Christian Thielemann to become new General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden

At its meeting today, the Board of Trustees of the Berlin Opera Foundation approved the contract with Mr. Christian Thielemann as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from September 1, 2024. Thielemann succeeds Daniel Barenboim, who is an honorary citizen of Berlin.

Mr. Thielemann is currently chief conductor at the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden; his previous positions include artistic director of the Osterfestspiele Salzburg from 2013 to 2022 and Music Director of the Bayreuth Festival from 2015 to 2020.

The Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion, Joe Chialo: “With Christian Thielemann, we are not only gaining a world-class conductor, but also the logical successor to the great maestro and honorary citizen of Berlin, Daniel Barenboim. I am very pleased that we can follow the proposal of the designated Intendant Elisabeth Sobotka and appoint Mr. Thielemann as the future General Music Director of our State Opera. Mr. Thielemann has already worked with the Staatskapelle Berlin with the greatest success, and with him we are securing the highest musical excellence for our city.”

The artistic director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from 2024/25, Elisabeth Sobotka: “With Christian Thielemann, one of the most outstanding conductors of our time takes over from Daniel Barenboim. It is an organic and inspiring transition. For the Staatsoper, the tasks and challenges are great in these times of social change and crisis. The great tradition and the great quality of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Staatskapelle Berlin are the basis on which this further development can build. Christian Thielemann is a guarantor of this. I am very much looking forward to our collaboration.”

Chief Conductor of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and designated General Music Director, Christian Thielemann: “The Staatsoper Unter den Linden can look back on a long and glorious tradition. The same is true for the Staatskapelle Berlin, with whom I share an extraordinary musical affinity. I am therefore delighted to now return to my hometown and, together with Elisabeth Sobotka, to lead the house into the future. I am deeply indebted to Daniel Barenboim, whom I have known and admired for over 40 years, for his wonderful work and constant support.”

The previous General Music Director Daniel Barenboim: “I have known Christian Thielemann since he was my assistant at the Deutsche Oper as a 19-year-old young man. Even then, his extraordinary musical talent was obvious, and he has since developed into one of the outstanding conductors of our time. I am delighted that he will now take over the musical direction of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Staatskapelle Berlin as General Music Director. I have been at the helm of these very special musical institutions for over thirty years, and I am certain that under Christian Thielemann's leadership they will continue to maintain and expand their exceptional position in Berlin and international musical life. I wish Christian Thielemann and the future artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka an ever fruitful and committed exchange and the necessary luck and skill in managing the house. I am full of anticipation for what is to come!”