral works and opera encompasses Viennese Classicism, the Romantic repertoire and works from the 20th century. Some milestones are a Mozart cycle at the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival with Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” and Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro”, “Don Giovanni” and “La clemenza di Tito”. In between, he repeatedly returned to Zurich with Weber’s “Freischütz”, Schubert’s “Des Teufels Lustschloss” and “Alfonso und Estrella”, Offenbach’s “La belle Hélène”, “La Périchole” and “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein”, or Verdi’s “Aida”.

With the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras, Nikolaus Harnoncourt constantly reinterprets and rediscovers the grand repertoire of orchestral works: the concertos and symphonies of Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Dvořák and Bruckner, but also the works of Béla Bartók and Alban Berg.

A central venue for many of these projects has been and still is the styriarte Festival, founded in 1985 to establish a closer link between Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his home city of Graz. This is also where he first conducted Schumann’s “Genoveva”, the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” and, in 2001, Verdi’s “Requiem”. 2003 followed the first scenic production of an opera with Offenbach’s “La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein”. The highlight of the styriarte 2005 was Bizet’s Carmen. In 2008 Nikolaus Harnoncourt not only conducted but also directed an opera in Graz: Mozart’s “Idomeneo”, which was highly acclaimed by national and international media (“once-in-a-hundred-years event”, Frankfurter Rundschau).

Today, Nikolaus Harnoncourt is one of the few true stars among conductors worldwide. Performances like the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra enable him to reach an audience of millions, displaying the characteristic passion and fiery intensity that identify him, first and foremost, as a true servant of his art.

For further information, please visit www.harnoncourt.info/index_en.php.


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Artist | Conductor
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BACH, J.S.: Cantatas, BWV 61, 147 / Magnificat (Harnoncourt) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101531
Classical Concert
BAROQUE OPERAS (4 DVD Box set) (NTSC) EuroArts
2057938
Opera DVD
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Missa Solemnis (Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Netherlands Radio Choir, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harnoncourt) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
712704
Classical Concert
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Missa Solemnis (Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Netherlands Radio Choir, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harnoncourt) (NTSC) C Major
712608
Classical Concert
BEETHOVEN: Fidelio (Zurich Opera, 2004) (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-OPFID
Opera DVD
CECILIA BARTOLI SINGS MOZART AND HAYDN (NTSC) Opus Arte
OA0898D
Classical Concert
DVD SAMPLER 2006 - OPERA (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPSMPL3
Samplers
HAYDN, J.: Mondo della Luna (Il) (Theater an der Wien, 2009) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
703604
Classical Concert
HAYDN, J.: Mondo della Luna (Il) (Theater an der Wien, 2009) (NTSC) C Major
703508
Classical Concert
HAYDN, J.: Symphonies Nos. 12, 22, 26, 93, 98, 103, 104 (Vienna Philharmonic, Dohnanyi, Mehta, Welser-Most, Harnoncourt, Boulez) Vienna Philharmonic
WPH-L-H-2009
Orchestral
LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES - Sampler 2005-2006 (NTSC) EuroArts
2020058
Samplers
MAGIC MOMENTS OF OPERA (NTSC) (DVD Box Set) Arthaus Musik
107515
Opera DVD
MONTEVERDI, C.: Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Il) (Zurich Opera, 2002) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101660
Opera DVD
MOZART AT SALZBURG FESTIVAL (6 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107521
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Clemenza di Tito (La) (Salzburg Festival, 2003) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107181
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Da Ponte Operas - Le Nozze di Figaro / Don Giovanni / Cosi fan tutte (Salzburg Festival, 2006-2009) (NTSC) EuroArts
2058818
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Finta giardiniera (La) (Zurich Opera, 2006) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) TDKDVD
DVBD-OPFINT
Opera DVD
MOZART, W.A.: Finta Giardiniera (La) (Zurich Opera, 2006) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) Arthaus Musik
108044
Opera DVD
MOZART: Clemenza di Tito (La) (Salzburg Festspiele, 2003) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPCLETI
Opera DVD
MOZART: Cosi fan tutte (Zurich Opera, 2000) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
100013
Opera DVD
MOZART: Cosi fan tutte (Zurich Opera, 2000) (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100012
Opera DVD
MOZART: Cosi fan tutte / Don Giovanni (Zurich Opera, 2000-2001) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
100971
Opera DVD
MOZART: Don Giovanni (Zurich Opera, 2001) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
100329
Opera DVD
MOZART: Don Giovanni (Zurich Opera, 2001) (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100328
Opera DVD
MOZART: Finta giardiniera (La) (Zurich Opera, 2006) (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPFINT
Opera DVD
MOZART: Greatest Operas (Zurich Opera, 1996-2001) (PAL) TDKDVD
DV-BOXMOZART
Opera DVD
MOZART: Requiem, K. 626 (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-COMREQ
Classical Concert
OFFENBACH: Belle Helene (La) (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100086
Opera DVD
OPERA EXCLUSIVE - MOZART AT THE SALZBURG FESTIVAL (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-GOLDBOX5
Opera DVD
PURCELL: KING ARTHUR (PAL) EuroArts
2054509
Opera DVD
SALZBURG FESTIVAL 2009 OPENING CONCERT - SCHUBERT, F. / STRAUSS, Josef (Harnoncourt) (NTSC) C Major
702708
Classical Concert
SALZBURG FESTIVAL 2013: OUVERTURE SPIRITUELLE - HAYDN, J.: Jahreszeiten (Die) (The Seasons) (Harnoncourt) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) EuroArts
2072674
Classical Concert
SALZBURG FESTIVAL 2013: OUVERTURE SPIRITUELLE - HAYDN, J.: Jahreszeiten (Die) (The Seasons) (Harnoncourt) (NTSC) EuroArts
2072678
Classical Concert
SALZBURG FESTIVAL OPENING CONCERTS, 2008-2011 (4 DVD Box Set) (NTSC) C Major
713608
Classical Concert
SCHUBERT, F.: Alfonso und Estrella (Theater an der Wien, 1997) (NTSC) Naxos
2.110260
Opera DVD
SCHUMANN, R.: Genoveva (Zurich Opera, 2008) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) Arthaus Musik
101328
Opera DVD
SCHUMANN, R.: Genoveva (Zurich Opera, 2008) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101327
Opera DVD
TDK SAMPLER 2007 - The Best of Classical Music on TDK - Opera, Concert, Ballet (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-OPBEST4
Classical Concert
VIENNA PHILHARMONIC: NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2003 (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107013
Classical Concert
WEBER, C.M. von: Freischutz (Der) (Zurich Opera, 1999) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
107011
Opera DVD





 
 
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