Benjamin Shwartz

Benjamin Shwartz was a sensation…. With his clear insight and perfection of technique, together with the highly motivated orchestra, he produced an air of excitement and cultivated sound.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

In 2013 Benjamin Shwartz was appointed Music Director of the Orkiestra Symfoniczna NFM, Wrocław. During his initial 4-year tenure, he sees the orchestra move to a new state-of-the-art concert hall (to be inaugurated in September 2015) as well as participate in the programme for Wroclaw European Capital of Culture 2016.
As a guest conductor, he has been invited to work with orchestras like the Royal Stockholm and Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New World, BBC Scotland, Tokyo, Iceland and Aarhus Symphony orchestras, as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, St Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre National de Lille.

In the field of opera, Shwartz has conducted a new production of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict at the Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at the Royal Swedish Opera, as well as three new productions of Bellini’s La sonnambula, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims and Gounod’s Faust at the Curtis Institute. He returns to the Royal Swedish Opera in 2015/16 with a new production of La Bohème.

In 2015/16, he will conduct further performances of his thought-provoking project The Age of Anxiety, devised with distinguished visual artist Alexander Polzin: based on Auden’s poem, the music and the paintings combine to show how the momentous events at the beginning of the 20th century, culminating with the start of the Great War, irreversibly changed music and above all the perception we have of life.

Born in Los Angeles in 1979 and raised both there and in Israel, Benjamin Shwartz attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he worked closely with Christoph Eschenbach. He was appointed Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, and led the European Tour of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra during the summer of 2008. He also studied composition with James Primosch at the University of Pennsylvania, with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany and at IRCAM in Paris. He is currently based in Berlin.

As a committed advocate of new music, Shwartz has led many world premieres of works by such composers of his generation as Mason Bates, Nathaniel Stookey and Zhou Tian. He is the conductor of Mercury Soul [www.mercurysoul.org], a new music project which he curates together with composer Mason Bates and the visual artist, designer and director Anne Patterson. The ensemble presents new music for acoustic and electronic instruments in clubs and other unusual locations, effectively blurring the lines between classical, experimental and electronic music.

Benjamin Shwartz has received numerous awards for his work, including the Presser Music Award, and was a prize-winner in the 2007 Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition.

Foto: Jennifer Hui Bon Hoa

Auftritte in der Spielzeit 2017/2018: