Yoel Gamzou, Conductor

Yoel Gamzou is currently Generalmusikdirektor of the Theater Bremen, a position he began at the outset of the 2017/18 season with a critically acclaimed new production of Shostakovich’s Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District, followed a.o. by a new production of Die Fledermaus, Die tote Stadt, L’Etoile and Der Rosenkavalier, as well as a revival of Carmen. During his last season in Bremen in 2021/22 he will lead the new production of Jenufa and the world premiere of Lampson / von Keyserling's Die Wellen. After the successful premiere of even Deaths of Maria Callas staged by Marina Abramovic at the Bavarian State Opera, Gamzou will also direct the co-productions at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Opéra National de Paris, the Greek National Opera and the Teatro San Carlo Naples. He will conduct Die Fledermaus at the Opéra de Toulon and Der Freischütz at the Theater Essen. Concerts will take him to the St. Gallen Theater and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Giuseppe Verdi Milano.

Last season he made his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Tosca and, after his successful debut at the Bavarian State Opera he returned in 2021 with Wolf-Ferrari's Il Segreto di Susanna and Lehár's Schön ist die Welt. He conducted concerts at Gothenburg Opera and will return in summer 2022.

Gamzou is also Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the International Mahler Orchestra (IMO), an ensemble he founded in 2006. Prior to his appointment as GMD in Bremen, Gamzou stepped in on short-notice to conduct the Staatsorchester Kassel in Mahler’s 9th Symphony and was immediately invited to become the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, and later First Kapellmeister and deputy-GMD of the Staatstheater Kassel, a position he maintained until summer 2015. During his time in Kassel, he led a variety of acclaimed concerts and opera productions including Fidelio, Tosca, Rigoletto and Il Barbiere di Sivilgia. 

As a guest conductor, Gamzou has worked with symphony orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Deutsches Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Hamburger Symphoniker, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Jena Philharmonie, Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg, Belgrade Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Israel Philharmonic among others.

Gamzou has had a special relationship with Gustav Mahler’s music from the time he was a small boy. He initially drew international attention at the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition when, as a 19-year old, he was awarded the competition's “Special Prize“. In 2010, Gamzou garnered further international recognition when his completion of Mahler’s unfinished 10th Symphony was premiered and published by Schott Music. Both the premiere in Berlin and the concert tour which followed in 2011 – with Gamzou conducting his IMO – were highly acclaimed by Mahler experts, the press, and audiences. A live-recording of the tour’s final concert at the Berlin Philharmonie was released on the WERGO label in Germany. Gamzou’s realization of Mahler’s 10th Symphony continues to be performed around the world, often with Gamzou himself conducting.

Gamzou is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including: the ECHO Klassik Award in the category emerging artist of the year “conductor” in November 2017; the prestigious “Princess Margriet Award” of the European Cultural Foundation in March 2013; and the Berenberg Culture Prize (Hamburg) in February 2012. The press have referred to him as a “breathtaking sensation” (Hamburger Abendblatt), an “unshakeable, radical, uncompromising, possessed genius” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), and as “outrageously talented” (Opernwelt).

Gamzou was born to an artistic family and grew up in New York, London and Tel Aviv. He had the honor of being Carlo Maria Giulini’s final student.


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