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Christian Thielemann (born 1 April 1959, in Berlinmarker) is a Germanmarker conductor.

Thielemann started his musical career aged 19 as a Korrepetitor at the Deutsche Oper Berlinmarker with Heinrich Hollreiser and assistant to Herbert von Karajan. He made his US debut in 1991 by conducting a new production of Strauss' Elektra in San Francisco, soon followed by engagements at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1997 he became Generalmusikdirektor of the Deutsche Opermarker in Berlinmarker and was originally contracted to serve through 2007. However, there were reports of artistic conflicts with the then-incoming artistic director Udo Zimmermann in 2000. In 2004, he resigned from his contract over conflicts regarding Berlin city funding between the Deutsche Oper and the Staatsoper Unter den Lindenmarker.

Thielemann became principal conductor and music director of the Munich Philharmonic in September 2004. He is scheduled to step down from his Munich posts in 2011, after disputes with orchestra management over final approval of selection of guest conductors and programs for the orchestra. In October 2009, the Staatskapelle Dresden announced the appointment of Christian Thielemann as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season.

Thielemann is a regular conductor at the Bayreuthmarker and the Salzburg Festivals. With the decision in September 2008 of the Richard Wagner Festival Foundation to appoint Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier to succeed Wolfgang Wagner as directors of the Bayreuth Festival, Thielemann was named as a chief musical advisor, effectively the Festival's music director.

Thielemann received Germany’s Bundesverdienstkreuz in 2003. He records for the Deutsche Grammophon label. He considers himself to be a carrier of the Austro-Germanic conducting tradition, in the manner of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Karajan.


For Deutsche Grammophon For EMI Classics



  • Kläre Warnecke: Christian Thielemann - Ein Porträt. Henschel Verlag Berlin 2003. ISBN 3894874651
  • Kilian Heck/Christian Thielemann (Hg.): Friedrichstein. Das Schloß der Grafen von Dönhoff in Ostpreußen. Deutscher Kunstverlag, München und Berlin 2006, ISBN 3422065938

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